As the nation marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that struck down a Texas law — and by extension, all states’ laws — that had criminalized abortion, the debate continues between those who uphold the right to life of the unborn and those who assert that a woman’s right to “choose” must be paramount.
Most of those who argue their respective points do so from a largely theoretical perspective, based on either their moral convictions or their political views. But for some people engaged in the debate, the matter is more personal.
One such category consists of women who have had abortions but who afterwards experienced regret.
An article posted on Lifenews.com on September 12, 2006 (“British Survey Finds Overwhelming Majority of Women Regretted Abortions”) reported that when a British pro-life group placed ads in six women’s magazines asking women who had had abortions to share their experiences, 204 of the 248 women responding said they deeply regretted their abortions. Similar findings have been found in other surveys.
Another category of individuals for whom the abortion experience is highly personal consists of former abortion practitioners. Perhaps the best known was the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson. An obituary published by N.J. com on March 1, 2011 noted: “A founding member of NARAL [National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League] Nathanson oversaw 75,000 abortions before experiencing a change of mind and heart. He went on to narrate the film Silent Scream, which graphically shows a pre-born child trying in vain to deflect the abortionist’s scalpel.”
Another such defector from the abortion industry is Abby Johnson, who once was clinic director of a Planned Parenthood facility in Bryan, Texas. After witnessing an ultrasound image of a baby during an abortion, Johnson had a change of heart. She wrote in her book Unplanned: "For the briefest moment, the baby looked as if it were being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then it crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube, and then it was gone."
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