Sunday, August 13, 2006

Missives from Grove, Part 1

Goddess O'Universe and I have just landed in small, sleepy and dusty town called Grove. This is the town where Dr. William Jenning Bryan Henrie had his medical practice. He delivered everyone in this town over 44 and in this same town, with 18 religious denominations, he performed 5,000 abortions. I have written before about Dr. Henrie here, here, here and here.

We are scheduled to interview a number of people who knew Dr. Henrie: former patients, the mayor, fellow physicians, friends and family. We don't yet know what sort of portrait of this man will emerge. I imagine we will hear all sorts of interesting stories and hear from folks who were outraged with what Dr. Henrie did. The process of recovering the history of this man is rather thrilling and has taken me to some places I never expected to visit. When I was talking to a reporter from Grove, she warned me that I would be a "fish out of water" here. So far, that seems about right. But, I am all the more intrigued by this story now that I see the town in which Dr. Henrie practiced. This is really the last place on earth that you would imagine to house a pre-Roe abortion doctor.

As I have mentioned before, the entire town threw him a picnic before he left for his jail sentence. What is also fascinating about this man is that he originally set out to be a minister. How one moves from being a minister to an abortion doctor is a hell of story and I hope to get a better sense of his path.

Stay tuned for my missives from Grove coming at you all this week.

If you have found this post because you googled Dr. Henrie's name and you knew him and have some stories to tell, please, please email me at