Thursday, June 24, 2021

Sins of the Father

 From Kevin Burke:

[The following is an excerpt from the book Rivers of Blood/Oceans of Mercy.]

The late Dr Bernard Nathanson was the father of two aborted children, and experienced a difficult relationship with his own father.  This painful father/son relationship played a key role in the legalization and promotion of abortion in the United States.

Terry Beatley reveals in her book “What If We’ve Been Wrong?” that Nathanson’s father, a highly respected obstetrician-gynecologist, was a tyrant in the home:

“Bernard was born into a loveless home in which disdain toward his mother replaced oxygen in the household. His mother was constantly and unfairly berated and belittled by her husband [His father further humiliated his wife with extramarital affairs]… Nathanson and his sister, despite this hungered to gain their father’s respect and affirmation.” [1]

Nathanson father, a staunch atheist, sent his son to the finest Jewish schools to become instructed in the letter of the law. Yet young Nathanson was immersed in a family culture where religious belief was ridiculed and faith stripped of any values and heart. As he matured Bernard was driven to find liberation from his father’s oppression and emotional rejection, even as he continued to long for his father’s affirmation and respect as a son, and as a man.

It is from this complex family background that Nathanson, following in his father’s footsteps, entered medical school and fell in love with Ruth.   Author Beatley shares that “he was drawn to her innocence, intellect, and radiance.” Sadly, Nathanson would soon disfigure the beauty that attracted him to Ruth.

The couple spoke of marriage but when an unplanned pregnancy occurred, Nathanson (fearing his father’s response and driven to prove his self-worth) decided a newborn would interfere with the completion of his medical training.  Abortion was illegal in New York at this time, so Ruth travelled alone to Montreal for the procedure.

Ruth sacrificed their child so Bernard could finish medical school. Beatley shares that she returned to New York via taxi in a puddle of blood, and as is common after an abortion, the couple soon drifted apart. (Read more.)


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