Yesterday I wrote about how the woman who was the plaintiff in the Roe v Wade case ultimately “converted” to the pro-life cause.  Since then, the leaders of the pro-life movement have touted her change of heart as if her conversion really means anything.   In this case, I don’t think it means diddly squat in the grand scheme of things. 

On the other hand, for years Doctor Bernard Nathanson ran the largest abortion clinic in the country in New York City and he performed thousands and thousands of abortions over the years, many of them late in the pregnancy.  I believe he was even on the Board of Directors of the National Abortion Rights Action League.   Then, at some point, he announced that he would no longer perform abortions and that he was converting to the pro-life cause.  The pro-choice movement was understandably dumfounded, did not have a response.  Doctor Nathanson ultimately went on to produce the film, “The Silent Scream,” which reported was the first film which showed an actual abortion. 

Then, years later a nurse who worked in a clinic that performed the “Partial Birth Abortion” resigned in protest and became a national spokesperson for the pro-life movement. 

So, what do these conversions mean? 

Well, I guess these conversions are certainly small PR points for the pro-life side.  The conversion of Doctor Nathanson is rather interesting to me in that he really did give up a very lucrative medical practice.   If I were on their side, I definitely would have exploited his change of heart for all it was worth.   

But, on an almost daily basis clinics that perform abortions see their own “conversions.”   They see people who thought they were pro-life and were now coming in for abortions.  I’ve talked to many, many abortion providers over the years and they would relate to me the stories of women who would come in and tell them they are against abortion, but…

Several years ago, a doctor in North Carolina told me a fascinating conversion story.   Every Saturday, a woman would camp out in front of his clinic and hold up a sign saying “Abortion is Murder.”  She would cry out to the women as they entered the clinic, urging them to come over and talk to her before they “killed their baby.”  At times, the doctor would actually stop and talk to her about why he performed abortions and, ultimately, they struck up a civil relationship. 

Then, after protesting in front of the clinic for almost two years, this woman’s daughter got pregnant.  A few days later, as the doctor was walking into the clinic, the woman asked him to come over.  “I couldn’t believe it,” he told me years later.  “She told me her daughter was pregnant and that they had talked about the possibly of getting an abortion.”  To his credit, the doctor held his tongue and told the woman to come into the clinic after hours when there was no staff around and to bring in her daughter. 

That night, he talked to both of them about her options and the abortion procedure.  Ultimately,  they decided to have the abortion.  A week later, he asked a discreet staff person to remain at the clinic after hours and, with her help, he quietly performed the abortion.  He never asked the woman if she thought it was a little hypocritical of her to bring her daughter in for an abortion. 

“A week later,” he told me, “she was back out in front of the clinic telling women that they shouldn’t murder their babies.” 

I say chalk one up for our side.