The National Abortion Rights Action League: Professional Anti-Life Bigots
CHAPTER 62 — THE NATIONAL ABORTION RIGHTS ACTION LEAGUE: PROFESSIONAL ANTI-LIFE BIGOTS
American Life League
Historically, every revolution has to have its villain ... Now, in our case, it makes little sense to lead a campaign only against unjust laws, even though that's what we really are doing. We have to narrow the focus, identify those unjust laws with a person or a group of people ... There's always been one group of people in this country associated with reactionary politics, behind-the-scenes manipulations, socially backward ideas. You know who I mean, Bernie ... the Catholic hierarchy. That's a small enough group to come down on, and anonymous enough so that no names ever have to be mentioned ...
National Abortion Rights Action League co-founder Larry Lader.
We have been nice, pleasant too long. We can be restrained no longer — Right to Lifers have a total lack of respect for human life. We can no longer move restrainedly, sit on our apathy and hope Rome will burn.
Lorraine Beebe of NARAL.
Early History of the NARAL.
Above all, society must grasp the grim relationship between unwanted children and the violent rebellion of minority groups.
Lawrence Lader, co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League.
The most powerful philosophical push for abortion was generated by an elite cadre during the heady 1960s, when authority was being challenged or ignored everywhere, and when the Neoliberal agenda seemed to be advancing almost everywhere against, at best, scattered and disorganized opposition.
One of the most effective organizations pushing for abortion law reform or repeal was the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), which is now known as the National Abortion Rights Action League.
NARAL: Bigoted to the Core.
Whatever else may be said about them, the leaders of NARAL had their priorities right when the group was first organized. Bernard Nathanson, Bill Baird, Larry Lader, and other pro-abortion activists defined their mission, identified their enemy, and set up a strategic framework within which to operate.
Nathanson summarized the beginnings of NARAL in a 1980 speech;
I want to take you back some twelve years to 1968 at which time I, and later Betty Friedan and Carol Grietzer, organized a political action group known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. We organized it as a tight, well-structured, and dynamic little cadre. It was the right time. Feminism was on the move, the Vietnam War was raging, authority was being destroyed everywhere and, very important to all of us here, there was no organization of those opposed to abortion.
There was only silence from the opposition. We fed a line of deceit, of dishonesty, of fabrication of statistics and figures; we coddled, caressed, and stroked the press. We cadged money from various sources and we, in one short year, succeeded in striking down the abortion laws of New York State and in one fell swoop established the city of New York as the abortion capital of the world. We were calling ourselves pro-abortionists and pro-choice. In fact what we were were abortifiers; those who like abortion.
The most critical action taken by the early leaders of NARAL was their correct identification of their natural enemies the Catholic and Fundamentalist churches. The utter contempt that the NARAL leaders held for any view other than their own is graphically displayed in Figure 62-1. The members of the NARAL committee agreed that the Pope was "running our country" and that Catholics would "stop at no ends to reach their goals," even if such actions included outright terrorism.
ANTI-CATHOLIC QUOTES BY LEADERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE REPEAL OF ABORTION LAWS AT THE 1972 NARAL NATIONAL STRATEGY MEETING
NOTE: These summaries are exact quotes transcribed by a secretary for the minutes of the May 12, 1972 meeting of the executive board of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, later the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). All quotes below are copied verbatim from the Minutes.
"Lawrence Lader, Chairman, NARAL Executive Committee
(1) Stated Billy Graham and the Pope running our country.
(4) Catholics trying to overthrow the most humanitarian legislation of our time.
(7) [Catholic] Priests went into assembly and terrorized [Texas] legislators.
(10) Stressed that he [Lader] uses every opportunity — Television appearances, radio interviews, newspapers to criticize the way the Catholic Church uses its tax free monies, etc.
Hon. Lorraine Beebe, former State Senator, Michigan
(1) Stressed financial strength of the Catholic Church.
(2) We have been nice, pleasant too long. We can be restrained no longer — Right to Lifers have a total lack of respect for human life. "We can no longer move restrainedly, sit on our apathy and hope Rome will burn."
(3) Catholics waged a smear campaign against me when they learned I had had a therapeutic abortion. They made threatening calls, threw eggs at my house. Had signs — 'A vote for Beebe is a vote against the Pope.'
(4) The catholics will stop at no ends to reach their goals.
Lawrence Lader— I share Mrs. Beebe's attitude, "I don't care if we have a Belfast and Dublin here in the U.S. we must have a direct conflict with the Catholic Church."
Reverend Robert T. Cobb— Associate Executive Director, N.Y. Council of Churches.
Rev. Cobb made a very dramatic entrance — ripping off his collar and asking "who are you afraid of" — when you thought I was a Catholic Priest you looked stunned. You should not be afraid of a church that condemns but does not forgive. "Protestants have been bought by the Roman Catholic Church." He proceeded to knock ecumenism and state[d] that if the Churches go to Rome he will go walking on his hands.
(5) A good Roman Catholic Liberal can be valuable.
William Baird, Director, Parent's Aid Society
(1) Single Greatest Threat to Women — Roman Catholic Church
(3) In attacking Catholic Church — concentrate on separation of church and state.
(3) Their [NARAL] attack will be concentrated — even to court cases — against then [sic] Catholic Church and trying to make people believe that Pope is trying to run the country, and that the Catholic Church is trying to take over Protestant Churches.
"At this point we had to leave — It was after 5 ... I was getting a bit nervous — the anti-catholic, anti-Right to Life feeling in that room was close to violent."
The two people who contributed most to the framework of early NARAL strategy were Bernard Nathanson and Larry Lader. In his book Aborting America, Dr. Nathanson describes part of a 1969 conversation he had with fellow abortophile Larry Lader; "Historically, every revolution has to have its villain ... Now, in our case, it makes little sense to lead a campaign only against unjust laws, even though that's what we really are doing. We have to narrow the focus, identify those unjust laws with a person or a group of people ... There's always been one group of people in this country associated with reactionary politics, behind-the-scenes manipulations, socially backward ideas. You know who I mean, Bernie ... the Catholic hierarchy. That's a small enough group to come down on, and anonymous enough so that no names ever have to be mentioned ... "
NARAL soon recognized that such overt bigotry would damage its cause, and so the kind of blatant hate shown in Figure 62-1 was quickly muted. It must be stressed that this hate of religion never disappeared; it just went underground, where it festers to this day.
NARAL's anti-religious bigotry is much more polished and smooth today. This, of course, makes it even more dangerous.
Some of the favorite tactics of NARAL and other pro-abortion groups reflect this ingrained hatred of religion;
• Pro-abortion groups like NARAL loudly proclaim that any restrictions on abortion, no matter how trivial, are 'violations of the separation of Church and State.' The implication, of course, is that the Pope really will 'take over the country' if he is allowed to 'have his way.' This is just a muted version of the bigotry shown in Figure 62-1.
• Pro-abortion propaganda frequently identifies aborting women as "Catholic." There is absolutely no reason to do this other than to undermine Church teachings on abortion by hinting that its guidelines are being widely ignored and are generally "reactionary and outmoded." This is confirmed by the fact that NARAL never identifies aborting women as 'Jewish' or 'atheist.'
• NARAL and many other pro-abortion groups attack and discount the positions of many pro-lifers purely because they are Catholics or Fundamentalists. Pro-lifers have heard from NARALites many times the sneering remark "Well, you just think that way because you're Catholic." The bigotry of such statements is highlighted when one considers the reaction of pro-aborts if a pro-lifer dared to say, "Well, you just think that way because you're a woman" (or Black, or Jew).
• Many large pro-abortion rallies and marches, many of which are sponsored or co-sponsored by NARAL, include many participants whose anti-religious bigotry is displayed on their picket signs for all to see: "CURB YOUR DOGMA;" "KEEP YOUR ROSARIES OFF OUR OVARIES;" "MARY SHOULD HAVE HAD AN ABORTION," "JESUS WAS A HOMOSEXUAL," and 'DON'T PRAY TO JESUS, PRAY TO SATAN!"
The "Silent No More" Scam.
NARAL's Campaign for Sympathy.
The most powerful weapon ever used by pro-abortion strategists is unquestionably their manufactured images of suffering and desperate women being brutalized at the hands of back-alley butchers. This weapon was used to legalize abortion, and the pro-aborts are now pulling it out of mothballs in their continuing efforts to keep abortion legal.
When the National Abortion Rights Action League perceived a growing threat to "abortion rights" in the mid-1980s, it attempted to capitalize on this theme with its so-called "Silent No More" sympathy campaign. NARAL hoped to gather thousands of vividly-written stories of women who had had illegal abortions (or who knew other women who had had them), and planned to publicize them heavily in order to influence public opinion on abortion.
However, despite the fact that it was heavily publicized by all branches of the major media, the "Silent No More" campaign was a resounding flop by any possible standards of measurement.
The Big Effort.
NARAL made its biggest push for stories in May of 1985, when it advertised heavily among its 200,000 members and the public, asking for letters detailing experiences with illegal abortions. NARAL proudly claimed that they received "Tens of thousands of letters," but, mysteriously, only 68 were submitted to the Congressional Record for publication on May 22nd, and even these were of poor (and even ridiculous) quality.
For example, one rambling letter in the Record claimed that
Thirty-five years ago I was pregnant my baby had died in 4th month of pregnancy but because of abortion being illegal I couldn't have an abortion I had to carry that dead child for 5 months before I finally aborted it myself. I carried that child for 5 agonizing months knowing I was carrying a dead child please legalize abortion it must be pro choice.
Anyone who knows anything about fetal development or obstetrics will realize that the situation described above is physically impossible.
It was revealing to note that most of NARAL's letters were written not by women who were in truly desperate circumstances, but by women who wanted abortion to remain legal for purely selfish reasons. One typical letter asserted that
My abortion occurred when I was a married adult woman. I simply had not fully dealt with the role of motherhood, and how it might impact upon the rather new career path which I was pursuing. I was not raped. I do not think I carried a deformed fetus. I was not a teenager. I was simply a woman who believes that her uterus was her own, as was the decision as to when or if it would bear a child.
Yet More Anonymity.
NARAL and other pro-abortion groups sponsored hundreds of "Silent No More readings" all over the country, where women would stand and read their letters of victimization before crowds of weeping sympathizers. All of these letters were similar in one critical respect: The 'victim of illegal abortion' was invariably anonymous. When pro-life activists in several cities asked questions about the persons in the letters, they were met with shouts of "insensitivity."
The pro-abortionists used two anonymous plaintiffs to secure abortion on demand in this country. The stories manufactured by (or for) these plaintiffs were outright lies. Whenever they initiate litigation to overturn abortion restrictions, pro-aborts invariably use anonymous plaintiffs, because they cannot produce anyone who is really damaged by these laws. And now, anonymous 'victims' are used in an attempt to curry sympathy with the public in an effort to keep abortion legal.
Pro-lifers should not be afraid to challenge these "Silent No More" stories as the lies they most certainly are.
The Frank Mendiola Case.
Perhaps the most spectacular example of a 'victim' of illegal abortion was provided by a Los Angeles man named Frank Mendiola.
Mendiola's extremely graphic "Silent No More" story was a big hit among pro-abortionists, and NARAL even used it as the centerpiece of one of its national fundraising letters. This appeal, which was signed by Executive Director Kate Michelman, played on the emotions of readers by listing a cluster of highly suspicious and very anonymous 'victimization' stories, including one that read: "Frank, who wept as he told of his beloved twin sister, who bled to death from an illegal abortion after being brutally raped at the age of 14."
"Yes, On a Kitchen Table ..."
Mendiola, a well-known sodomite and pro-abortion activist in the Los Angeles area, had been very much in demand at pro-abortion rallies, where he would read his letter written to President Reagan about how his sister 'Rose Elizabeth' died from a botched illegal abortion. Mendiola sobbed about how "She bled to death on a kitchen table. Yes, Mr. President, on a kitchen table."
It was not long, however, before Mendiola's story began to come apart at the seams. According to the December 10, 1987 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Mendiola called in numerous bomb threats to clinics, abortionists, and even his own home so that "... you people, the media, will come down with a harder line on those people who are harassing the clinics."
Mendiola was given a one-year suspended sentence because, as the judge put it, he had "good intentions." Imagine any judge suspending sentence on any pro-lifer for threatening to bomb an abortion mill for "good intentions!"
Pro-aborts packed the courtroom in Mendiola's support. Many members of the "Committee for Reproductive Rights" appeared at his trial, and Sherna Gluck of the CRR said that "Clearly, the whole thing is very sad. I just feel very badly for him. He is a very fine person, and I guess the worst one can say is he is just confused. I'm sure it was [done] with the very best of intentions."
Further investigation into Mendiola's background revealed that he had been lying about his 'twin sister' dying on a kitchen table, because he had no twin sisters in fact, he was an only child!
Even when Mendiola was exposed and confronted with his lies, he merely altered his story to say the person who really died of an illegal abortion was "a sister's friend," and that "I was her voice."
Naturally, he refused to identify the person in question.
This incident helps illustrate the incredible arrogance of pro-abortionists who will continue to lie like rugs even when they are caught, and shows how out of touch with reality they really are.
Mendiola's bogus story helps to call into question all of the other pro-abortion propaganda stories of women who died of illegal abortions before the procedure was legalized. It is estimated that at least 95 percent of these "Silent No More" stories are complete fabrications, as proven in Chapter 59, "Maternal Death Due to Abortion."
Additionally, this dramatic case confirmed what pro-lifers have asserted for many years: That pro-abortionists threaten violence against their own clinics in order to discredit pro-lifers.
References: National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).
 Bernard M. Nathanson, M.D. The Abortion Papers: Inside the Abortion Mentality. Idea Books, Post Office Box 4010, Madison, Wisconsin 53711. 1985, 192 pages.
 This is an exact quote transcribed by a secretary from the minutes of the May 12, 1972 meeting of the executive board of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, later the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).
 Lawrence Lader, co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), in his book Breeding Ourselves to Death, page 23.
 Former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson, at his address at the 1980 National Right to Life Committee Convention. Quoted in Father John Powell, S.J. Abortion: The Silent Holocaust. Argus Communications, Allen, Texas 75002. 1981, 181 pages. Pages 83 and 84.
 Quoted from the May 22, 1985 Congressional Record and quoted in "Wimps of the Week," The Review of the NEWS, July 3, 1985, pages 55 and 56.
 "Pro-Life Action League Helps Expose Pro-Abortion "Bomber."" The Advocate (publication of Advocates for Life Ministries), Portland, Oregon, May 1988, page 10. Also see Patt Morrison. "Pro-Choice Activist Faces Sentence for Phony Threats to Bomb Clinics." Los Angeles Times, December 10, 1987.
Further Reading: National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).
Lawrence Lader. Abortion II, Making the Revolution.
Boston: Beacon Press, 1973. The definitive work on early (1960-1970) pro-abortion strategy by the king of the abortion propagandists. Lader was a close friend of the 'leading lights' of the early pro-abortion movement, including Betty Friedan, Margaret Sanger, and Dr. Bernard Nathanson. Pages 36 to 40 describe the early history of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Bernard M. Nathanson, M.D. The Abortion Papers: Inside the Abortion Mentality.
Idea Books, Post Office Box 4010, Madison, Wisconsin 53711. 1985, 192 pages. Reviewed by Nancy Koster on page 6 of the November 24, 1983 issue of National Right to Life News. A former prolific abortionist exposes the anti-Catholic bigotry of the pro-abortion movement, discusses the role of the blatantly biased media in obtaining abortion on demand, and explores what the science of fetology has revealed about the unborn child. This enjoyable book is written in George Will's wry and acerbic style. Dr. Nathanson is one of the co-founders of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Chapter 3, "Catholics," pages 177 to 209, describes in detail how NARAL used blatant anti-Catholic bigotry to push liberalized abortion laws and undermine the teachings of the Church. Other examples of NARAL skulduggery abound in this book. For example, NARAL asserted to the state of Massachusetts that pro-life groups have no right to endorse pro-life candidates, even if the groups are not tax-exempt. In the ensuing lawsuit, FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Inc., the right to distribute such literature was upheld. This is typical of the harassment lawsuits brought by NARAL and others when any pro-life efforts are in progress. Pro-aborts almost never spend money themselves, but get a government entity to go after pro-life activists. Also see Chapter 1, "Abortion and the Media," pages 7 to 109, and Chapter 2, "Fetology for Pro-Life," pages 111 to 175. Chapter 2 consists of a detailed and interesting history of fetology in the United States.
National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Legal Abortion: A Speaker's and Debater's Notebook.
71 pages, June 1978. Superb insight into the anti-life philosophy and how it shrinks from reality by using propaganda, Newspeak, and profuse slogans.
© American Life League BBS — 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia published by American Life League.