Dr. Bernard Nathanson was one of the leading advocates for abortion in America prior to its legalization in 1973. Nathanson ran a busy abortion facility, where he committed or supervised over 60,000 abortions before his conversion. He was also involved in the movement to make abortion legal in New York before Roe v. Wade. In fact, he was the co-founder of NARAL — now NARAL Pro-Choice America — then called the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. His conversion came about due to the development of ultrasound, which had a profound effect on him.
In a statement, Nathanson said there is no doubt that the embryo in the womb is a living human being.
There is simply no doubt that even the early embryo is a human being. All its genetic coding and all its features are indisputably human. As to being, there is no doubt that it exists, is alive, is self-directed, and is not the the same being as the mother–and is therefore a unified whole.
He also described a first-trimester D&C abortion, which suctions a preborn child to death with force:
With suction, a plastic hollow tube (vacurette) is used, with the caliber varying to match the tightness of the cervix. A clear plastic tube leaves from the vacurette to one empty bottle where the bodily remains are trapped in a gauze bag; the blood seeps into the bottle below. A second bottle sets up the suction. With the vacurette, the operator quickly pulls the conceptus from the wall of the uterus.
If this is done after about 10 weeks, [8 weeks after conception] one can see identifiable parts of the fetus’s body dismembered and trapped in the gauze bag, which caused some reaction from nurses in the early years.
The later one gets into the “first trimester” (the first 12 weeks) the more likely the suction must be alternated with the hand-operated forceps to dismember the fetal body in the womb and extract pieces, working blindly in that large, soft chamber.
Nathanson would go on to become an icon in the pro-life movement and create the films “The Silent Scream,” which shows a first-trimester abortion done under ultrasound, and “Eclipse of Reason,” which shows a late-term D&E abortion where the baby is dismembered by forceps. You can see a description of a D&E procedure by Dr. Anthony Levatino below.
Former abortionists have some of the most powerful pro-life testimonies in the movement. This is because they have firsthand experience with the horror of abortion. Since they have witnessed abortion, their stories have great credibility. Pro-lifers should welcome them when they leave the abortion industry and speak out against abortion.