JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Kathi Aultman wanted to be a doctor so she could help women.
After receiving her license, she took a side job at a Florida women's clinic to perform abortions.
In an interview with CBN News, Aultman explained "It was no question in my mind that a woman should have the right to choose whether she wanted to be pregnant or not, and that was the most important thing. And I didn't consider the fetus in the equation at all."
She went on to become director of a local Planned Parenthood. She said examining the parts of aborted babies fascinated her.
'My Baby Was Wanted. Their Baby Wasn't'
"I was looking at it completely from a scientific standpoint, totally devoid of any emotion," said Aultman. It was amazing and I used to send it, the different parts, down to pathology and in our pathology rotation we would look at the slides and it fascinated me."
She even performed abortions while pregnant.
"I didn't see any problem with that," she commented. "My baby was wanted. Their baby wasn't. It didn't seem to bother the women I was aborting. I saw no contradiction in that, no problem with it.
Aultman said the only time she had qualms about what she was doing was when she worked in the intensive care unit for newborns.
She then found herself trying to save babies who were the same age as those she killed. But she quickly dismissed those thoughts.
Aultman's Thinking Begins to Change
"If she wanted the baby then I did everything I could to give her a happy healthy baby," she said. If she miscarried I would be distraught with her and upset about losing that baby."
After having her first child, the doctor came face to face with three cases that changed her thinking.
One involved a young girl who had three abortions, all performed by Aultman.
"I went to the clinic manager and I said I don't want to do this," Aultman shared. "She's just using abortion as birth control. And they said I didn't have the right to make that decision, that it wasn't a judgment that I should be making and I needed to do the procedure."
During her interview with CBN News, Aultman carefully explained two other scenarios that made her see things differently.
"The next woman came in with a girlfriend and the girlfriend asked, 'do you want to see the tissue?' and she snapped at her and just said, in a really angry voice, 'I don't want to look at it, I just want to kill it!' And I thought, what has this baby ever done to you?" she said.
Justification for Abortion Unravels
She then told of a third woman who had four children. Her husband wanted her to abort their fifth child.
"Her husband didn't feel they could afford another, and she cried the entire time," commented Aultman. "I think the callousness and hostility of the first two compared to the sorrow and the devastation of the third woman – I think that comparison made me understand that just because the child wasn't wanted, that was no longer justification enough for me to do the procedure."
In 1983, after attending a church service and a private meeting with the pastor, Aultman prayed to become a born-again Christian.
Even so, Aultman says she was still confused, and didn't fully understand who Jesus was.
"I didn't even believe Jesus as a physical person walked on the earth at that point," she continued. "And he (the pastor) gave me Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict. And it was through reading that book that I finally realized that, yes, He was a real person. And then he gave me Mere Christianity (by C.S. Lewis). It was that point that I finally understood who Jesus was and at that point I committed my life to him. And then He just started the long, hard work of transforming me."
As God began to work in her heart, Aultman decided she could no longer perform abortions. But she still held her to her belief that a woman had the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
'I Am a Mass Murderer'
Two years later, after reading an article comparing abortion with the Nazi Holocaust, the reality of abortion as the taking of human life hit her, and Aultman saw herself as a mass murderer.
"I probably murdered more people than Ted Bundy or any of the mass murderers if you consider all the abortions that I did," she said.
Forgetting her dark past was not easy.
She said, "One of the most wonderful things for an OB-GYN, is to meet a child they delivered or that child's child. That is such a joy. But it's bittersweet because I think about all the people I will never meet because I aborted them."
Aultman turned to a Christian counselor for help working through the guilt she felt for performing so many abortions. During one session, she said she started crying and couldn't stop.
Learning to Forgive Herself
"And during that time, in my mind I could see Jesus's gown and His feet and I was at His feet crying and He said to me 'are you more powerful than I am? Are you more important than I am? Are you stronger than I am that I can forgive you but you cannot forgive yourself?' At that point I understood that He had forgiven me and that I needed to forgive myself and that was where I really had my healing."
Aultman is now retired and has dedicated the remainder of her life to fighting for the unborn.
That includes going to Congress, where in 2017 she urged lawmakers to pass the Heartbeat Protection Act, a measure that would ban abortions after an unborn baby's heartbeat is detected.
"I support the Heartbeat Protection Act because it uses the heartbeat, a very concrete sign of life, that people can identify with to define when the fetus should be protected," she said during her congressional testimony.
The former abortionist says she is grateful every day for the opportunity to speak for those she once silenced.
"I'm just thankful every day that we have a Savior, that He does forgive us and that He can take what the locust has destroyed and restore it," she shared. "I'm so thankful that He's using me to save babies now when once I used to kill them."