Murder for hire

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Warren Hern kills babies for a living.

It is his calling. He has been doing it for over 50 years, and at 84 he seems determined to continue doing it until he keels over from exhaustion.


The Atlantic has a long and disturbing profile on this man who I think of as the Butcher of Boulder, a doctor who willingly kills children at the latest points in pregnancy. So late, in fact, that most of his colleagues would refuse to consider the job.

Healthy, third-trimester “fetuses.” Babies that are viable outside the womb. Because pregnancy is a health crisis, if you think it is.

The Butcher of Boulder will openly speak of killing babies with beating hearts, although now he uses a procedure that kills the infant before he ever sees the actual body. It is, I suppose, less disturbing for his staff, and Hern is no sadist. He believes that his murders are acts of compassion.

Regardless of the circumstances of pregnancy, in Hern’s view, a woman’s life—her humanity, her wishes—isn’t just more important than her fetus’s. It is virtually the only thing that matters. That approach is diametrically opposed to the view of anti-abortion advocates, for whom pregnancy means motherhood and, often, self-sacrifice.

Hern understands that few share his total conviction. “This is a grotesque conversation to many people,” he said at the bar. “But this is a surgical procedure for a life-threatening condition.”


If killing an infant will make a mother happy, Hern is there to do it for you. As late into the pregnancy as you would like.

About half of Hern’s abortions are due to women who wanted a child but a dangerous medical condition arose, often fetal abnormalities that would lead to short lives and hard deaths. But the rest are for personal reasons. A divorce, or the child developing into the wrong sex.

The baby won’t accessorize that particular person’s life at that moment, so time to move on.

The Butcher of Boulder is there for you in such circumstances.

Hern claims his work is motivated by his fierce determination that women should have complete autonomy, but he also isn’t shy about his hatred for Republicans, Christians, and in the long term all of humanity. Human beings are a cancer on the Earth, and just coincidentally he is a doctor who likes to cut living flesh out of the bodies of women.


But no, there is no relationship between his beliefs about human beings and his actions of murdering them.

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.

For all his flaws–we are reminded constantly in this profile that he is not especially pleasant to be around–Hern does have one quality that is both admirable and useful to his opponents: he doesn’t sugarcoat anything. He tells it as he sees it, even if the way he sees it is altogether too similar to how Josef Mengele saw things.

I highly recommend reading Elain Godfrey’s profile of Hern. It gives you insight into the mind of abortion absolutists. They genuinely don’t think like most people, and unless you can grasp why they choose death you will never quite grasp the fact that there is no compromise between rational people and these butchers.


You and I? We could probably work out a compromise that most people could live with. Americans seem pretty comfortable with 12-16 week limits. While this is morally grey and quite messy, everybody realizes that bright moral lines blur when they come in contact with reality.

But with the abortion absolutists, who now are the dominant ideologues in the Democrat Party?

There is no way to draw a reasonable compromise when somebody sees pregnancy as a disease to be surgically removed and humanity as cancer.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024