The Problem with Pro-Choice

Why is it that so many pro-choice activists have become pro-life, yet we don’t hear about any pro-life advocates becoming pro-choice?  Consider the following:

– Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson was a medical doctor from New York City and co-founder in 1969 of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) later renamed National Abortion Rights Action League.  When ultrasound was developed in the 1970s, he observed a real-time abortion which caused him to reconsider his views on abortion.  He became a pro-life activist, saying that abortion is “the most atrocious holocaust in the history of the United States.”  In his book Aborting America, where he first exposed what he called “the dishonest beginnings of the abortion movement.”  In 1984, he directed and narrated a controversial anti-abortion film titled The Silent Scream, in cooperation with the National Right to Life Committee, which included the ultrasound video of a mid-term (12 weeks) abortion. His second documentary Eclipse of Reason dealt with late-term abortions.  He stated that the numbers he once cited for NARAL concerning the number of deaths linked to illegal abortions were “false figures.”

In his autobiography Hand of God in 1996, Dr. Nathanson referred to his previous work as an abortion provider and abortion rights activist, saying, “I am one of those who helped usher in this barbaric age.” He developed what he called the “vector theory of life”, which states that from the moment of conception, there exists “a self-directed force of life that, if not interrupted, will lead to the birth of a human baby.”

– Ronald Reagan was also convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream, a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

– More recently, Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born, just by catching just a glimpse of what The Silent Scream film reveals.

– Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe in the 1973 Roe Vs. Wade case) was also a pro-choice activist until 1994 when she was enlightened by Phillip Benham, the National Director of Operation Rescue.  She quit her job at the abortion clinic she was working at, and become an advocate of Operation Rescue’s campaign to make abortion illegal.  McCorvey’s second book, Won by Love, was published in 1998. She explained her change on the stance of abortion with the following comments:

“I was sitting in O.R.’s offices when I noticed a fetal development poster.  The progression was so obvious, the eyes were so sweet. It hurt my heart, just looking at them.  I ran outside and finally, it dawned on me. ‘Norma’, I said to myself, ‘They’re right’.  I had worked with pregnant women for years.  I had been through three pregnancies and deliveries myself.  I should have known.  Yet something in that poster made me lose my breath.  I kept seeing the picture of that tiny, 10-week-old embryo, and I said to myself, that’s a baby!  It’s as if blinders just fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth — that’s a baby!

“I felt crushed under the truth of this realization.  I had to face up to the awful reality.  Abortion wasn’t about ‘products of conception’.  It wasn’t about ‘missed periods’.  It was about children being killed in their mother’s wombs.  All those years I was wrong.  Signing that affidavit, I was wrong.  Working in an abortion clinic, I was wrong.  No more of this first trimester, second trimester, third trimester stuff.  Abortion — at any point — was wrong. It was so clear. Painfully clear.”

So what is the problem with the pro-choice movement, and why don’t we hear about pro-life activists becoming pro-choice?  The answer is:  ignorance.  I don’t say this in a demeaning way.  Will Rogers said, “We’re all ignorant, only on different subjects.”  We all need to be educated.  When the truth about abortion is revealed and learned, the pro-choice argument is indefensible.  I challenge any pro-choice advocate to watch The Silent Scream and come away unscathed–or, even to view the images at

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