Danielle Bean, a wife and mother of eight, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine and author of My Cup of Tea, Mom to Mom, Day to Day, and most recently Small Steps for Catholic Moms. Read more of her blogging at Faith & Family Live and DanielleBean.com.
There’s nothing happy about the news that Dr. William Harrison, an outspoken, dedicated and very busy abortionist (over 20,000 dead babies is the estimate), in Arkansas has died after a four-month battle with leukemia.
But I am happy that the clinic he ran for years has been close since July. And I am happy that Northwest Arkansas remains abortion-free.
For a peek into the late “doctor’s” mind, you can read his passionate defense of his profession in an article at Daily Kos back in May of 2007:
In describing how he went from delivering live babies to producing dead ones, Harrison shared a sad story about a poverty-stricken woman who came to see him with an advanced pregnancy.
When told that she - already unable to adequately feed and clothe her family - was again pregnant, she looked up at me and the resident ... She began to weep silently. She must have assumed, for good reason, that there was no way that we would understand her problems; she knew also that there was nothing that we could or would do to relieve her lacerating misery.
“Oh God, doctor,” she said quietly, “I was hoping it was cancer.”
I don’t doubt Harrison’s sincere desire to help desperate pregnant women. I can certainly understand why he would be haunted by that woman’s words for the rest of his life.
We all should be. Because words like these mean we’ve failed. We’ve failed to support a mother and her baby at a time when they are most vulnerable.
When a woman voices such desperation—that cancer would be preferable to motherhood—it is a wake up call to all of us. Something is terribly wrong with a society that leads a woman and a doctor to conclude that the best possible “solution” to an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy is to destroy her unborn child.
Particularly disturbing are the final lines of Harrison’s article where he describes being “called” to do what he once called “cancelling luckless human souls.”:
Like multitudes before me and, I trust, multitudes to come, I eventually heard (Try as I might to avoid hearing it!) in that mother’s grief-filled declaration, “Oh God, Doctor, I was hoping it was cancer”, a still, small voice asking, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” to which I was at last compelled to reply, “here am I, send me.”
Harrison might have felt “called” to his work, but I hate to think who it was that was doing the calling. His death should serve as a reminder to all of us to:
1. Pray for the conversion of heart of those who work in the abortion industry.
2. Find out what we can do to better serve mothers and babies in our own communities in order to make abortion an unthinkably unattractive option.
3. Participate in prayer, fasting, and vigil as part of the ongoing 40 Days for Life campaign.
May God have mercy on all of our souls.