By Dave Andrusko
I know many women who have overcome many hurtles in order to summon up the courage to talk about their abortions. Their bravery is a lesson to all of us just how devastating the decision to abort can be and how much self-inflicting pain this so often represents.
I do not know nearly as many men who have come to terms with their own role in an abortion. But the “testimony” of those I have talked about this in depth are compelling.
I was not in Montgomery, Alabama, last week to hear pro-life state Rep. Ed Henry talk about his own involvement in an abortion some 20 years ago at a pro-life rally . But I have read some news accounts in which Henry bluntly says, “I murdered my first child,” referring to the baby his girlfriend at the time aborted.
According to reporter May Sell, it was this experience “and regret years later that have made him an anti-abortion advocate.” Henry said that although they made the decision together–“There was discussion and talk about it,” he added that he places most of the responsibility on himself–”I do feel a heavy burden from the decision.”
Henry has not kept the abortion a secret, according to Sell. “I have not hidden this, it just has not been publicly expressed,” Henry said. “I’ve shared my testimony in church several times.” His opponent in the Republican primary knew about the abortion, but did not raise the issue. Sell reports that Henry (a freshman) said he was only asked specifically once about abortion during the campaign—by a group of high school students to whom he told his story.
When did the impact of the abortion hit Henry? At age 30 when his wife, 12 weeks pregnant with their daughter, went in for a medical exam.
“I saw that ultrasound of my baby, my child, and it came down on me like a ton of bricks that I had murdered my first child. And I will carry that with me to my grave,” he said at the rally.
Immediately after the rally Henry declined to discuss his speech but did issue a statement. He said,
“Sharing my story was not meant to draw attention to myself, but if hearing it can help one couple or one woman reconsider having an abortion and taking innocent life, then some good may finally come from a tragic event in my past.”
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