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Warren Hern: A portrait in abortion absolutism–Part Two

by | Sep 1, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

In Part One of this brief two part series we talked about how Warren Hern, the undisputed king of late-late abortions, gave even his fellow abortionists pause. For example, there was proof positive from the interview Hern gave to The Atlantic’s Elaine Godfrey that in at least half of the late term abortions he performed, the babies these women were carrying did not have devastating diagnoses—AT LEAST HALF!

Healthy baby, healthy Mom.


Hern considers his religious adversaries to be zealots, and many of them are,” Godfrey writes.” But he is, in his own way, no less an absolutist.”

Hern is, as is clear by the second paragraph, a piece of work. “I’d met Hern before, so I wasn’t surprised by his gruffness. he 84-year-old can be a curmudgeon—he’s obstinate, utterly certain of his position, and intolerant of criticism even as he dishes it out.”

But as would occur repeatedly, Godfrey softenes the blow. She immediately added, “Useful qualities, perhaps, for someone in his line of work.”

Again, Godfrey writes that KateCarson had an abortion in Hern’s clinic in 2012.

Carson and other patients described Hern as brusque. But they seemed to take comfort in that brusqueness, as though Hern’s fierce assurance helped them feel more sure themselves. “I wouldn’t say he has a great bedside manner,” Carson told me. But “the degree of respect that I felt from him was enormous.”

There are several examples of Godfrey attempting to humanize a man who lobbed his humanity over the table nearly five decades ago. Hern, for example, is a photographer of some renown. Godfrey writes

Hern is known for presenting such gifts to people—and for regularly mailing out his latest published works. In addition to the magnet and the calendar, Hern sent me a copy of his poetry collection and his new book on global ecology. In the latter, titled Homo Ecophagus, he compares mankind to a cancer on the planet, writing that our unrelenting population growth will ultimately lead to the demise of every species on Earth. To view human beings as a scourge seems a rather ominous perspective for a man who ends pregnancies for a living. Could he see his work as, even subliminally, a form of population control? When I asked about that, Hern shook his head vigorously, waving my question away, as if he’d been ready for it. “Being concerned about population growth is consistent with the idea of helping women and families control their fertility on a voluntary basis,” he said.

There is a consistency, isn’t there, in what he does on a daily basis—pruning, as it were, the “surplus population”–and his contempt for mankind—“a cancer on the planet.”

Finally, every time I write about Hern, inevitably a quote from a paper presented before the Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians in San Diego titled “What about us? Staff Reactions to D&E”—dilation-and-evacuation abortion—leaps into my mind (Godfrey quoted parts of it back to Hern but without telling the reader the title of the paper).

[T]hose capable of performing or assisting with the procedure are having strong personal reservations about participating in an operation which they view as destructive and violent… Some part of our cultural and perhaps even biological heritage recoils at a destructive operation on a form that is similar to our own…

We reach a point…where there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current…

And it does all come back to Hern’s “specialty.” Hern career

“has persisted through the entire arc of Roe v. Wade, its nearly 50-year rise and fall. He specializes in abortions late in pregnancy—the rarest, and most controversial, form of abortion. This means that Hern ends the pregnancies of women who are 22, 25, even 30 weeks along. Although 14 states now ban abortion in most or all circumstances, Colorado has no gestational limits on the procedure. Patients come to him from all over the country because he is one of only a handful of physicians who can, and will, perform an abortion so late.”

At least we have that slight consolation. Only a few abortionists have sunk that low.

Categories: Abortionist