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There is an inexorable connection between God and the natural law inscribed in human nature. If you acknowledge and live by that natural law, you may find God and the Church. That is what happened to Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a modern day St. Paul, who was baptized in 1996 by New York Cardinal John O'Connor. Dr. Nathanson went from being the pioneer in legal abortion to the man who fought to outlaw abortion. In The Hand of God: a Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind, Nathanson explained that signs gained from new technology caused him to make the change.
In 1949-50 there was no science of fetology, and the fetus was considered to be "something" in the uterus. In the 1970s, the science of fetology exploded in the medical community. Ultrasound imaging led to electronic fetal heart monitoring. Even the tiny valves of the heart can be studied. Today, operations on the prenatal child are becoming routine. Sound technology and fetoscopy allow doctors to look into the womb and observe fetal development even from the point of conception.
In the face of mounting evidence, more and more doctors are abandoning the idea that the preborn is just a mass of tissue, and are compelled to the conclusion that the unborn child is another human being indistinguishable from any of us. They describe the fetus as our second patient, and they are pledged to preserve patients' lives. Fewer doctors are willing to take part in abortions. It is a messy business anyway, and there is also the risk of lawsuits, and shootings by religious zealots. Even Dr. Morgantaler has complained about not being able to find doctors to do abortions.
Seeing the irrefutable evidence that human life exists in the womb, more doctors are resisting the siren call of the multi million dollar abortion industry, and are doing so at a time when the child in the womb has no rights in criminal law in Canada. However Bill C-484 has passed second reading and is now before the all-party Justice and Human Rights Committee before heading to the Senate for a vote. Introduced by Conservative MP Ken Epp, the private member's bill would allow separate charges to be laid when an unborn child is killed or injured during an attack on the mother. Despite the fact that seventy two percent of Canadians support the legislation, opponents are upset about the use of the term "unborn child." They are afraid it will infringe on a woman's so-called right to choose.
One of the most chilling reminiscences of Bernard Nathanson about the early days of the pro-abortion movement in the late '60s and early '70s was how he dreamed up some catchy and cynical slogans to capture public opinion, e.g., Women must have control over their own bodies, Safe and legal abortion is every woman's right and Freedom of choice - a basic woman's right. "I remember laughing when we made these slogans up," he recalled. He, Lawrence Lader, Betty Friedan and others organized NARAL ---originally, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, and later renamed The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. According to Nathanson, they fabricated the results of fictional polls, and the number of illegal abortions done annually in the United States. They inflated figures by as much as a factor of ten. The tactic of the self-fulfilling lie worked.
According to Statistics Canada, Canadian women obtained 114, 848 abortions in 1997. Since 1970, Canadian hospitals and clinics have performed 2,588,550 abortions. Many women who have had abortions complain about "post abortion syndrome." Symptoms include regret, remorse, lowered self esteem, insomnia, nightmares, anniversary reactions, hostility and despair. These symptoms can occur any time after the abortion and in some cases the extreme effects don't show up until decades later. Because doctors have been slow to acknowledge that such a condition exists, women often form self-help groups. Project Rachel is the name of the Catholic Church's healing ministry to those who have been involved in abortion. Founded in Milwaukee in 1984, similar groups have sprung up throughout the United States and across Canada.
As post-abortion research expands, it too will have a considerable impact on reevaluating the most fundamental of rights, so vital to the future of all nations. Dr. Marie Peters Ney and her psychiatrist husband, Philip, founded the International Institute for Pregnancy Loss and Child Abuse Research and Recovery, based in Victoria, British Columbia. She said that on an annual basis some 60 million abortions take place worldwide. They estimate that there are 100 million abortion "survivors," siblings of the unborn who, she said, suffer from survivor complex because they survived and someone else died. She explained that if the aborted person has no value, then no one else has value and the only thing of value is what I possess. They have also counseled many who suffer post-abortion provider guilt. In a position statement issued March 14, 2008, the UK College of Psychiatrists warns that women should not be able to obtain an abortion unless they have been informed of the associated risks to mental health.
Those who maintain that the fetus is only "tissue" might want to watch The Silent Scream, Dr. Nathanson's classic video that shocked the world. Euphemisms for abortion, e.g. eliminating the contents of the womb, references to the skull as "number one," etc., come across as pathetic attempts to hide the truth. They do not pass the judgment of scientific evidence, a formidable new ally, and perhaps an unexpected one, in the struggle to establish a culture of life.
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Apr 25, 2008.
Copyright 2008 by Thomas Roach