Robert Moynihan: Hello, I am Robert Moynihan with Inside the Vatican magazine and we have with us here today Terry Beatley. And she is going to speak with us about one of the great problems of our time with great insight. And we hope that the conversation will be of use to many thousands of you out there.
Terry, I am happy to have you here today because you met Dr. Bernard Nathanson. And Dr. Nathanson was a very important figure in the history of our country and the history in particular of the pro-life question.
Can you describe your meeting and tell us who Dr. Nathanson was and why his legacy is so relevant and so important?
Terry Beatley: Dr. Nathanson was known as the father of America’s industry of abortion.
Some people, back in the early 70s, named him America’s abortion king and his legacy is one of complete conversion to the pro-life side.
So, he was not only America’s abortion king but he became pro-life 100% unequivocally pro-life and then he became Catholic.
And, what I have found as I travel across the United States, there are few people who know his story, but most Americans have no idea that the father of America’s industry of abortion became pro-life.
And the reason why his story, his legacy is so relevant is because, first of all, people like stories.
And this is a story that converts hearts, convicts hearts, and it’s a story, it’s a true story that helps people understand that this entire industry of killing babies is all based on lies and propaganda.
And Dr. Nathanson wanted every American, especially Catholics, to know the truth that he left behind.
Moynihan: And you, somehow, became a friend of Dr. Nathanson. He has now passed away. But can you tell us how that happened and how you met with him and what that meeting was like?
Beatley: Well, before my Catholic reversion, I was at a prayer vigil at the Nazarene Church, November 2009.
This was after I had for a number of years been studying about Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood, and how she had unleashed contraception onto America.
And I had begun to share this information in Virginia in a number of black churches in Virginia.
And the people’s response, they so encouraged me.
So, I was at this prayer vigil in 2009, fervently asking the Lord to give me direction, “What am I supposed to do with all this information?”
And these amazing experiences of sharing the racist history of Planned Parenthood.
And all I could hear through my prayer was, “Go, interview Dr. Bernard Nathanson.”
And I remember sitting back in my chair and just having this monologue conversation with the Lord saying, “Lord, why would Dr. Nathanson say ‘yes’ to my request for an interview?”
I thought it was highly unlikely, but I knew I was supposed to try.
So, I found his number. I called up to New York.
And his wife answered. And she said, “Terri, my husband has not granted an interview in well over a year. He is 83 years old. He is terminally ill with cancer.”
And she said, “Put your request in writing. Fax it up here, and I will present it to my husband.”
And that’s what I did. And, to my amazement, she called me back a couple days later.
And she said, to her surprise, her husband said “yes.”
And she asked me if I could fly up to New York on December 1, 2009.
And that was the beginning of this crazy 12-year journey, because of a promise I made Dr. Nathanson.
Moynihan: Well, I would like you to tell us what happened when you flew up to New York and came to his apartment and knocked on the door. What was your meeting like?
Beatley: Everything was the complete opposite of what I was thinking.
He had been the father of the abortion industry, the co-founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
He had trained Planned Parenthood doctors.
So, I was expecting this palatial condominium in Manhattan, New York.
And it ended up being this little efficiency apartment.
And Mrs. Nathanson ushered me through this little efficiency kitchen and there’s Dr. Nathanson sitting on a sofa, very frail.
He had his little Chihuahua dog sitting on his lap. So, for one hour, it was the one hour that changed my life.
So, for one hour, I sat beside Dr. Nathanson asking him a number of questions, that were all pre-planned.
And, all I can say is if remorse was tangible, I could have grabbed a hold of it.
He was very very remorseful, regretful of what he had done unleashing this culture of death onto the United States of America.
So at the end of the interview, I asked him, I said, “Dr. Nathanson, if you have a message for America, and if you tell me what it is, I promise you I will deliver it across America until it is common knowledge or until Roe v. Wade is overturned.”
And I didn’t know what he would say, but, indeed, he did respond.
He said, “Continue teaching the strategy of how I deceived America. And then, tell America that the co-founder of NARAL says to love one another. Abortion is not love. Stop the killing. The world needs more love and I am all about love now.”
Moynihan: So that is the message that Dr. Nathanson gave to you. You say this was an hour-long meeting that changed your life. And as you left that meeting, what did you think you should do?
Beatley: Well, I reached over and I shook his hand.
And I promised him I would get this job done.
And then his wife, she looked at me and she said, “Well, good luck on that promise, Terry.” And she closed the door.
And I remember standing, looking at the door and thinking, “I cannot believe I just made Dr. Nathanson this promise.”
So, I left.
The whole interview felt surreal because, and I think it is important for your listeners to understand, he was not just one more abortionist.
He is the father of the abortion industry, which completely changed everything in America.
There is nobody who is untouched by what he did.
And so, it felt very surreal.
And for the next 6 months, I was a busy homeschool mom.
So, I finished up the homeschool year in the spring of 2010, and then we moved to Fredericksburg, VA.
And that is the setting that began the next leg of this journey and fulfilling the promise to Dr. Nathanson.
And it actually began with teaching people in this part of Virginia what the abortion industry, how it has impacted the realm of politics and law.
Robert Moynihan: So, Terry, Dr. Nathanson told you that he felt regretful for a strategy that he felt was a deception. He told you that.
Well, what was this strategy?
How did he feel he had deceived the American people about abortion?
Terry Beatley: It was an intentional deception.
It was not an accident.
It was very methodical.
It was effective.
It has been deadly, 63 million babies have lost their lives.
It was an eight-point strategy.
So, the first thing they did was they hired a public relations firm.
And when I say “they” it’s NARAL.
Moynihan: What is, precisely, NARAL?
Beatley: Well, it is an acronym, N-A-R-A-L, for the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws.
So this was a pro-abortion, political action organization.
The first formed back in the late 1960s between Dr. Nathanson and Lawrence Ladder.
Those were the two men in New York who partnered up.
And they had one goal in mind, to get abortion legalized in all 50 states.
So, this is pre-Roe v. Wade. Okay.
And, Lawrence Ladder, being the savvy marketer that he was, recognized that the pro-abortion movement was very fractured.
You had some people who wanted abortion all nine months of pregnancy.
And others for a shorter term.
So, it was very fractured.
There was no leader.
So, he recognized this as a huge marketing opportunity.
Moynihan: Well, what was the mechanism of the deception?
What was the root of the deception?
Beatley: Yeah. The root.
Well, they knew that they had to deceive the American public into accepting this idea of decriminalizing or legalizing abortion.
And the only way to do that was through propaganda.
I always think of John 10:10, Jesus himself said, “Satan comes to kill, deceive, and destroy.”
And that’s exactly what NARAL did with eight points of propaganda.
So they hired a public relations firm who advised them that we have to frame the debate about abortion around something that Americans love.
And what Americans love is choice.
We love choice.
Moynihan: Yes, we do.
Beatley: You know. We talked about it yesterday.
You know, when you go to the grocery store, and look at all the different choices of just orange juice.
We love choices.
That’s a positive word, right.
So they framed the debate around choice.
And then, the next thing they did was they developed the cynical slogans.
We’ve heard these for so many years, we don’t even realize it.
Somebody actually sat down and developed these, devised these, “My body, my choice,” “Every baby, a wanted baby.”
And the list goes on.
And that’s two out of eight of the propaganda strategy.
Moynihan: So, the effort was to avoid anything negative, to avoid referring to the fact that there was a human being, a baby, that was growing in the womb.
And to leave that feeling off to one side, that judgment off to one side. To distort the argument.
And this is what Dr. Nathanson later regretted?
Beatley: Absolutely. Well, and then all the lies. The other propaganda, I mean, point number three…
He obviously was OBGYN and a medical doctor and most of the reporters covering this issue were young female reporters.
He recognized very quickly that he could use the complicit media.
He could tell these reporters almost anything and they would accept it as truth.
They wouldn’t go do their research.
So he used the media, that’s point number three.
But what would he tell them?
He would tell them lies, these fabricated facts.
He would tell the media that 1 million women a year were having illegal abortions in America, and 5,000 to 10,000 women a year were dying due to complications of illegal abortions.
All those numbers were lies.
Moynihan: And he told you that he had made up those lies?
Beatley: Oh, he told me, plus he has also written about it. So, he has left it in writing.
Moynihan: And what were the actual facts?
Beatley: Yeah, the real numbers, according to Dr. Nathanson, there were never a million women a year having back-alley abortions.
The real number was around 98,000.
And there were never 5,000 to 10,000 women a year dying due to complications.
The real number, on the high side, was 200 to 250.
There are other years, it was in the single digits or in the twenties, but never 5,000 to 10,000 women dying a year.
Moynihan: Okay, what you are describing is an effort to frame the debate in solely positive terms of choice.
Beatley: That’s right.
Moynihan: Without bringing in any negative aspects and to exaggerate the negative effects on women of the lack of legalized abortion.
Beatley: That’s right.
Moynihan: So what else did he say? What were the other things that were distorted?
Beatley: What the PR firm recommended that, “If you are going to start this revolution, you need to be able to quote statistics.”
And they said it better be a statistic over 50%.
So, when I sat with Dr. Nathanson, I asked him, “Where did you get the 60% statistic that 60% of Americans want abortion on demand legalized?”
He clenched his fist. Well, he raised his hand in the air, and he clenched his fist and he pulled it down and he said, “Terry, I pulled the number out of thin air. I just knew I had to be able to quote a statistic over 50%.”
So, and before I forget this, I think, to back up the relevance of these lies and how they are still propagated today. They are repeated today.
During the Judge Cavanaugh Supreme Court hearing, Senator Dianne Feinstein, she not only repeated the lies, but she got the lies mixed up.
So what she said to Judge Cavanaugh is, “Oh, we can’t go back to yesteryear when a million women a year were dying.”
I was listening to it.
And, of course, I’m screaming at my TV because I’m thinking, “You know what, if you’re going to quote the lies, get the lies right.”
So, they never said, “a million women a year were dying.”
They were saying, “5,000 to 10,000 women a year.”
Bottom line, it was all lies.
The other thing they would do, though, is they would repeat the lies over and over and over.
So, this notion of fake news is absolutely true.
You repeat it long enough and it sounds like the truth.
Robert Moynihan: So, Dr. Nathanson, as he spoke to you, said he regretted that he had participated in a type of propaganda effort to depict abortion in a distorted way. How did this relate to the Catholic Church?
Terry Beatley: In a huge way.
Okay, they were based, NARAL was based in New York City.
And they had just, in April of 1970, Governor Nelson Rockefeller had signed a very aggressive pro-abortion bill into law making abortion legal through all 24 weeks of pregnancy, in New York.
The reason that is significant is because for 140 years New York had protected babies in the womb.
Well, Lawrence Ladder and Dr. Nathanson knew they had a problem on their hands that this was a political victory.
And New York had a lot of Catholics.
So they had to figure out a way to deceive enough Catholic voters long term or this would get reversed.
You know, enough people would rebel against it and making New York a pro-life state again.
So part of this propaganda strategy was the Catholic strategy.
They mapped this out in the late 1960s before even the 1970 pro-abortion law.
So, that was called the Catholic strategy, which was a four-part tactical plan.
Moynihan: What were those four parts?
Beatley: The four parts, an easy way to remember it is B-E-S-S, okay.
First one is they blamed.
Lawrence Ladder, he counseled Dr. Nathanson, he told him, “We don’t have to go after everybody who is Catholic. We need to have a point of opposition.”
And he said, “The ones to go after are the Catholic bishops.”
Moynihan: Ah, so B for Bishops.
Beatley: Yep. B for Bishops and B for Blame the Bishops.
Every time a woman died or became sick due to complications of illegal abortions, it was blame the bishops, blame the priests, blame the Catholic hierarchy.
They don’t know anything about women and family and all this.
So, it was the blame game. They needed a point of opposition.
And many of these words I’m using come from Dr. Nathanson, from his book called The Abortion Papers.
And so, they developed this plan to “use Catholics with great effect,” direct quote from Dr. Nathanson.
Second thing they did was they emphasized. They emphasized any Catholic politician.
Moynihan: So, E for Emphasize.
Beatley: That’s it. E for Emphasize.
Emphasize any Catholic politician who was softening or weakening his or her position on the abortion issue.
And it didn’t matter about what political party.
NARAL, they wanted everybody to become pro-abortion.
Democrat, Republican, Independent, name your party doesn’t matter as long as that person was pro-abortion, NARAL would embrace them.
So that’s the B and the E.
Moynihan: And then, we have the S.
Beatley: The S is for Support and Split.
Number one they would support any Catholic candidate who was running for office if he or she was pro-abortion or just weak on the issue.
But equally they would split.
They saw an opportunity… because of what Margaret Sanger had done in spreading her gospel of contraception for decades, remember she started back in the 1910s.
So now we had had the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s. And now we are into five decades of Margaret Sanger.
And I find this fascinating that these two men out of New York City recognized that there was an opportunity to split Catholics into two camps.
They knew that if Catholics were contracepting, that would be an easy push down the abortion slide versus the more orthodox Catholics.
And they saw that as an opportunity.
Moynihan: Okay, so Blame, Emphasize and Split. And what was the fourth S?
Beatley: The fourth S is Straddle. The Catholic Straddle.
So, again, Dr. Nathanson and Lawrence Ladder recognized they needed a political victory because if enough voters turned against legalized abortion, it would be their loss.
So, they created what was called the Catholic Straddle, which was basically for Catholic politicians in public positions that they could be personally against abortion.
They could see it as something that was quite abhorrent but believe and speak about this that every woman had the right to choose.
And that this was a decision between a woman and her doctor.
That was something they literally called the Straddle or straddling both sides of the fence.
A direct quote from Dr. Nathanson was, they had to figure out a way to separate Catholic’s religious convictions from their legislative judgment. Okay. They had to split that.
So, because for nearly 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has always proclaimed that abortion is an intrinsic evil.
And I find it, again, amazing that these two atheist men in New York City knew that the Church would be their number one enemy.
You know, they knew the Church’s position.
So, again, just in a nutshell, it was Blame the hierarchy, Emphasize any Catholic politicians who are in support of abortion, Split Catholics into two camps, and then the Catholic Straddle.
Robert Moynihan: Okay, you’ve described for us a doctor who was in the forefront of changing the opinions of the country, the feelings of the country, the beliefs of the country, and the laws of the country. And he used deceptive methods that he told you he eventually rejected. But that came from an event in his life. Something provoked a change in the way he saw this question. What was that event?
Terry Beatley: The event was the invention of real-time ultrasound.
And this is the part of the story that, I think, if Americans really understood this, that so many more people would have a change of heart.
In 1973, January, we got the Roe v. Wade decision, which he celebrated. And then, he had quit running the largest abortion facility in America, in New York City.
He was personally responsible for the death of 75,000 babies, himself.
And he went to become the Chief of Obstetrics at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City.
And about six months or so into this job, the hospital rolled in a brand new technology called real-time ultrasound.
And his quote to me was, he said, “Terry, real-time ultrasound was the bomb. It made everything come alive.”
So he saw the baby yawning, wiggling her toes, and stretching, doing all those things babies do in the womb.
And the father of America’s industry of abortion begins to bond with a baby.
And, this process began immediately.
It’s not like he had to look at hundreds of ultrasound videos, images.
It began immediately.
He could no longer deny the humanity of the baby in the womb.
And what his wife had said was that he told her he had to be intellectually honest with himself.
And this is part of the challenge for every American or anybody on the pro-abortion side of this issue, if the father of America’s industry of abortion had to be intellectually honest with himself, why can we all not be intellectually honest with ourselves.
If he can change and figure out a better way, why can’t we all?
Moynihan: So what you have described is a turning point in his life where the forgotten factor, the embryo, the growing baby, was suddenly visible to him. And, in a way, it has been forgotten by everybody.
Each of us knows we were once babies. We were once in the womb. And we celebrate this with great joy when you learn that you are going to have a baby.
So, for Dr. Nathanson, as he turned from a distorted picture where his concern for the woman ignored entirely the concern for the baby, he suddenly had a more balanced view of the situation. And he turned against what he had been proposing before. How did this affect his life?
Beatley: Greatly. So from 1973, midway through 1973, to the second anniversary of Roe v. Wade, he pleaded with NARAL board of directors that they had a … that they now, real-time ultrasound, the science of real-time ultrasound had revealed that they had a medical, moral, ethical issue on their hands.
And he begged them to change their position. He said, “like a good Stalinist organization, NARAL had gotten what they wanted through lies and propaganda and they had absolutely no intention of changing their position.”
So Dr. Nathanson, for the remainder of the 19… Let me see, this would be in the 1980s, 1984, he made the video Silent Scream, which revealed what the baby is going through during a first-trimester abortion.
This, the reality of what he saw was… it caused him to become… many suicidal thoughts for the second half of the 1980s. He was suicidal.
He went back to a Rabbi, couldn’t figure out solutions there. He tried all sorts of different things.
He was very very sad and he did not know what to do. He wrote about it and he said he would wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning in sweats, imagining, dreaming that he would be standing in front of a court. And he was praying that he would be acquitted. Not praying, but thinking, hoping, that he would be acquitted.
And then his path crossed with a Catholic priest and that’s when he began to get answers.
Moynihan: And who was that Catholic priest?
Beatley: The Catholic priest was Father C. John McClosky.
And Dr. Nathanson described him as like a knight in shining armor who came into his life at the perfect time.
Because Nathanson had no clue what to do with all this grief, all the shame, all the regret.
And I think it’s important to state this, of 75,000 babies, he personally aborted 5,000 babies with his own hands.
He trained doctors how to perform abortions on 10,000 babies.
And when he ran the largest abortion facility, that was where another 60,000 babies.
So that when I asked him point blank, “How many babies are you personally responsible for?”
And that’s when he said, “75,000.”
Moynihan: And what did he do with this feeling of guilt? And how did he express it to Fr. McClosky?
Beatley: Well, he first tried drugs and alcohol and psychotherapy and all these things.
But he met with Fr. McClosky repeatedly. I think it was every week they would read the Catholic Catechism and they would read the great Classics together. They were both avid readers, very scholarly.
And Dr. Nathanson said somewhere in that 5-6 year period, he stopped contemplating suicide and he realized he was contemplating the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Moynihan: And what did Dr. Nathanson decide after these many months, actually years of conversation with Fr. McClosky?
Beatley: Dr. Nathanson decided that it was time to receive, fully, the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
And he was baptized on December 8, 1996 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. And on that day, his quote is, “Now I am a full Jew.”
And he received the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
And what strikes me is most Americans do not know his story. And his story is one of love and mercy. God’s great love and mercy that knows no boundaries.
I mean, if God can forgive the father of America’s industry of abortion, imagine what God can do for the millions of women and men who have had one abortion affect their lives, one, two or three. So, it’s a story for our time.
Moynihan: What did Nathanson then do? Did he become a speaker and a writer? What do you know about his life after his conversion?
Beatley: He traveled the world spreading the Gospel of Life, revealing the truth of how he deceived our country. And he shared his remorse.
And he wanted… and he wrote another book, called The Hand of God.
He was the author of three books. The first one was in 1979, Aborting America. He was 100% pro-life, but he had not become Catholic yet.
Then in 1984, he wrote The Abortion Papers.
And then in 1996, I believe it was right before he was baptized, he released the book The Hand of God, which tells his journey from death to life, to life in Christ.
Moynihan: And he no longer had thoughts of suicide?
Robert Moynihan: And what did he write about the feeling of being totally guilty and really not worth living and then the feeling of being received, in some way, and then forgiven?
Beatley: He wrote about his gratitude and he spoke about it, his gratitude. Actually, what really comes to mind, yes the gratitude, but he wrote about when he was still an unbeliever and he would observe the pro-life community out in New York holding their prayer vigils in front of the Planned Parenthood facilities, what he recognized was that these people, sitting out there on cold windy days, they were so full of love and compassion and peace and hope.
And he was drawn to the source of their joy.
He wanted to know more about it.
He didn’t understand how these people could give so much of themselves for a cause where the people who were hurt by it would never thank them, the babies who were aborted.
Moynihan: And how did he come to feel about the women?
Did he feel that he had been mistaken in trying to help women in difficult circumstances and performing thousands of abortions?
What was it that he was mistaken about? Had he not been helping them?
Beatley: When Dr. Nathanson joined with Lawrence Ladder to form NARAL…
Beatley: Yeah, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the PAC.
Moynihan: What is NARAL?
Beatley: Yeah, NARAL stands for the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Law.
And so what they formed was the first pro-abortion political action organization, because they knew that the only way to have long-term victory is to be able to lay claim in the political realm.
They had to have the law on their side, obviously.
Moynihan: They were trying to, what they thought, or claimed, they were helping women.
Dr. Nathanson later concluded that somehow he had been harming women and obviously harming the fetuses, the babies that he had aborted.
But what about the women, how did he come to feel about his attitude toward women?
Beatley: He originally thought that he was helping women because he had seen some women coming into the emergency room with botched abortions before it was legalized.
And he never gave a thought about what was happening to the baby.
And I think this is really, really important to make sense of that, because, after I’ve traveled the country sharing the story about Dr. Nathanson, a common question is, “Why didn’t he give any thought to the baby?”
Well, back then, the science of fetology was a brand new science field. We are so used to now, you know, thousands of articles about fetal development and anatomy.
But back in 1969, there were only five articles about fetal anatomy and physiology.
So, and again that was all pre-real-time ultrasound, so he was very disconnected from the baby.
And he really thought he was doing the best thing for women.
Of course, what we now know is that abortion, I am not saying for every woman, you can always go out there and find some women who are proud of their abortion and they are shouting their abortion and all this, but we do know that millions of women regret their abortion.
What you have to keep in mind back then they were selling abortion as just a blob of tissue, not a baby.
What any woman and any man today know, because of real-time ultrasound, uh no.
By the time they have an abortion at 9-10-11 weeks, that baby has hands, has a face, has a beating heart.
So, the lie of yesteryear, they can no longer get away with.
So, we do know that abortion has caused many women and men to go to alcohol, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression.
We now know the connection between breast cancer and abortion, which is a very hidden topic, but one day that is going to come into the light as well.
And so, Dr. Nathanson knew that between all these different factors, there must be a better way.
And that’s why I named the book, What If We’ve Been Wrong, which is a quote from his resignation letter.
Maybe there’s a different way, maybe there’s a better way than killing babies and lying and exploiting women, for an industry that makes millions of dollars a year.
Robert Moynihan: So you are telling us that Dr. Nathanson had an enormous mid-life change, converted from Judaism to Catholicism and he completely changed his attitude toward what he had committed his life to, which was abortion. I find this fascinating.
Can you explain any further how he understood what he was doing and how he felt that it was the moral choice to make?
Terry Beatley: Well, what he left behind in his resignation letter was a warning.
And the warning was as long as abortion was legal, we would see increased violence, increased public turmoil, and the disintegration of the American family.
And that was just the tip of the iceberg. He wrote that on January 22, 1975.
And indeed all those warnings have come true, but he also warned of something else.
And he spoke about this, I believe at Princeton, and he wrote about it, is the trickle-down effect, the economics behind abortion, which is something that most people never take into consideration, that this is an industry of killing people.
So, if you just run the numbers in New York back in 1970, when they, this is pre-Roe v. Wade, when they made abortion, a very aggressive abortion bill making New York the abortion capital of the Western Hemisphere.
It was an overnight 75 million dollar industry of killing babies and exploiting women. So, he deeply grieved all this.
Moynihan: Now this industry, it does sort of chill, give one a chill, to think of dealing with parts of fetuses and turning them into packages that you send out for medical purposes.
People, I guess, like the thought that they have new technologies that can help solve illnesses.
But what is really happening here is a dependency on a sort of supply line of fetuses, which creates a clientele in support of this and dependent on it and of financial interest in it, which is a frightening development and a really increasingly powerful one. Is this the case?
Beatley: Absolutely, and he warned about all of these things.
He warned about if we don’t do away with abortion, euthanasia will become a normal thing.
And so, going back, though, to the fetal baby body parts.
You know, it’s the baby body part industry, which we now know exists, all those videos are out there, I am sure most people have at least heard about it by now.
Moynihan: What videos are you referring to?
Beatley: The David Daleiden videos where he reveals on undercover camera, I think they call it Center for Medical Progress, that Planned Parenthood doctors, as well as others, admitted to basically the purchasing of the baby body parts for profit.
So that all that’s been caught on videotape.
But Dr. Nathanson, not only warned about the commodities market for baby body parts, but he also warned that there would never be enough voluntary abortions to provide enough fetal tissue for all the different scientific studies that want to be made and then if they do indeed do produce a positive effect, let’s just say in healing people of Parkinson’s Disease, that requires a certain amount fetal tissue at a certain age of the baby.
So in his book, The Hand of God, he computes this.
And then, you are reading it and you realize, “Oh my gosh,” because now it’s this economic factor, there’s a profit margin in the commodities market of baby body organs.
He warns that if we don’t end abortion, the next leg of this issue will be fetal tissue farms.
Moynihan: Fetal tissue farms…
Beatley: Yeah, where, out of the womb, they are making babies in a test tube.
They are growing babies to a certain size and then boom.
And they need the tissue because of the demand and the money.
Moynihan: This is like in the film, The Matrix.
Beatley: Yes, yeah.
Moynihan: But it’s one of the paradoxes of this and one of the amazing facts of this life of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, that he should be a firsthand witness and a first-place actor in both of these areas.
First, opening up the avenue and developing a strategy, performing abortions himself, so that the country reversed what previously it had held. Regarded the fetus really as of no importance, with no rights.
And then he himself felt nauseated by what he had done. He saw the video of the embryo. He saw that this was a developing human being.
He said, “We must find a way to give some protection, some value to this life.”
But as the other parts of his life proceeded forward, that devaluation continued a pace and even increased as it’s now a commodity to be even produced and sold.
And he was at first suicidal, as you’ve described, then he went through a long process of discernment.
And, he finally came to a different faith, a deeper faith, and he entered the Catholic Church.
Now the last phase of his life, he became a prominent international speaker for a different type of culture.
And now, can you describe that last phase of his life as he tried to find a basis for protecting the baby without denigrating the mother?
Beatley: He spent the rest of his life really spreading the Gospel of love, the Gospel of life.
And I think that’s why it’s so key, his parting message, to tell America to love one another, abortion is not love, stop the killing, the world needs more love, and that he was all about love now.
And so he could imagine America without abortion.
He could imagine if women, I mean let’s face it pregnancy is a short term thing, abortion is a life-long thing.
You cannot undo an abortion.
And so, he looked at this today, because of abortion to a large degree, there are so many women who cannot conceive or they are ending up with miscarriages.
Moynihan: Wait. Is that true that really true, that abortion limits your fertility?
Beatley: Yes, because it wrecks the womb. Yes. That is a fact.
And it weakens the cervix and then more and more women are having miscarriages because the cervix is so weak.
Moynihan: How does it wreck the womb? What is the…
Beatley: Well, I couldn’t tell you that, but I don’t know and I wouldn’t even try to describe it.
Moynihan: I mean what is the diminished level of fertility?
Beatley: Most of it has to do with the cervix, weakening the cervix.
So the women are having miscarriages because it is not strong enough to hold the baby.
Moynihan: What I was really trying to do was to get at the question of the general culture and the two ways that one can take.
One is a culture where you exploit the fetus, and you kill the fetus and you buy and sell the parts of the fetus.
And the other would be culture where you regard the fetus as something intrinsically dignified, sacred, something to be protected, something not to be bought and sold. In a sense, when you speak of parts of the body of a fetus being bought and sold, you’re talking about some type of slavery.
It’s the destruction and then the selling of the tissues of the dignified human being.
So the indignity of that, the way it diminishes our respect for life, for the human person, ripples throughout the culture.
So a cornerstone of the culture of life would be the protection of the embryo, the protection of the developing human being.
But this effort to protect the embryo is blocked by the idea that it harms the women.
So the necessity now is to create a culture which will protect the embryo, the developing human being, as an intrinsically dignified entity, while supporting the women.
Is this your view and the view of Dr. Nathanson?
Beatley: It is indeed. And I think we can accomplish both.
And I think first it is recognizing that we are talking about human life, human life of the woman, human life of the baby in the womb.
So I think once we can all be in agreement that the lies of yesteryear, that we are not talking about a baby or human life, that’s gone.
So now we have a newfound reality that we are talking about human life.
So then, I think a couple other factors come into play.
That of yesteryear, maybe an unwed pregnant woman would have lost her job or she didn’t have career opportunities, those days are gone as well. I mean, that’s almost normal to whatever degree.
So, one of the biggest factors, the economic factor, that’s gone.
And if a woman truly doesn’t want the baby nor could afford the baby when brought full term, there is such demand for adoption today.
Because there are so many infertile women, that there is demand for an infant.
And so, when we go back to the words of Dr. Nathanson about love, what I challenge Americans with is, let’s start imagining what would it look like if every woman who doesn’t want her baby, she can provide life for that child to a couple who would be so overjoyed, being able to have an infant.
And there would never be a surplus. There would never be a surplus.
In fact, I think a study was done about the number of abortions and the number of infertile couples, and it’s almost equal.
You know, imagine a city, like let’s say Chicago, or you know, you think about all those young men who are killing each other, and this is just my hypothesis, how do you teach a young man in Chicago not to go kill somebody when there’s an abortion center every five blocks?
And they all know human life is being destroyed in there.
So, I think if we can begin imagining a culture of love, a culture of life, and go back to the words of Dr. Nathanson, “What if we’ve been wrong?”
What if, what if there’s a better way than destroying life and exploiting women in an industry that literally makes millions and millions of dollars. There’s got to be a better way.
Robert Moynihan: So what you have done really is, in your own life, committed yourself to spreading the message of Dr. Nathanson. You’ve created an initiative, the Hosea Initiative. What is that? What are you doing in that initiative?
Terry Beatley: The Hosea Initiative, it’s a non-profit, educational organization.
One of the primary things that we do is we teach.
And we teach about the legacy of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the history of how Margaret Sanger, and we do it decade by decade, how she turned America upside down with her gospel of contraception and the fall out of that.
We teach about the connection between breast cancer and abortion.
We teach about how by legalizing abortion, it fast-tracked Margaret Sanger’s racist population control plan, which she called The Negro Project.
And today it has killed well over 21 million black American babies.
And so, we focus on these tough issues and our motto is “we love people with the truth.”
You know, sometimes the truth is ugly, sometimes the truth is hard to hear.
But what we’ve learned is that when we can love people with the truth, they are much more willing to stand on the facts and not just the propaganda.
Moynihan: And what is the Hosea Initiative’s motto? What is the phrase from Hosea that you base your work on?
Beatley: Yeah, that’s a common question.
I named it Hosea Initiative after the bible verse, Hosea 4:6, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
It doesn’t say, “My people perish for voting the wrong way.” It’s, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
And so, what we’ve experienced is that if you do what Apostle Paul wrote about, you know, “Stand firm, have nothing to do with the evil deeds of darkness, but rather expose them, expose them to the light.”
Dr. Nathanson’s legacy is light.
To me, it’s the light of Christ.
How Christ didn’t turn his back on America’s abortion king.
In fact, Christ saved America’s abortion king from eternity in hell.
And it’s a story for every American to learn.
For every American to pass down to the next generation. So that we… so that we can restore a culture of love and life.
Moynihan: And Terry, your own journey is a witness to faith and I think women around the country would be interested to hear some of the things that you went through. Could you tell us about your witness?
Beatley: Well, my witness in fulfilling the promise to Dr. Nathanson? Is that what you mean?
Moynihan: Yes, and how it affected your life.
Beatley: Oh, my goodness. It affected [me] in many different ways.
In fact, I am going to write book number 2. It’ll be a little thin book, but it’s going to be a lot about the God stories, about how God moved this journey forward.
There’s probably not enough time in this interview to talk about it all, but I would like to share about Divine Mercy. That’s been a theme.
And it took me… I am a Catholic revert, and I didn’t know about Divine Mercy, or I didn’t know about the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
And so, it took me a number of years to realize this is what the Lord wants to do with the story of Dr. Nathanson, is to introduce mercy, God’s divine mercy, to every American.
And especially to the people who have suffered from abortion. It could be men. It could be women.
And so, Divine Mercy has been a constant theme.
Moynihan: I see. So, if a woman listening to this would have the inspiration to contact you, how should she do so?
Beatley: Oh. She could reach me via email at [email protected].
Moynihan: Would you like to have people contact you?
Beatley: Absolutely. I firmly believe this. In fact, I’m going to look right at the camera when I say this.
I believe that Americans have been directly impacted by abortion. That’s going to be men who have regretfully pushed women into the abortion mills or women who have incurred abortion.
When they learn the story about Dr. Bernard Nathanson, they are going to realize that they were victims of propaganda.
They were victims.
So it’s time to be healed of the guilt and the shame and the regret, all the buried feelings that abortion causes, and to embrace the truth of God’s Divine Mercy.
He is right there wanting to forgive and to love and to hug you with his Divine Mercy, his love.
But I also think it is going to… once people have gone through the healing process and embrace God’s Divine Mercy, I believe that what we are going to end up doing is raising up an army of people, an army.
I am talking about millions of people who will say, “No more. We are done with this culture of death. We are done with division. We are done with hate. We are done with abortion. We are done with the exploitation of women. And we are going to create a new United States of America and restore the dignity of all human life.
And I believe that is what God’s going to do. As long as I don’t give up.
And I say it every day, “Jesus, I trust in You. Jesus, I trust in You.”
And the more I say it, the more God keeps moving the thing forward, including sitting here with you. I never anticipated Inside the Vatican.
Moynihan: What I am struck by is the debate that arose in the 1970s and 80s about this seamless garment of being pro-life as a seamless garment that was from conception till the end of life, but it also included all the things in between. Therefore, for the weak and the oppressed and the poor to have legislation and support for poor people, for the immigrant etc. Some people took this seamless garment argument, which was proposed by Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago, as a way to diminish the importance of the defense of unborn human life. But in a certain sense, I see it from the other side now. That the defense of unborn human life could lead all of us to be… to give a renewed commitment to justice, to love, to building up, to renewal, to rebuilding families, throughout the whole of human life. How does that strike you?
Beatley: Well, two words you said in there, immigration, immigrate. Babies in the womb are trying to immigrate into this world. It’s a direct parallel, okay. And we’re not even giving them the opportunity to immigrate. That’s number one. We’re not even giving these babies the chance to be poor. Because we’re killing them before some might be born into poverty.
Moynihan: Not even the chance to be poor.
Beatley: Not even the chance to be born. Not even the chance… every baby is a blessing.
Moynihan: I said, “Not even a chance to be poor.”
Beatley: Oh, poor. Right. Yeah. Not even a chance to be poor. So if we’re all about alleviating poverty. And it’s just the reality, we’re not even giving people a chance. Chance to be born, chance to be poor, a chance to love, and a chance to be loved. And that’s part of the challenge about what is life like without abortion. There’s more love. There’s more… It all comes back to love. Which I think that’s why Dr. Nathanson’s parting message for America is so relevant. We live in such a hate filled divisive world today. What are we missing? We are missing love. That’s it. We are missing love.
Moynihan: Now you have a relationship with some of the Catholic bishops. And one in particular, Bishop Naumann, who is the head of the committee in the Catholic Church in America to support pro-life and pro-family initiatives. Can you discuss a little bit about the way the Catholic Church has responded, in recent years, to the attempt by the Democrats, even by Catholic Democrats like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, to institutionalize and reaffirm the importance of allowing abortion and supporting abortion law. Is that the right way? Have the bishops taken the right course? And have these Catholic politicians taken the right course?
Beatley: No. They have not taken the right course and the answer lies in the Catholic strategy, which was a four part tactical plan. It was all… the whole thing was devised to deceive American Catholics. Did it start with NARAL? No, because it started with a few rogue priests who went after the Kennedy family in the mid-1960s to deceive the most famous Catholic family in America, the Kennedy family, into believing that you could be a good Catholic and be in support of abortion, a choice for women.
Moynihan: You are probably referring there to Ted Kennedy?
Beatley: Ted Kennedy, right. So the whole thing is based on deception and to deceive the American Catholic Church. So, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, plenty of others. And I usually share in the seminars about how about nearly 85% of U.S. Catholic politicians, by the time they make it to Washington, D.C., they can’t even vote for an infant born alive protection act.
Moynihan: Well, let me put it even more strongly. If you could speak to Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, what would you say to them?
Beatley: I would use the word of God, what Jesus Christ, himself, said that Satan comes to deceive, to kill and destroy. And that’s what’s happening with this abortion industry that is politically supported. And this is what I told Archbishop Naumann as well, I said, “There’s only one thing that is holding the abortion industry in place and this exploitation of women and children. And it’s the umbilical cord, and the umbilical cord is politics. That’s it.
Moynihan: In a way this would be what Dr. Nathanson would say to President Biden.
Beatley: It is what he would say. That’s it. In Dr. Nathanson’s second book, called The Abortion Papers, that book ends with this quote. And it’s a rather long quote but it’s worthwhile saying. And it’s what needs to be said to every Catholic politician who’s been duped by the lies of NARAL pro-choice America and this abortion lobby.
Moynihan: And you’ve committed this to memory?
Beatley: I have. I have committed this to memory. Dr. Nathanson wrote, he said, ”I believe the abortion ethic is fatally and forever flawed by the immorality of the means of its victory. A political victory achieved by such odious tactics is at best an unstable tyranny spawned by an unscrupulous and unprincipled minority. Disclosure of these odious tactics should compel those who are uneasy with abortion to reexamine the issue. I believe that an America which allows a hunta of moral thugs to foist an evil of incalculable dimensions upon this nation and then just permit that evil to flower creates for itself a deadly legacy, a millennium of shame.” That’s the direct quote by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the father of America’s industry of abortion, who became 100% pro-life as an atheist and who later became a devout Catholic man and who wanted every American to be set free with the truth that his story, his legacy, leaves behind. And it’s a story that is compelling. It’s convicting. It’s converting. And it’s a story that’ll lead America to Divine Mercy and for redemption. That’s it.
Moynihan: Well, there’s one final question I would like to ask. Terry, people have had different views about Pope Francis and the way he is shepherding the Catholic Church. He recently received Nancy Pelosi. He received Joe Biden in recent weeks, in Rome, and when Joe Biden came out of the meeting, which was a private meeting that lasted almost 90 minutes, he said that Pope Francis had told him that he was a good Catholic and he should continue to receive Communion.
The Vatican has not confirmed those words. But the general feeling is one of confusion, because President Biden has been so much a proponent of this straddle philosophy that he could be personally in favor of abortion, personally sad about abortion, but politically supportive of abortion. And Francis’s position and the position of the Catholic bishops, has always been, as part of the Catholic Church’s position, that we should defend the unborn. It has been the distinctive mark of the Catholic Church and of the Catholic faith. But these latest developments have led many to believe maybe there is a third now Catholic position which is sort of hands-off, “We’re not going to interfere. These things have already been decided.”
If you could speak directly to Pope Francis, sort of an open conversation, an open prayer, to him as a Catholic woman, what would you say to him?
Beatley: Pope Francis, Your Holiness, — and I mean this from my heart — the United States of America is disintegrating. And we’re disintegrating to a large degree because of this culture of death that the father of America’s industry of abortion admitted to unleashing. He admitted to unleashing this onto our country primarily because he was able to deceive millions and millions of Catholics and to intimidate the United States Catholic bishops, the vast majority (of them).
Dr. Nathanson admits to “using Catholics with great effect” to be able to unleash this culture of death onto our country. Joe Biden, President Joe Biden, has said things to make us believe that you think it’s okay for him to receive Holy Communion. And we all know that is totally against Catholic teaching.
And it’s time to set the record straight, Your Holiness. I think if we return to trying to think about what is beauty, what is goodness, and what is truth. This triangulation which perplexed Dr. Nathanson. After he became pro-life and Catholic, it was very perplexing to him that, as a Jewish man, how he couldn’t triangulate and see the comparison between the Holocaust and what happened with the abortion industry.
And he wanted everybody to understand that if you can identify beauty, then they can see goodness and you can see truth. And he used to say that if you could see a bucket of dead babies from abortion, anybody could look at that and see that that’s not beauty and that’s not goodness and that’s not truth.
And as a Catholic woman, and as a Catholic revert, who has now spent twelve years trying to fulfill the promise I made to Dr. Bernard Nathanson, it is time for Catholic leadership, which includes you and every United States Catholic bishop, to start standing up boldly and courageously for the unborn, who are the weakest among us. And it’s time to do away with what I believe was a Communist tactic to try to make it sound like Global warming and poverty and immigration are all equal issues with the slaughtering of the innocents. You and I both know that that’s not equivalent. And it’s time to stand up for truth.
And there’s no better truth right now than the truth that the father of America’s industry of abortion left behind.
And that’s what I say to Pope Francis and I mean it with love and with courtesy. But with boldness, and the boldness of Jesus Christ who wants America liberated from this culture of death and be set free.
Moynihan: Thank you, Terry Beatley. It has been a pleasure speaking with you.
Beatley: Thank you for having me.
Moynihan: And may God bless you and all your work and all your family. And I hope to see you again soon.
Beatley: Thank you.