March 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dr. Bernard Nathanson will go down in history as one of the prominent pro-life figures in the abortion controversy. He was an avowed agnostic who aborted two of his own children. When abortion was legalized, he became the director of the largest abortion facility in the world, writing later that he was personally responsible for about 75,000 abortions while having performed about 5,000 himself.

However, as his story will be told elsewhere, there came a time when he decided that what was being destroyed in abortion was a living human. At the beginning he could not bring himself to call this being a baby, but rather in his first writings termed this a newly conceived “Alpha”. Let me add one more story of his slow conversion.

As a result of the above change of position, he was all but forcefully thrown out of the pro-abortion movement. His former friends and close associates literally cursed him out of their social and professional circles. He stood out there alone. He was also eyed with total suspicion by the pro-life movement.

In this climate I encouraged that he be invited to speak at a pro-life seminar at Notre Dame University. He later told me that he accepted with great trepidation, actually fearing for his life.

My dear Barbara and I welcomed him and listened carefully to his presentation. It contained quite a few factual errors and exaggerations. Accordingly after he finished we approached him. He was so visibly nervous that his hands were trembling as we spoke to him. We surprised him with our warm thanks.

Barb and I then offered him a copy of our recently published book, Handbook on Abortion. He was genuinely surprised that we accepted him and welcomed our constructive suggestion to read it. We also extended him an invitation to speak to the next Ohio Right to Life Society convention. He accepted and came.

We were pleased to note with quiet satisfaction that every one of his earlier errors and exaggerations regarding the pro-life movement had been corrected. We went on to become close personal friends and close professional associates in the pro-life movement. You know the rest of the story.

(This article has been republished with permission from the January/February International Right to Life Newsletter )