Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the creator of the film The Silent Scream was in Toronto on March 30 to show his film at a press conference.
The Silent Scream is a film of a realtime sonograph of an abortion of a 12 week old unborn child.
Dr. Nathanson explained that he first made an ultrasound videotape of the abortion because he was curious to know if the child in the womb experienced pain during an abortion. “And that is how it remained [in video form] for six months,” he said. “It was only later that I decided to make a film.”
Asked his conclusions as to whether the unborn felt pain during an abortion Dr. Nathanson replied, “All we can do with creatures who are mute is to infer by observing their responses. There is no question that the child in the film responds to this painful stimuli in an exquisitely appropriate way.”
In reply to criticism that the film is somehow technically inaccurate Dr. Nathanson exhibited a letter signed by the developer of ultrasound, Dr. Ian Donald. This states that Dr. Donald after having seen the film four times determined that “the fetal activities depicted in ultrasonic real-time scanning in this film are not faked nor the result of artifact or otherwise.”
This film has been attacked, mostly by pro-abortionists, since its release. Dr. Nathanson stated that this attack has stemmed from the airing of a segment of The Silent Scream on CBS Morning News March 4, 1985. Dr. Nathanson felt this programme to be so unbalanced that he prepared a 750 word rebuttal titled “The Peaceful Snooze of CBS Morning News.” This will be published shortly in the New York Times. (It will also appear in the June issue of The Imterim.) Dr. Nathanson began the press conference by reading this counterpoint to the assembled reporters. The last part of the statement says that even though scientists are the people who first built the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it, no “expert” can deny that:
- The Silent Scream is a realtime ultrasound film
- That it is a realtime record of an abortion of a human child
- That at the conclusion of the film the life of the child has been obliterated, the body having been torn from the head and the head crushed and removed in pieces.
Dr. Nathanson cautioned his audience that the hideous execution of this innocent child is the focus of the film and should remain the focus not the scientific dithering and waffling about, say, the size of the doll or the TV screen used as visual aids in the film.
Dr. Nathanson laughed when informed that abortionist Henry Margentaler referred to The Silent Scream as “garbage” while at the same time admitting that he had not seen it. (With reference to a notorious episode at the Toronto Morgentaler abortuary in January Dr. Nathanson, a former abortionist, was asked if it was common procedure to place a sanitary napkin in the mouth of a patient who was upset and had requested her abortion be halted. He replied that he thought that kind of behaviour was in the area of assault and battery and should come under provision of the Criminal Code. He also noted that an abortion can indeed be halted at any time – it may have to continue somewhere else like a hospital – but it can be stopped.)
Rev. Ken Campbell
As a result of this press conference hosted by Ken Campbell, founder of Choose Life Canada, The Globe and Mail published an article on April 1 headed “Group will use film in fight over abortion.” A Dr. Mathias Gysler, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Toronto Western Hospital, a hospital which has done away with its maternity ward, yet continues to do abortions, stated the following about the reflexes of a 12 week old unborn child: “It’s not the kind of reflex we generally associate with thinking, feeling human behaviour.”
The Interim contacted the same Dr. Gysler to ask if he had seen the film. He said he had. Gysler admitted he is an abortionist.