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Promise to ‘abortion king’ results in new book

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Terry Beatley, president and founder of the Vienna-based Hosea Initiative, made a promise to Dr. Bernard Nathanson, known as the “abortion king,” in 2009 to spread his message of how he deceived the nation with his work in the abortion industry.

Nathanson, longtime abortion doctor, said he was responsible for 75,000 abortions, 5,000 of them personally. His campaign to legalize abortion paved the way for the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Nathanson later changed his views on abortion and advocated for the pro-life movement until his death in February 2011.

Beatley thought she fulfilled her promise five years ago after she said she partnered with the African-American community to defeat a pro-choice Virginia state senator. She then felt called to make a movie about Nathanson, but was advised to write a book first. Beatley contacted Nathanson’s wife, who encouraged her to speak with Father C. John McCloskey, an Opus Dei priest instrumental in Nathanson’s conversion to Catholicism. Father McCloskey wrote the foreword to Beatley’s book, What if We’ve Been Wrong? Keeping my promise to America’s “Abortion King.”

Beatley said the book, released in September, is for people on both sides of the abortion debate.

Nathanson co-founded National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, NARAL Pro-Choice America, as it is known today, with Larry Lader, a writer whose book, Abortion, was quoted in the Roe v. Wade case.

The first time Nathanson saw a fetus on an ultrasound, he realized that the fetus was an individual life, and the decision to abort was no longer between himself and his patient. He resigned from NARAL and stopped performing abortions. He issued three warnings, according to Beatley.

“He said as long as abortion is legal we will have increased public turmoil, violence and continued disintegration of the family.”

Beatley begins her book by detailing her quest to find the correlation between dehumanizing slaves and unborn babies. That led her to Nathanson and her promise to expose his strategy of deceiving America on abortion.

Beatley also writes about Nathanson's "Catholic strategy,” which she said still continues today. Nathanson and Lader set out to swing the support of the Catholic hierarchy to the pro-choice side by saying it was okay to personally believe abortion was wrong, but the decision should be between the woman and her doctor.

“NARAL blamed Catholic leadership anytime a woman died because of abortion,” said Beatley. “Few Catholic legislators were open to modifying the pro-life law in New York. They emphasized in the media, the Catholic shift to agree to relax their position and capitalized on the Kennedy Catholics.”

The book is filled with stories of people who had abortions but now work to end the procedure. Beatley tells the story of Rev. Hashmel Turner, an abortion survivor, who supports her work.

She also writes of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project,” which focused birth control measures on African-Americans and those deemed unfit to reproduce. Beatley’s book includes excerpts and quotes from Norma McCorvey, known as Jane Roe of the Roe v. Wade case, and several others.

Beatley joined U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and other members of Congress Sept. 27 at a press conference on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Hosea Initiative, to further proclaim Nathanson’s message. Beatley and members of Congress also urged Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to hear H.R. 3504 the “Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” currently before Congress. The act reads in part, “This bill amends the federal criminal code to require any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to: (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and (2) ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital.”

“It is unique in that it doesn’t protect unborn children but children already born alive,” said Franks. “More than 90 percent of people consider themselves protectors of born-alive children yet in the U.S. Senate we are not able to gain a vote on Born-Alive.”

Rep. Kevin Kramer, R.–N.D., spoke at the press conference and endorsed Beatley’s book.

“This book has the most concise, clear description of the conversion of a heart that starts first with science. Nathanson’s was a conversion of the mind first and then the heart,” he said. “It’s the clearest document I’ve ever read on the topic.”

Next on Beatley’s agenda is a movie based on the book. She is working with Ken Ferguson, CEO/CFO at Christendom College in Front Royal, manager for the “In the Womb” documentary by National Geographic.

“Truly, God is in the driver's seat and we are the passengers going along with Him,” Beatley said. “He wants Dr. Nathanson's message told far and wide and to turn the heart of Americans to repent for their apathy and coldness to the unborn child.”

Elliott can be reached at eelliott@catholicherald.com.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016