Niece of civil rights leader tells her story

Stacy Davis

Publication Date: October 19, 2012

TRUMBULL -- Unborn babies are the most vulnerable of all people, and their rights must be protected, said Eileen Sprain, of Shelton.

"We are the voices of these children," she said holding her wooden rosary beads. "We need to stand up for them."

Sprain was one of the 100 or so people who went to listen to Alveda King, an anti-abortion speaker and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at Theresa Parish in Trumbull Thursday night.

Alveda King considers her anti-abortion message a continuation of the Civil Rights Movement that her uncle helped lead in the 1950s and 1960s.

"How can `The Dream' survive if we murder the children?" she asked.

The Rev. Brian Gannon said Alveda King, of Atlanta, was invited to his church to speak during Respect Life Month, an annual observance held by the Catholic Church in October.

King, a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, told the crowd about the two abortions she had as a young adult, one of which was done during an examination.

"I didn't ask for that one," she said.

Most women who have abortions feel pressure to do so, said Kerry Ryan, 32, of Norwalk, who works in a group home with pregnant women. "I've never seen a woman that's joyfully gone into an abortion."

After her abortion, King said, "nice doctors" referred her to Planned Parenthood, for birth control.

"They were supposed to be my friends, but everything was making me sick," she said.

She said the birth control pills and IUDs eventually caused her to have a miscarriage and irregular pap smear.

When King became pregnant for a third time, her husband at the time and her grandfather, Martin Luther King Sr., convinced her to keep her baby.

"That's not a lump of flesh, that's my great-grand child," Martin Luther King, Sr. told her, she said.

Since then, King said, she has become a born-again Christian, repented for her abortions and forgiven the doctors who performed them. Now she goes around the country and urges other women to consider natural family planning so they won't have to have abortions like she did.

The babies that are aborted could be the next Alveda King, said s[ectator Kerry Ryan.; 203-330-6285;;

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