ABC News Profile of Abortion Practitioner Attacks Samuel Alito Nomination

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 12, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

ABC News Profile of Abortion Practitioner Attacks Samuel Alito Nomination Email this article
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by Noel Sheppard
January 12, 2006 Note: Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and a featured writer at the prestigious American Thinker. He is also a contributing writer to the Free Market Project and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.

New York, NY ( — ABC News’ Martin Bashir last evening on “Nightline” brought on an Arkansas “abortionist” to sell America the virtues of this oftentimes ghastly procedure, while making a political statement against the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

Bashir even suggested that those who have abortions are “born again.” The piece began with Bashir sharing some abortion statistics – with graphics – to demonstrate how commonplace it is in our society (ABC News video link to follow)

MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) For anyone who thinks that abortion is not a daily ritual of American life, then consider these statistics.


MARTIN BASHIR: (Voiceover) One in four pregnancies ends in abortion. And at current rates, a third of all American women will have an abortion by the age of 45.


Bashir then introduced Dr. William Harrison, “a man who’s content to be known as the abortionist of Arkansas.” His schedule this day? “The appointment book at Dr. William Harrison’s office is full again. Three abortions in the morning, another three scheduled this afternoon.” Dr. Williams then claimed to have performed as many as 12,000 abortions.

Then, Bashir painted a bleak picture of what existed in our nation before the Supreme Court’s controversial “Roe v. Wade” decision:

MARTIN BASHIR: (Voiceover) As a young doctor practicing before the Roe V. Wade ruling, Dr. Harrison says he came across patients who took matters in their own hands. Sometimes with devastating effects.

DOCTOR WILLIAM HARRISON: We had a young woman who was 16 years old who tried to abort herself with a caustic douche. And she had burned her vagina. And the vagina hade been completely closed, it was destroyed, basically. My conscience calls me to do abortions because I consider the mother’s life much, much more important than that tiny little blob of tissue.

Next, Bashir got political:

MARTIN BASHIR: (Voiceover) Now Dr. Harrison’s concern is no longer with critics and protesters but with the prospect of Judge Samuel Alito being confirmed.

DOCTOR WILLIAM HARRISON: And I think he’s going to be confirmed. And I think Roe V. Wade will be gone within a year.

MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) You really believe that?

DOCTOR WILLIAM HARRISON: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s going to be a disaster for the young and the poor in this country.

Bashir then sold the necessity of abortion in our nation:

MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) Roe V. Wade was originally conceived as an opportunity for women to have choice. But you seem to be suggesting that the women that you see actually have no choice.

DOCTOR WILLIAM HARRISON: Most of the young women that I see are single, a lot of them have two or three children already. They frequently are on minimum wage jobs. They often have no medical insurance, and they’re struggling to just make it day to day.

Bashir then depicted a gruesome position against adoption as an alternative to abortion:

MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) Do you ever mention in your counseling the possibility of adoption as an alternative?

DOCTOR WILLIAM HARRISON: No. Not unless the patient asks me. You know, it’s easy to say adoption is a better option but…

MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) You don’t even mention it?


MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) You don’t even mention it?

DOCTOR WILLIAM HARRISON: Not unless the patient asks me, no. I’ve had one patient who gave up two babies for adoption. She committed suicide the year before last. And my patients who have given up babies for adoption and then had abortions, tell me that the most difficult thing that they’ve ever done is to give up a baby for adoption. It’s not like giving away a puppy.

At one point, Dr. Harrison said: "Basically, abortion is a method of birth control. You know, it’s not the best method of birth control. But all it does is stop the birth of a baby that a woman doesn’t want at a time she doesn’t want it." Yet, Bashir never asked Dr. Harrison if he discusses conventional birth control methods with his patients. This is particularly curious given that Dr. Harrison said, "I’ve had lots of patients who come in for second, third, fourth, fifth, even one who had nine abortions."

Bashir concluded by painting a picture of abortion being a way for women to be “born again”:

MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) Many doctors who look back on their career might reflect on great healings that they were involved in, great surgeries and operations which solved a serious, potentially life-threatening problem. How do you reflect on your career?

DOCTOR WILLIAM HARRISON: I’ve had one of the most emotionally satisfying careers that I can imagine anyone having. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is, when two weeks after a young woman has come in distraught and thinking that her life is ruined, and she comes back two – two weeks after the abortion and she is a new woman. She’s been given her life back.

MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) And for her to be born again, you’ve had to kill the fetus.

DOCTOR WILLIAM HARRISON: Uh-huh. That’s right.

MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) And that’s a fair exchange?

DOCTOR WILLIAM HARRISON: That’s a fair exchange.

Visit to read a full transcript.