By Ben Johnson
Life Site News
Film lovers mourned the loss of Gene Wilder, the star of “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Young Frankenstein,” after his death on Monday at age 83. Wilder had three known brushes with abortion during his lifetime: Once it kept him from conceiving a child. Another time it claimed the life of his child. Wilder also said he survived a deadly disease due to a stem cell treatment – but not the embryonic kind.
Gilda Rader’s Hidden Abortion Pain
The nation had seen the funny man grieve openly over the loss of his wife, “Saturday Night Live” founding cast member Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer on May 20, 1989.
Radner wept privately over the fact that she would never have Wilder’s baby – an infertility she blamed on abortion.
Radner wrote in her autobiography, It's Always Something:
"I had been pregnant in the sixties, and at nineteen years old had an illegal abortion that probably influenced the messy state of my reproductive organs. For the next nineteen years, my priority was to finish my education and pursue my career. Now I couldn’t take my fate: You’ll never have a baby. That was the sentence handed to me. I began to beat my fists against a door that maybe I had locked on the other side."
The Mayo Clinic acknowledges that abortion can harm the cervix to the point that conception is difficult or impossible.
Radner desperately wanted a child, more so than Wilder, and the couple tried unsuccessfully to conceive through IVF.
Women who have had an abortion have a higher need for and rate of fertility treatments, according to a study by researchers from Tel Aviv University, which was published in Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.
Instead, Radner treated her dog as a child. “Sparkle was my baby,” she wrote, explaining why she stayed in the United States rather than accompany Wilder to the UK, where Sparkle was forbidden entry.
Wilder’s first film after Radner’s death, 1990’s semi-autobiographical “Funny About Love” (directed by Leonard Nimoy and co-starring Christine Lahti), centered around a couple’s struggle to conceive.