Re: Nathanson

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Jay writes of the late Bernard Nathanson, “I’m not sure that the anti-abortion movement — the pro-life movement, whatever you want to call it — has ever had a more important figure.” He was important, but not the most important American pro-lifer. Arguably, he wasn’t even the most important American convert to the pro-life cause. Henry Hyde wrote the law that has probably saved more unborn children than any other pro-life initiative. And Ronald Reagan forged an alliance between pro-lifers, conservatives, and Republicans that identified each group with the others’ cause. It was by no means inevitable that this alliance would form. Pro-lifers could well have ended up politically marginalized without it.