Former abortion center operator Eric Harrah

A "Retired" Abortionist: Update

by Jay Johansen
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In an earlier article, we discussed Eric Harrah, an abortionist who was converted to Christianity, became pro-life, and walked away from his abortion business. According to a story in World magazine, September 2, 2000, Mr Harrah has now largely renounced his conversion to Christianity and is again a practicing homosexual. He at least remains pro-life.

World writer Lynn Vincent blames his backsliding on being moved too quickly into a very visible position as a spokesman of the pro-life movement. Harrah was made a leader and speaker with very little preparation or even time to think out his new position.

Within two weeks of his conversion Mr Harrah was giving pro-life speeches. He proved to be very effective at bringing in contributions for pro-life causes. For example, at the Ontario, California Crisis Pregnancy Center, a banquet featuring a speech by Mr Harrah brought in $56,000. The most the CPC had ever raised at a banquet before was $12,000.

But, Mr Harrah says, "I felt exploited and I felt used. I called myself their 'private dancer', you know, like the Tina Turner song: 'dancer for money, do what you want me to do'. Nobody gave a darn how I was. Nobody asked me how I was doing spiritually ... they just wanted me to stand up and talk bad about the abortion industry."

His behaviour quickly became unstable. He apparently returned to drug use, and on at least three occasions accepted money to speak at a pro-life event and then never showed up. He apparently had some wild mood swings, from being sweet and gentle and apparently happy to breaking down in tears to wild rages and shouting.

He now says that "within two to three months after my conversion, I was over it", and that Christian statements he made in numerous speeches, television programs, etc were all a sham. It's difficult to know whether he was faking it all then or if he's re-writing his experience now.

Vincent's theory is certainly plausible. When Norma McCorvey converted, the Christians around her tried to keep her sheltered from the media and publicity as long as possible so that she could think out her new faith and life.

It is, surely, not surprising that Mr Harrah could not escape his difficult past overnight. Christ can have a powerful influence on a person's life, but he is not going to change someone without his consent. Some people do truly change the instant of conversion, but most, I think, take some time to think out all the implications, to examine all the areas of their life, and to break a lifetime of bad habits. The pro-life movement had some unrealistic expectations of Mr Harrah, and took a long time to realize that he wasn't living up to them.

Pray for Eric Harrah.

Written 6 Sep 2000.

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