US Senate hopeful Ed Henry says he regrets girlfriend's 1991 abortion, vows to fight Planned Parenthood
A U.S. Senate candidate who expressed regret over the abortion of his first child said he's "disappointed" to see Republicans propose a federal budget that provides funding for Planned Parenthood.
Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, said the budget proposed by GOP leadership provides money for Planned Parenthood but not for a wall along the U.S./Mexico border. The current proposal includes funding for Planned Parenthood through September, though House leaders said they plan to address the issue during the budget reconciliation process.
Henry said that's not enough.
"What is the point of being in power if we can't at least defund an organization that kills hundreds of thousands of unborn children every year? There is no way I could ever vote in good conscience for a federal budget (even a continuing resolution) if it meant funding the senseless death of so many innocent lives," he said. "Republicans ran on defunding Planned Parenthood."
Henry is one of four announced candidates for the U.S. Senate seat. The other is former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who was appointed to the post by then- Governor Robert Bentley in February after Sen. Jeff Sessions was named to lead the U.S Justice Department.
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is also running for the Senate seat. Moore resigned from his court post at the end of April after being suspended for violating judicial ethics in relation to his defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court's order legalizing same-sex marriage.
Randy Brinson, former state chair of the Christian Coalition, is also seeking the Senate seat.
'Significant scar on my soul'
Henry's tenure in the Alabama Legislature has included support of pro-life measures. In 2012, he addressed that support, telling those gathered for an anti-abortion rally in Montgomery that he once accompanied his pregnant girlfriend to have an abortion.
"In '91 I was in a similar situation where I had a girlfriend who was with child and I made a decision that I will regret -- that we went and I murdered my child, my first child," Henry told the crowd. He said the impact of that decision hit him eight years later when he was 30 and his wife was 12 weeks pregnant with their daughter.
"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. "It should not be this easy for our children to kill their children."
While Henry says he doesn't dwell on the abortion, he regrets the decision to this day.
"All of your experiences are cumulative of who you are but that is a very significant scar that I have on my soul," he told AL.com this week.