Anti-Abortion GOP Lawmaker’s Wife Goes Public About Own Abortion As A Teen

Stephanie Chatfield, the wife of anti-abortion Michigan state Rep. Lee Chatfield (R), is speaking out about her own experience with the procedure after receiving threats from people warning they’d expose her.

“Your desire to see this story go public emboldened me to do something that I should have done years ago,” Chatfield wrote in a Facebook post published last Friday. “And no matter the intentions of anybody wishing to see this story go public, this I am certain of: God meant it for good and will glorify Himself through this.”

The post was titled “Be Pro-Life—But offer help to women in need.”

Chatfield recounted her experience of being “taken advantage of” while intoxicated at a high school party and deciding to get an abortion after learning she was pregnant three weeks later. She called her choice “the worst of my life.”

“To tell you the truth, I desperately wish that I had the courage as a teenage girl to accept and welcome my child into this world,” Chatfield wrote. “I wish that I had the same amount of courage that it’s taking me to share my story now. But I didn’t, and I made a decision that I’ve thought about and regretted nearly every day since. It’s haunted me. It’s made me weep. It’s made it difficult to look in the mirror at times. I knew that what I did was wrong at the time, but I never imagined the weight and guilt that I would carry as a consequence.”

Chatfield’s husband, who is currently up for re-election, is a stalwart opponent of abortion who voted to defund Planned Parenthood for providing the procedure. In introducing his wife’s remarks, which were posted on his public Facebook page, Lee Chatfield said he was “extremely proud” of his wife for “her courage.”

Representatives for the Michigan State Police and Michigan House Republicans had no plans to investigate the alleged threats against the Chatfields, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Lee Chatfield’s two opponents, Republican Kathy Twardy and Democrat Phil Bellfy, denied to the AP that they were involved with the alleged threats.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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