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
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
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
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
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
(1) Stated Billy Graham and the Pope running our country.
(4) Catholics trying to overthrow the most humanitarian legislation of
(7) [Catholic] Priests went into assembly and terrorized [Texas]
(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
(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.
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
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
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
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
The "Silent No
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
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
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
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
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
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
Bernard M. Nathanson, M.D. The Abortion Papers: Inside the
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
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
© American Life League BBS 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia
published by American Life League.