One pro-life pioneer was recently honored for his work saving babies' and mothers' lives through a pro-life clinic in Virginia.
Thirty years ago, Dr. John Bruchalski opened Tepeyac OB/GYN and its fundraising and education organization called Divine Mercy Care in Fairfax, Virginia. The pro-life clinic founder was recently honored with one of the U.S.' one of the nation's most prestigious pro-life awards. On April 23, Dr. Bruchalski received the 2022 Evangelium Vitae medal from the De Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.
According to the University of Notre Dame's De Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, the Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal is the country's "most important lifetime achievement award for heroes in the pro-life movement," which honors those whose "outstanding efforts have served to proclaim the Gospel of Life by steadfastly affirming and defending the sanctity of human life from its earliest stages."
But Dr. Bruchalski's honor comes with a colorful past. According to the Arlington Catholic Herald, the pro-life clinic founder had in fact performed abortions until a dramatic conversion experience led him to open the clinic. Now, he feels that it is incongruous that he is given awards "for not murdering babies - but that's a reality of the world today."
Doctor Recounts His Experience as an Abortion Provider and How He Turned Pro-Life
Dr. Bruchalski now feels "a tremendous responsibility" after receiving the Evangelium Vitae medal. But his journey up until now did not come easy. The doctor had in fact performed abortions during his first two years of residency, the Catholic News Agency reported in 2012. The former abortion provider turned pro-life clinic founder grew up in a Catholic household but lost his faith from the 1970s to 1980s. Facing the pressure of wanting to be a "great" doctor, he performed abortions, which he then believed would help women be "happier" and "healthier."
But Dr. Bruchalski would later find that it would impact him mentally and spiritually. He recounted, "As you do the procedure, you begin to kill another human being up close," witnessing "the life drain from them" a mere inches away. The former abortion provider added, "That reality goes through your hand and into your heart."
Former Abortion Provider Reflects on His Pro-Life Achievements
Dr. Bruchalski, who is now 61 years old, no longer sees patients due to an autoimmune disease in the nerve bundle in his right arm and spine that had been causing pain in his upper back and right arm, which may force him into retirement from medicine. But the pro-life founder continues on with his advocacy. In fact, he is set to release a new book this Fall from Ignatius Press.
Despite stepping away from Tepeyac OB/GYN, Dr. Bruchalski will still focus on outreach and education with Divine Mercy Care. He also reflected on his past as an abortion provider, saying, "As a doctor, you have to steel your heart to convince yourself you're helping this woman."
Dr. Bruchalski admitted that his "heart breaks for people with unwanted pregnancies and that in today's world, "The elite in our society are trying to tell us abortion is good medicine, but it's not good medicine. It's not addressing the real issues."
For the former abortion provider, the real issue is failing to give women who are "suffering" and are seek abortion "truth and love." Dr. Bruchalski remarked, "God wants it done out of love."
This is what Dr. Bruchalski hopes to achieve with Divine Mercy Care, which he believes is an instrucment to inspire and teach the new generation of medical practitioners a better way around the abortion issue and a care model that is "patient-centered, holistic and pro-life."