Dr. John Bruchalski
From Abortionist to Pro-Life Doctor
Dr. Bruchalski’s Conversion Story
Dr. John Bruchalski is known throughout Northern Virginia and much of the United States as a great pro-life doctor. His medical practice, Tepeyac OB/GYN, operates as the largest fully pro-life OB/GYN in the nation, with five providers and a midwife. Tepeyac is a nonprofit, caring for women of all races, creeds, and economic statuses, whether or not they can pay. Dr. Bruchalski takes time from Tepeyac to travel throughout the country promoting the practice of Christ-centered medicine. He encourages doctors and other medical professionals to follow Christian principles that reflect the dignity of the human person and the unity of body and soul.
But it was not always so. Once upon a time, Tepeyac OB/GYN’s founder was an abortionist.
Encountering the culture of secular medicine
Raised in a devout Catholic home, Dr. Bruchalski drifted from his faith in young adulthood. He came to believe that the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexual morality would evolve toward those of the prevailing culture. In 1983, he entered the South Alabama College of Medicine, where his beliefs were strongly reinforced by the reigning ethos of medical school. With a knack for treating PMS and a strong ability to listen and diagnose, he was drawn to obstetrics and gynecology. In time, he thought, all would recognize that abortion, contraception, and sexual liberation were necessary for women to flourish.
After receiving his M.D. degree in 1987, he returned to Virginia for his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Eastern Virginia Medical Center and the Jones Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Norfolk. There he practiced the full range of reproductive medicine: contraception, sterilization, abortion, artificial reproduction, embryo destruction, and even developed a reputation for being very adept at late-term abortions.
“Why are you hurting me?”
Dr. Bruchalski’s conversion from abortionist to pro-life doctor began as he witnessed the effects of abortion all around him.
Far from achieving joy or happiness, the women he aborted or equipped with contraceptives displayed only “more broken relationships, more infections, more destruction, more brokenness.” At first he put aside these concerns, swayed by his professors’ insistence that happiness was just around the corner, awaiting better education and more of the same services.
Three “words from the Spirit” combined with his uncertainties to fuel his conversion. Early in his residency, he accompanied a friend to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, in Mexico City. While there he heard the clear voice of a woman ask him, “Why are you hurting me?” But still hard of heart, he concluded that his perceptions had been affected by the heat, and put the question in the back of his mind.
Our Lady steps in
Later, during his residency, Dr. Bruchalski inadvertently delivered a baby weighing over 500 grams during a late-term abortion. By law, it had to be sent to the neonatology unit. When he called the neonatologist, she sharply told him he was treating the baby as if it were a cancerous tumor, and that as a doctor he must treat both woman and baby as patients. Adding that she had just returned from Medjugorje, she suggested that he go there himself. Two days later, to his shock, his mother phoned and suggested he accompany her on a trip to – where else? – Medjugorje.
There, a Belgian visionary told John she had a message from Our Lady for him: he was to be the best doctor he could be; to follow and promote the teachings of the Church; and to serve the poor daily. As he told Eric Metaxas in an exclusive interview, “the scales fell from my eyes” and it all made sense: the evils of contraception, abortion, and artificial reproduction; the truth of natural law and Church teaching; the love of Jesus Christ. The course of his future was forever altered.
Converted and on a mission
Returned from Medjugorje, Dr. Bruchalski told his hospital he could no longer perform abortions, prescribe contraceptives, or deal in artificial reproduction. “Just keep it quiet,” his supervisor told him, rolling his eyes, “I hope it wasn’t some religious conversion.” But Dr. Bruchalski didn’t keep quiet. More and more of his fellow residents followed his lead and ceased performing abortions.
After residency and two years of work in a Maryland practice, he felt strongly called to establish a practice of his own design. His journey from an abortionist to a pro-life doctor led him to open Tepeyac Family Center (now Tepeyac OB/GYN) in his basement in 1994, caring for insured and uninsured women alike. Dr. Bruchalski and his practice are caring for their second generation of mothers–one of the first babies delivered by in the fledgling pro-life practice recently became a mother herself. Of course, she turned to Tepeyac OB/GYN, now a well-established office that has faithfully served women and babies for more than 25 years!
In His Own Words