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Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind Paperback – 21 Mar 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing Inc; 2nd Revised edition edition (21 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621570444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621570448
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 747,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

As director of the world's largest abortion clinic and the nation's most prominent abortionist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson presided over 60,000 abortions. As co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League he helped make abortion legal. Then, in a conversion that made headlines and astonished both sides of the abortion debate, he renounced his profession to become a pro-life advocate. But Dr. Nathanson's journey was not over. In this deeply personal memoir, he reveals what led a lifelong atheist and abortion crusader first to the pro-life cause, and finally to Christianity. The Hand of God is more than one of the most dramatic autobiographies of our time. It is also a definitive explanation of the pro-life position not only on abortion, but on related issues such as fetal tissue research and doctor-assisted suicide. "I know the abortion issue as perhaps no one else does", writes Nathanson. Even those as committed to legal abortion as he once was will find his arguments challenging and his story unforgettable.

About the Author

Dr. Bernard Nathanson was co-founder in 1969 of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL, later renamed the National Abortion Rights Action League), and former director of New York City's Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, then the largest abortion clinic in the world. In the late 1970's he turned against abortion to become a prominent pro-life advocate, authoring Aborting America and producing the seminal pro-life video The Silent Scream. After a long battle with cancer, Dr. Nathanson passed away at his home in NYC at age eight-four.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very factual, and a must-read lucid account, for all those who recognise or are open to learning how abortion is, at the very least, manslaughter, and it exposes the devil in enough detail for even the most hard-hearted and insensitive of people to recognise the evil which drives the mental processing of such medical professionals and bodies that carry out, and furthermore, endorse this horrific practice - particularly revealing is the chapter detailing how 'The Hypocratic Oath' was reworded so medical professionals don't have to take as much responsibility for their patients; also interesting, is the part about ultra-sound, and how any medical professional, after experiencing an unborn baby with this technology (which is now quite old), would have to be inhuman not to see that abortion is clearly wrong. If you wish to risk exposing your conscience to the harsh reality of the abortion industry then read 'The Hand of God' - an informative, fact-filled and heart-rending book written by a person in-the-know; equally valuable for both Christians and atheists. This book could equally have been called: 'Abortion - making Monsters of Mankind.'
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By A Customer on 5 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
Prior to reading Dr. Nathanson's book, I thought I knew all there was to know about abortion and the perpertrator's of this tragedy. However, I have recently finished this book, so mesmerized by it's content, I felt as though I had just made an "exit, stage left" out of blindness, into the deepest pit's of reality. This book is a must read for any "uncertain" mind on the brutality of abortion and it's various habitual schemes. Bravo! for Dr. Nathanson, may he always be blessed by God for his courage!
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Bernard Nathanson was a leader in the movement to make abortion "legal, affordable,
and available on demand" for American women, even before the 1972 Supreme Court
decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. He performed abortions, directed a large
abortion clinic in New York City, and was one of the three co-founders of the
organization that became the National Abortion Rights Action League.

Doubts about abortion, however, were finally confirmed when ultrasound technology
allowed him to to view the development of the child in the womb. He stopped performing
abortions at the end of the 70's, made a video -- "The Silent Scream" -- in 1985, and
joined the pro-life movement. "I know the abortion issue as perhaps no one else does,"
Dr. Nathanson writes. His expertise and prominence make this an informative, compelling
book.

Readers will find much more than autobiography in its pages. The author's recollection of
his physician father makes fascinating reading by itself. Dr. Nathanson's description of an
abortion in lay terms is valuable and revealing. A gruesome chapter on abortion
malpractice and his discussion of RU-486 are must reading for all who deliberate public
policy. Historians, who focus on causation, will be intrigued by Dr. Nathanson's
rendering of the social changes in the 1960's. There are important essays on the
Hippocratic oath, fetal tissue research, and the prospect of physician-assisted suicide.

Shortly after this book was published, Dr. Nathanson's journey across the medical,
political, and spiritual chasm caused by abortion led him to Catholicism. "The Hand of
God" finally stands with the great confessional works.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Finally! Here is a book written by a scholar who takes his
reader on a wrenching pilgrimage through the many issues
associated with abortion. Pro-lifers will be fascinated to
learn of the evolving ethical revelation about abortion that
Dr. Nathanson(a then-avowed atheist)experienced. Pro-choice
readers will be challenged to defend their stand on an
entirely new level of discussion--one of facts, figures, and
faith. This is the best non-fiction book I have read in
twenty years. Even though it is only 196 pages long, every
line is so power-packed that reading it is an experience of
learning, mystery, joy, agony, and deep soul-searching for
truth. This book is a necessity for anyone--pro-life or pro-
choice-- who is interested in the issue of abortion.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews
117 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling 14 Nov. 2005
By Jeffrey Leach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Many people, mostly pro-life advocates, see the abortion issue as the modern equivalent of the fight to put an end to slavery. Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson, a founder of NARAL and once one of America's premier abortion providers until he saw the light and changed sides, draws parallels between pre-Civil War America, specifically the Dred Scott decision, and Roe v. Wade in "The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind." Those are heady claims indeed. To argue that abortion could bring the country to civil war seems a bit melodramatic. Certainly the other side, the pro-abortion advocates, don't see the issue this way. To them Roe v. Wade and subsequent court rulings expanding the ability of a woman to terminate her pregnancy is a right, pure and simple. It's a right that grows out of the Supreme Court's recognition of an inherent privacy right guaranteed by many of the amendments contained in the Bill of Rights. Any effort to curtail or roll back abortion, they argue, would not only allow the government to exercise control over a woman's body, it would also strike at the heart of the gender equality feminists have worked so hard to achieve over the past four decades.

Don't expect Bernard Nathanson to resolve the issue in this slim book. This is no "Uncle Tom's Cabin" for the pro-life crowd. It's close, though. "The Hand of God" tells the story of how a lowly physician came to embrace abortion, how he began to question what he did for a living, and how he found God when he embraced the pro-life movement. According to the author, his early life played a big role in his later decision to become an abortionist. His father, a Jewish physician with misanthropic tendencies, dominated most aspects of his son's life until his death at the age of ninety-four. An imposing presence with a keen intellect and a hardscrabble background, Nathanson's father passed on to his son a suspicion of the Jewish religion and a distrust of women. For example, he encouraged his son to disrespect his mother. The father also dominated Bernard's sister, interfering in her marriage and all other aspects of her life until she committed suicide in her forties. It's obvious we're not dealing with a kindly soul here, yet Nathanson's father did do a few things to help his son. He secured him a place in medical school, for instance, and passed on a love of learning that, if this book is any indication, served Bernard Nathanson well.

Unfortunately, the Hippocratic Oath Nathanson took after completing medical school didn't quite make the desired impression. His specialization in obstetrics and gynecology coupled with the tumult of the 1960s soon brought the good doctor into contact with several physicians interested in overturning the nation's abortion laws. The author plunged in with both feet, and soon found himself overseeing a clinic in New York that performed tens of thousands of abortions. Before his conversion to the pro-life movement, Nathanson went through a couple of marriages and even personally performed an abortion on a woman pregnant with his own child. The last several chapters of the book move beyond the personal into philosophical and medical discussions on life, death, and the ethics of the abortion debate. Nathanson convincingly argues that new medical techniques prove that life begins much earlier than previously believed. He also contends that abortion is a gateway that could, if it continues to be the law of the land, lead to legalized euthanasia and the establishment of third world "fetus farms" that would supply stem cells and organs for those suffering from various diseases in this country. "The Hand of God" paints a pretty bleak picture of the abortion scene.

By far the most effect part of "The Hand of God" deals with Nathanson's discussions of the types of medical doctors that inhabit abortion clinics. Think alcoholics, drug users, quacks, and bottom of the class physicians. It's ugly beyond belief. He provides a few names and cases concerning doctors who had their licenses yanked for maiming and/or killing patients while performing abortions. One surgeon actually quit performing the procedure at the halfway point and sent the woman home because her husband didn't have enough money to pay for the operation. She later died. We tend to think of these things happening in the bad old days before Roe v. Wade turned the back alley butcher into a white coat wearing surgeon in a licensed clinic, but Nathanson's carefully documented accounts show the fallacy of that sort of thinking. Abortion clinics still draw the bottom feeders because of the morals involved. Most doctors don't want anything to do with terminating pregnancies unless the mother's life is in imminent danger. Perhaps most physicians still take the Hippocratic Oath seriously. Whatever the case, ethics still play a big role in who will or will not perform abortions in the nation's clinics.

I decided to read Nathanson's book after reading about his conversion to Roman Catholicism in Dave Shiflett's "Exodus: Why Americans Are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity." I'm glad I did. I've never been a knee jerk pro-lifer despite being a strident conservative, but this book has moved me further in that direction. There is something seriously wrong with a culture that endorses abortion as a means of birth control, and there is definitely something amiss about allowing a minor to terminate a pregnancy without parental consent. I won't even get into the immorality of partial-birth abortion; I was against that procedure long before I read this book. I heartily recommend "The Hand of God." Prepare yourself, however. You might just find yourself agreeing with the good doctor by the time you turn the final page.
59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Public airing of one's sins - not an easy thing to do 13 April 2000
By Tim Drake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
That's what Dr. Bernard Nathanson does with this book, and that is why I sing its praises and his.
Here is a man who was responsible for the legalization of abortion in the United States, coming to terms with the dreadful consequences of his actions, publicly sharing an obviously painful part of his life, and seeking forgiveness.
This is a beautiful testimony, even if it is difficult to read at times. Nathanson leads us through his life in a Jewish home and the events which led to his work as an abortionist and with NARAL.
His vocabulary can be a bit challenging at times, but it is very much worth the effort.
Especially chilling are Nathanson's predictions for the future. He predicts that just as we now have abortuaries one day we will have "death with dignity centers" - legalized places where we can bring our elderly to have them put to death.
The book brings the reader right up to his potential conversion to Catholicism. Not long after the book was published, Dr. Nathanson entered the Catholic Church.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Insiders Look at Abortion 15 May 2003
By Jeremy Alder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Bernard Nathanson no doubt speaks the truth when he claims to know the abortion issue "as perhaps no one else does." Nathanson oversaw or participated in over 60,000 abortions during his medical career, including the abortion which took the life of his own child. Thus it is especially admirable that he, unlike many others who have been involved personally with abortion, had the ability to admit to himself what we all at some level know to be true (and what is becoming harder and harder to deny with the advancement of science and medical technology)--that abortion is indeed the taking of a human life.
But admit this he does, after a personal encounter with sonographic visual images of an abortion carried out by a colleague. If anything, Nathanson's story is a testimony to the power such images have to catalyze a reevaluation of people's views on abortion. It is unfortunate that many in the pro-life movement now shy away from using graphich visual aids in presenting their case. Certainly graphic images have been missused by pro-lifers in the past, but that does not mean that they don't have a vital and proper role to play in persuading the public that abortion is a violent act against a defenseless fellow human being.
I would think anyone with an interest in the abortion debate would want to read this book. Nathanson played a critical role in the legalizing of abortion in the US (he was the co-founder of NARAL) and gives a behind the scenes look at the abortion rights movement in its infancy.
The only drawbacks I have concern the writing style and organization. Nathanson uses far too many arcane and difficult words in a book written for the general public and some parts of the book are repetitive. A couple of paragraphs are almost word for word identical. Also, many many key details connecting important parts of Nathanson's life are skipped over which can be confusing and annoying. At one point Nathanson briefly mentions that he has a son but one is never told when, where, or from whom the son was born.
Overall I think this was a good book. Nathanson's account of his conversion from being pro-abortion to pro-life and then from an atheist to a Roman Catholic is certainly fascinating. Perhaps it could've been told better, but the story itself makes up for any shortcomings.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must reading in the abortion debate ... for both sides. 17 July 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Bernard Nathanson was a leader in the movement to make abortion "legal, affordable,
and available on demand" for American women, even before the 1972 Supreme Court
decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. He performed abortions, directed a large
abortion clinic in New York City, and was one of the three co-founders of the
organization that became the National Abortion Rights Action League.

Doubts about abortion, however, were finally confirmed when ultrasound technology
allowed him to to view the development of the child in the womb. He stopped performing
abortions at the end of the 70's, made a video -- "The Silent Scream" -- in 1985, and
joined the pro-life movement. "I know the abortion issue as perhaps no one else does,"
Dr. Nathanson writes. His expertise and prominence make this an informative, compelling
book.

Readers will find much more than autobiography in its pages. The author's recollection of
his physician father makes fascinating reading by itself. Dr. Nathanson's description of an
abortion in lay terms is valuable and revealing. A gruesome chapter on abortion
malpractice and his discussion of RU-486 are must reading for all who deliberate public
policy. Historians, who focus on causation, will be intrigued by Dr. Nathanson's
rendering of the social changes in the 1960's. There are important essays on the
Hippocratic oath, fetal tissue research, and the prospect of physician-assisted suicide.

Shortly after this book was published, Dr. Nathanson's journey across the medical,
political, and spiritual chasm caused by abortion led him to Catholicism. "The Hand of
God" finally stands with the great confessional works. He writes, "The usual and
customary progression is: Belief in God and His splendid gift of life leads the believer to
defend it -- and become pro-life. With me, it was just the opposite: Perversely, I
journeyed from being pro-life to belief in God."
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nathanson's "The Hand of God" 3 Feb. 2005
By Matthew J. Veasey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
To say that Dr. Bernard Nathanson has undergone a change of heart from his original position on the abortion issue would be one of the great understatements of our time. From his role as a 'Founding Father' in the pro-abortion movement of the late 1960's and early-70's, Nathanson fairly quickly realized the grave error that he and the entire movement had made, and has fought now for decades on behalf of the children being disgarded daily by this legalized immorality. His story, told here in autobiographical form, is one that shows there is yet hope for anyone who may have been, or may still be, similarly misguided.

Nathanson's credentials to speak publicly on this issue are probably more valid than any other person in the country. He was the co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws back in 1969, the pre-cursor to the National Abortion Rights Action League, in which role he led the charge to legalize abortions in the United States. He was the former director of the largest abortion clinic in the world, the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health in New York. In this role, Nathanson presided over 60,000+ abortions, including that of his own child!

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