Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast
Greater Erie March & Motorcade for Life
People for Life, Inc. - January 11, 1999

Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast
  • Saturday, January 16, 1999 -- 9:00 AM
  • Avalon Hotel Main Ballroom
  • Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson, M.A. (Bioethics) M.D.
  • Other special guests will include:
      Bishop Donald Truatman, Roman Catholic Bishop of Erie
      Fr. Jeffrey Lucas, Pastor of Erie's St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church -- Invocation
      Fr. Frederick Bentley, Rector of Erie County's St. James Anglican Catholic Church -- Benediction
      Jennifer Kraus, delivering a message for Congressman Phil English
      Angelo Phillips of Erie's Bread of Life Community, musician and vocal artist
  • Last year's event was a sell-out with 620+ in attendance.
Greater Erie March & Motorcade for Life
  • Immediately following the Prayer Breakfast, at Noon
  • Avalon Hotel to Perry Square
  • Memorial Service at the Gazebo remembering everyone harmed by abortion, born and unborn
  • Memorial Service with special message by Rev. James M. "Mick" McGinnis, Pastor of Erie's Trinity United Methodist Church
Special Note:

People for Life will be presenting two pro-life speakers concurrently.

Dr. Nathanson will be available in the Avalon Hotel Ballroom immediately following the Pro-Life Breakfast, at noon, for interviews and to answer questions from local journalists.

Dr. Nathanson has lectured widely on the subject of abortion, even testifying before the Congress of the United States. For more about Dr. Nathanson, the co-founder of NARAL -- but also "the abortion doctor who changed his mind," see below.

Meanwhile, residents of Erie and neighboring communities will march in silence from the Avalon to Perry Square, where another popular and dynamic speaker, Rev. Mick McGinnis will also publicly affirm the importance and value of each and every human life.

Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson, M.A. (Bioethics), M.D.

BERNARD NATHANSON'S STORY is one of conversion, conversion in both a professional sense and a spiritual sense, from death to life. Dr. Nathanson, an obstetrician-gynecologist, was a founding father of NARAL, initially known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, now the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. Derisively nicknamed "The Abortion King" by many of his colleagues, Dr. Nathanson played a key role in the campaign during the 1960's to legalize abortion on demand which culminated in the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. For nearly two decades, however, he has directed his formidable abilities towards the destruction of the "abortion monster" he helped unleash.

When the New York State statute prohibiting abortion was repealed in 1970, Dr. Nathanson became the director of the largest abortion clinic in the world at the time, New York City's Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health. By his own estimate, he was responsible for 75,000 abortions.

Meanwhile, the science of fetology was progressing rapidly, and the new technology of real time ultrasound imaging opened a "window on the womb." Owing in large part to these advances, Dr. Nathanson gradually became convinced of the true humanity and value of the unborn child.

Having departed from the New York City abortion facility in late August of 1972, Dr. Nathanson continued doing abortions for a period of time. He was doing them only for what he could satisfy himself were "compelling medical" reasons when, in early 1979, Dr. Nathanson did his very last abortion.

He subsequently produced two highly successful pro-life videos, The Silent Scream (pioneering the use of ultrasound imaging as a pro-life teaching tool) and Eclipse of Reason (dealing with late term abortions). Dr. Nathanson is also the author of the pro-life books Aborting America (1979) and The Abortion Papers: Inside the Abortion Mentality (1983) and numerous scholarly papers and magazine articles.

The Silent Scream

In 1984, Dr. Nathanson persuaded a friend who was doing 15 to 20 abortions a day to record the procedure using ultrasound. Dr. Nathanson later recalled, "When he looked at the tapes with me in an editing session, he was so affected that he never did another abortion. I …was shaken to the very roots of my soul by what I saw."

When the ultrasound recordings were seen during public viewings, their impact on the audience was profound. Dr. Nathanson decided to develop a professional quality film incorporating selected footage from the ultrasound recordings. The Silent Scream was shown for the first time on January 3, 1985 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Fourteen years later, People for Life volunteers note that the best known and most frequently requested pro-life video is still The Silent Scream.

The Hand of God

Owing in large part to the love, serenity, and unshakeable determination displayed by the pro-life demonstrators he frequently observed, Dr. Nathanson, an atheist, also began to reconsider his own need for spirituality and to consider the claims of Christianity. He was baptized in 1996. His most recent book is titled The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind.

"I did two or three abortions in 1978, and in 1979 I did my last one. I had come to the conclusion that there was no reason for an abortion at any time; this person in the womb is a living human being, and we could not continue to wage war against the most defenseless of human beings."

"I doubt it is an epistemic overstretch to venture that the deliberate destruction of a living, demonstrably human, being is a practice anathema to all but the most morally insouciant physicians, and can justifiably be described as bearing "low prestige" in the medical community." -- Bernard Nathanson, The Hand of God

Dr. Nathanson is currently Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Medical College.

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