Human Interest

Former abortionist shares conversion story: ‘It’s much more courageous’ to protect life than to kill

Former abortionist Dr. John Bruchalski, founder of Divine Mercy Care and author of “Two Patients: My Conversion from Abortion to Life-Affirming Medicine,” sat down with Live Action president and founder Lila Rose for an exclusive interview. He shared his pro-life conversion story and the dark truths of the profitable abortion industry as well as his hope for the future.

Bruchalski was raised in a Catholic, pro-life family. They went to the March for Life and his father labeled the day that Roe v. Wade was handed down — January 22, 1973 — as “black Monday.” But, he said, his mother and father “entrusted our formation to the educational system.”

“And like so many of us in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, and on, we were introduced to, ya know, ‘God’s a big God. There are many paths. Don’t worry about it. God’s a really loving guy. Don’t worry about it. There’s probably no sin. Don’t worry about it,'” he said.

He added that he lived a “lukewarm life because truth and love became lukewarm.”

Becoming an OB/GYN

Bruchalski became an OB/GYN to help women live healthy lives, but he had also been told that there was an overpopulation problem. During medical school, private practice professors were committing abortions and allowing students to watch and participate. Bruchalski wanted to be the best doctor he could be, and he thought that meant he had to take part in abortions.

Speaking of the first abortion he committed, he explained, “I’m ending the life of the most innocent of our human family. When they’re little, they don’t fight much because they don’t even have real bones yet. But when they get big enough and the calcium has to get inside those bones, you have to count body parts. This was one of those abortions… The man who taught me this asked me multiple times, ‘Are you sure?'”

Bruchalski said he was sure, and he was even excited to provide the best “care” he could. The woman was 10-12 weeks pregnant. He could see the baby’s arms and bones in the canister after he committed the first-trimester procedure. He had a “twinge” in his heart and after a pat on the back from his professor, he left the room realizing that he had killed a baby, but did not let himself really feel the weight of that.

“Each time that you do a termination you have to steel yourself. You have to take a deep breath in and you have to have like a gut check because the reality is we know it’s a human life, and so what happens is, you’re doing it for the greater good. You’re doing it for the woman because she wants it and you’re growing up in a world where patient autonomy — you’re a vending machine. …I don’t want to be a vending machine. …That’s where the fracture occurs. Why aren’t there more abortionists?” he said. It’s because abortion is brutal and it kills innocent humans.

Aborting an infant who survived abortion

One day, while Bruchalski was driving, he saw a pregnancy resource center and pulled into the parking lot. He saw that they were providing alternatives to abortions and he liked their approach. He became involved with the center and began attending church again, while also continuing to commit abortions during his residency. One night, a woman who was 22 weeks pregnant went into labor. He worked to stop labor to save the baby. But in the next room, another woman, 22 or 23 weeks, didn’t want her baby, so he broke the water to abort the baby, who was born alive — and was “crying, wheezing, making squeaking noises.”

His first instinct, he said, was to suffocate the baby so the mother wouldn’t suffer, but the baby was heavier than he thought so he placed the child on a scale and found he/she was five grams over what the state of Virginia considered a human life. He called doctors from the NICU to come to help the baby per state law.

The NICU doctor realized what he had done and said, “Hey, Bruchalski, stop treating my patients like little tumors. Talk to me tomorrow.” That baby ultimately survived because of the state law, not because Bruchalski had a moment of compassion.

“How come in two rooms, I could save one but not the other? Isn’t there science here? Isn’t there truth? Isn’t there justice? Who’s the least? It’s all part of the human family,” he said.

That neonatologist would later challenge Bruchaski, telling him he was above committing abortions and that there are two genetically different patients he should be treating — the mother and the child. She urged him to visit a Catholic pilgrimage site, where he said the spiritual scales came off his eyes and he knew he had to stop committing abortions.

When he returned home, he went to Confession for the first time in 15 years. “Scripture is real. Sacraments are real,” he said. “This is not a joke.” He could have tripled his salary by committing abortions, but he walked away from it instead.

Bruchalski confronted his professors and told them he could no longer participate in abortions or in IVF as he had been, and he had a “burning fire” to change how he practiced medicine and to be pro-life.

“There are the least members of our family being brutally taken out [by abortion]. And it’s us, we’re the ones that have to respond,” he said. “Over time, my friends began to ask me and I began to tell them — and many of the residents during that time would not do adverse prenatal diagnosis abortions and most of them were not doing the elective abortions anyway. They just needed someone to try to take that step.”

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Several years later, he and his wife, Caroline, started Tepeyac OB/GYN out of their basement before raising enough money for their own building. They partnered with pregnancy centers and eventually went non-profit. They work in cooperation with fertility in a holistic matter — treating the whole patient, run a perinatal hospice, and work with women who cancel their abortions thanks to pro-life sidewalk counselors outside of late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart’s abortion business.

“It’s much more courageous to not to kill the least. It’s easy to kill the weakest,” he said. “They have nowhere to go. So now if you really believe out there, medically, that you are called into medicine — nursing student, nurse practitioner, PA, the whole gamut, midwifery — where did that call come from? You gotta be obedient. …We’re looking to the future and I can tell you, it’s really looking brighter…”

Bruchalski has high hopes for the future, believing that pro-abortion advocates are going too far and helping to expose the politics and extremism behind legalized abortion.

“I think we have truth on our side. That’s the most important thing. And we have science. Now, we’re gonna need to have language and we’re going to need to learn from each other what language resonates,” he said. “So I do believe that the truth of the ultrasound, the truth of medicine, the truth of fetal surgery will eventually catch on.”

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