Statement of Judie Brown on the Passing of Bernard Nathanson

Washington, DC (28 February 2011)As the funeral of Bernard Nathanson is held in New York City today, Judie Brown, president of American Life League, issues the following statement:

Bernard Nathanson was a pioneer in the abortion movement who came to realize, after presiding over thousands of abortions himself, that every abortion takes the life of an innocent person. His conversion was a miracle to behold, not only his conversion from abortionist to pro-life leader, but his conversion from atheism to Catholicism. It is clear to me that God had a plan for Dr. Nathanson, and that Bernie, as we called him, remained open to it from the first instant when he stepped back from abortion in horror and disgust.

Thousands of pro-life people around the world will sorely miss this great man, his honesty, his tenacity and his unwavering commitment to truth.

I remember his famous visit to the Reagan White House with us in 1982, and the fascination the president had with Dr. Nathanson. Their friendship grew and when the SILENT SCREAM was ready to be debuted, President Reagan asked Dr. Nathanson for a preview showing. After that, the rest is history.

One of the most important aspects of Dr. Nathanson's legacy will be his insistence that partial birth abortion was "not abortion at all" but was actually infanticide. He repeatedly stated that those who defined the D&X procedure as abortion were robbing the truth of its meaning; doing so for political purposes. He raised all kinds of eyebrows with his assessment, but to this day I wonder who better should have been listened to in those early days of the debate? Nathanson knew his profession and the grisly practices that were pursued. That's one of the things I always loved about him; it simply was not part of his nature to be politically correct.

On a personal note, during one luncheon I attended with him to discuss pro-life matters, I recall him taking his credit card out to pay the bill, and sharing with me a most amazing fact. During one of his talks he had encountered a group of nuns in the audience and, after his talk, one of them walked up to him, handed him a small crucifix, and said, "Dr. Nathanson, we are praying for you. You are a great man and you should be a Catholic." He smiled when he told me this story, and as we all know he later became a Catholic.

May his soul rest in peace.

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to death. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Jim Sedlak at 540.659.7685.


Full Judie Brown Commentary: Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D. — Touched by Truth

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Jim Sedlak
Vice President and Acting Director of Communications
American Life League
1179 Courthouse Road
Stafford, Virginia 22554