Untold stories of Pearl Buck and Bernard Nathanson
March 15, 2011
In this week's celebration of Women's History Month, we remember the contributions of two people, one of the most popular American authors of the last century and an obstetrician who went from abortion provider to pro-life activist.
|Cat Clark's article recalls the life of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck, perhaps best known for her novel The Good Earth, but less well known for her pro-life stance.
So we also offer Pearl Buck's own essay, "Every Life is a Gift," which was published as the forward to Robert E. Cooke's 1968 book, Terrible Choice: The Abortion Dilemma. In her own day Buck, the mother of a child with special needs, answered challenging questions still posed to us today: Is it better for a child with special needs never to have been born at all? When is it permissible to end a life?
I also ask that we take time to remember a former abortion provider turned pro-life activist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who died on February 23, 2011. I had the pleasure of meeting him when we represented the pro-life perspective at a panel discussion at Harvard University in 2000. Sen. Alan Simpson moderated the discussion "Abortion: Can We Ever Find Common Ground?" with Bill Baird and then-president of Planned Parenthood Gloria Feldt.
Former FFL Board President Rosemary Bottcher also remembers Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the co-founder of the National Association to Repeal Abortion Laws (now NARAL Pro-Choice America). In 1986 both the National Organization for Women and National Right to Life held their conventions in Phoenix. By that time, Nathanson was pro-life.
Many have commented on the number of abortions Nathanson performed--75,000, including his own child--and his participation in the film The Silent Scream. In order to understand how this experiment on women began, you must read and pass on what Nathanson told Rosemary about NARAL's plan to link abortion to women's rights.
Left to right: Bill Baird, Gloria Feldt, Alan Simpson,
Serrin Foster, and Bernard Nathanson
Keep the revolution alive. March forth!
Because women deserve better,
Serrin M. Foster
P.S. Sally Winn will be speaking in Texas and Nebraska, Cayce Utley will be moderating an FFL Pregnancy Resource Forum in DC, Chaunie Brusie will be going to Boston, I will be in North Carolina, and Joyce McCauley-Benner will be speaking in Iowa! Please come if you are in one of these areas, and forward this message to any family and friends--especially students--in the area.
- Spread the word by sharing Cat's Herstory article about "Pearl S. Buck," together with Buck's "Every Life Is a Gift," on Facebook, your website, your blog, Twitter, etc.
- Tweet your favorite quotes from this series (#MarchForthFFL), like Pearl Buck's "[H]istory must be taught truthfully about both [women and men], and truthfully rewritten."
- Honor Pearl Buck's global concerns by reading about Feminists for Life's global vision in Serrin's "Pro-Woman Answers to Pro-Choice Questions," and sharing the link with your family and friends.
- Download, print, and post FFL's free "Another Anti-Choice Fanatic: Susan B. Anthony" ad on bulletin boards in community centers, places of worship, grocery stores, restaurants, shops, libraries, dorms, and student centers. (When posting ads, always ask permission and follow any posting guidelines, regulations, or ordinances.)
- Download and print your favorite of FFL's free iron-on decals and use it to make a reusable tote for your lunch, the library, the grocery store, and other shopping. The same designs can also be used to make t-shirts, aprons, and many other items.
- Order FFL's NEW "Voices of our Feminist Foremothers" brochures, featuring Susan B. Anthony and other feminist foremothers, to distribute for Women's History Month in March. (Don't forget to wear your t-shirts or carry the brochures in your new bag!)
- Spread the word by sharing Anna Julia Cooper's story on Facebook, your website, your blog, Twitter, etc.
- Order or bake a cake for Susan B. Anthony's 191st birthday on February 15th. (Great for classrooms, dorm celebrations, or just for you.) You may choose to skip the 191 candles!
- Plan a trip--either for February 15th or the future--to the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, Massachusetts.
- Write an op-ed for publication in a newspaper, magazine, journal, newsletter, or bulletin, or post it on your own blog or Facebook page. Use the resources in the feminist history section of FFL's website and be sure to link to www.feministsforlife.org in your article. (You help make FFL's website one of the most visited in the world!)