Dr. Bernard Nathanson

Witness # 1: Dr. Bernard Nathanson

Occupation: Former Abortionist  

Place: New York, USA Date: 1984

In the Silent Scream Video, the abortionist's procedure is explained in scientific terms by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who earlier in his career ran the world's largest abortion clinic.

Testimony of Dr. Bernard Nathanson

"My Name is Dr. Bernard M. Nathanson. I am a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist. I have had a passing experience in matters of abortion. Now, when I was a medical student in 1949, we had no such science as Foetology. We were taught that the unborn child, the foetus, was something in the uterus. But it was really an article of faith as to whether or not it was a human being. And where or not that human being had any unique personal qualities. But the whole story has changed since the 1970's. It was at that time that the science of foetology exploded in the medical community. It exploded by means of the introduction of great new medical technologies, such as ultrasound imaging, foetology, electronic foetal heart monitoring, hysteroscopy, radio immunochemistry and a host of other dazzling technologies which today constitute in fact the corpus of the science of Foetology. Real time ultrasound ... that is imaging of the child in motion ... has been available as a clinical tool since 1967."

"The room for the ultrasound examination consists of a conventional examining table as well as the ultrasound imagining device itself...the bulky appearing machine here. Now, the pregnant women is positioned on the table for the examination. The abdomen is suitably draped. The head of the instrument is now placed over the uterus. This device in turn consists basically of a crystal which sends out pulsing, high frequency sound waves in a transducer which collects the echoes of these waves. The echoes are then collated by a computer which in turn assembles them into a recognisable image of the living, unborn child."

"Then the child can be imaged by either a linear scan which is useful for later pregnancies or a sector scan, which is more accurate for delineating the child in a early pregnancy such as this one. The image reconstructed from the echo pattern is capable of truly amazing resolution. And so discerning is this instrument that the tiny valves of the heart can be studied as they snap open and shut during the contractions of the heart. Mothers and fathers for the first time have been afforded a view of their unborn child by these spectacular technologies. And those machines that we now use every day, have convinced us that beyond question the unborn child is simply another human being, another member of the human community...indistinguishable in every way from any of us."

"Now for the first time, we have the technology to see abortion from the victims vantage point. Ultrasound imaging has allowed us to see this. And so for the first time, we are going to watch a child being torn apart, dismembered, disarticulated, crushed and destroyed by the unfeeling, steel instruments of the abortionist What we are looking at here is a depiction of the development of the child in its prenatal state of life from virtually the very beginnings to its end of that stage. We have here the child at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, at 12 weeks, at 16 weeks, 18 weeks, twenty weeks and at 28 weeks."

"As you can see there is no revolutionary or dramatic change in the form or in the substance of this person throughout the developmental stages. Now, this little person at twelve weeks is a fully formed, absolutely, identifiable human being. He has had brain waves for at least six weeks. His heart has been functioning for perhaps eight weeks. And all the rest of his human functions are indistinguishable from any of ours. Now this book is William's Obstetrics, sixteenth addition, written in 1980. It is a standard textbook, used throughout every medical school in the United States. The preference of this book, published in 1980, cautions us as follows. Happily we have, we have entered an era in which the fetus, can be rightfully considered and treated as our second patient. Who would have dreamed, even a few years ago, that we could serve the fetus as a physician."

"Traditional medical ethics and precepts command us that we must not destroy our patients, that we are pledged to preserve their lives. Now let's see what abortion does to this our second patient. We have then the 12 weeks unborn child in the uterus, the uterus being this muscle that surrounds the child. When the abortionist commences the procedure, he will first place this instrument which is know as a speculum into the women's vagina and will then open it in order to visualise the cervix and the neck of the womb here."

"Having visualised the cervix, the abortionist then takes this instrument, which is know as the tenacculum and fastens it securely through the speculum onto the cervix in this manner, clamping shut the tenacculum and getting a firm grasp on the cervix."

"The next instrument that is brought into play is the sound. This instrument is then introduced into the uterus and it is then removed. The abortionist having ascertained exactly how deep and how large the uterus is. And this set of dilators, these metallic curved instruments are used to effect the opening of the cervix in order to introduce finally the abortion instruments themselves."

"The abortionist first introduces the most slender of these instruments to dilate the cervix, turns the instrument around to a slightly larger end introduces that end and then works his way through the various graduated, increasingly larger ends of this dilating instrument."

"He then takes the instrument known as the suction apparatus which is opened. It is in a sterile container prior to the actual use of the instrument.Then this will be inserted through the dilated cervix, up into the uterus and will then puncture the sack surrounding the child, allowing the amniotic fluid to escape."

"The instrument then will come into direct contact with the child and with a pressure of approximately 55 or so millimetres of mercury, applied to the end of this instrument as it is attached to a long, thick suction tubing at this end and to the abortion instrumentation, that is the machine, at the other end, the suction suction tip will then begin to tear the child apart."

"The pieces of the body are torn away. One by one until finally all that remains are the shards of the body and the heads itself. The head will be too large to come through this instrument itself. This will necessitate the introduction of this instrument called a polyp forceps into the uterus through the already dilated cervix and the abortionist will then attempt to grasp the free floating head of the child in the uterus between the rings of this instrument. The head is then crushed, the contents of the head removed, and finally the bones of the head, and the abortion is then effectively at an end."

"We have seen what the 12 week child appears like on the ultrasound screen. And we have also seen the mechanics, the actual steps, of the 12 week abortion. Now for the first time, we are going to see a film, made with real time ultrasound imaging of a twelve week abortion. Bear in mind, that this is not an unusual instance, a late abortion. This is one of the 4,000 or so a day, done every day in the United States. This film was made at an abortion clinic. The physician who performed the abortion was a young man, who was working in two different abortion clinics at the time."

"He had already done close to 10,000 abortions in his young life. When he was asked to attend the editing session to review the film, he was so appalled at what he had done that he left the room momentarily, came back to finish the editing but never again did another abortion. The young woman who used the real time ultrasound camera, who was a feminist and a strong proabortionist, but she too was so moved by what she saw at the editing session, that she never again discussed the subject of abortion."

"Now let's turn to the actual film itself. We are now looking at a sector scan of a real time ultrasound imaging of a 12 week, unborn child. The child is oriented in this direction. You are looking now at the head of the child... here... the body of the child... here.. and this image is the child's hand approaching its mouth. Looking a little more closely at the child, we can discern, the eye or the orbit of the eye, here, the nose of the child, here... and the mouth of the child... here.. and we can even look at the ventricle of the brain, here. This is a fluid filled space in the brain. We see the body of the child here with the ribs in silhouette ... and the spine of the child at the back."

"This rather granular area of tissue at the top of the sector appears to be the placenta or afterbirth of the child. And we can begin to see down here, the thighs, the lower extremities of the child coming off the child in this manner. Now, we see the heart beating, here in the child's chest, The heart is beating at the rate of approximately 140 beats a minute. And we can see the child moving rather serenely, in the uterus. One can see it shifting position from time to time. It is still orientated in this manner and the mouth is receiving the thumb of the child. The child again is moving quietly in its sanctuary."

"Now this shadow that we are seeing, down at the bottom of the screen is the suction tip. We have colored the suction tip deliberately in order that you can discern it more clearly. The abortionist has now dilated the cervix and is now inserting this suction tip which you can see moving back and forth across the screen. You will note as the suction tip which is now over here, moves towards the child, the child will rear away from it and undergo much more violent and much more agitated movements. The child will move in a much more purposeful manner. Its orientation changes from time to time. It is again rearing here. Now the suction tip has not actually touched the child, even though the child is extremely agitated and moving in a much more violent manner. The child has now moved back to the profile view and the suction tip is flashing across the screen."

"The child's mouth is now open... and we will see that in a freeze frame in a moment... but this suction tip which you can see moving violently back and forth on the bottom of the screen is the lethal instrument which will ultimately tear apart and destroy the child. It is only after the fluid has been broken, the sack has been disrupted, that the tip will actually come against the child. We can see the tip move back and forth as the abortionist seeks the child's body. Once again we can see the child's wide mouth open in a Silent Scream in this particular freeze frame. This is the silent scream of a child threatened eminently with extinction."

"Now the child's heart rate has speeded up dramatically. And the child's movements are violent at this point.It does sense aggression in its sanctuary. It is moving away ...one can see it moving to the left side of the uterus...in an attempt ... a pathetic attempt to escape the inextricable instruments which the abortionist is using to extinguish its life."

"Now the heart has again perceptibly speeded up. We can time this at approximately 200 beats per minute. There is no question that this child now senses the most mortal danger imaginable. The membrane has now has been punctured and the fluid has escaped. One no longer sees that large reservoir of fluid surrounding the child. But once the fluid, has been drained off, the suction tip has been firmly clapped to the child's body and the child is being pulled in a downward direction by the abortionist's suction tip with the negative pressure applied to it. And the body is being torn systematically from the head ... the head of the child being in this direction here..."

"... I am now outlining the child's head here. The lower extremities have already been lost and we see the suction tip flashing from time to time within the screen as a typhoon-like series of echoes and the child is being tugged back and forth as the suction tip has now been applied to the body and the abortionist is exerting his traction on the child in this manner. The child's head is still discernable here. The body is no longer discernable. The body has been torn from the head. What we see now is the head itself.... with what is called the midline echo of the head and the spiccuals or fragments of bone."

"Now this head which I am outlining here on this 12 week child, is simply too large to be pulled in one piece out of the uterus. The abortionist is going to have to employ this instrument, the polyp forceps in an attempt to grab the head. The abortionist will attempt to crush the head with this instrument in this manner and remove the head piece meal from the uterus."

"The abortionist and the anesthesiologist have a secret language between them which shields them from the grisly reality of what is going on. The abortionist and the anesthesiologist together refer to the head of this child as number one and the anesthesiologist will inquire of the abortionist, "Is number one out yet? Are we finished."

"We now see intermittently the shanks or blades of this instrument appearing in this image here. The head tends to float freely in the uterus. Here are the shanks or blades of the instruments here...and the head is now being locked on by this polyp forceps and the head is being pulled down towards the cervix. Now all we see remaining are simply the shards, the remaining fragments, the pieces of tissue that document that there once was a living, defenseless, a tiny human being here."