Dr. Imre Teglasy’s life dispels the myth of “my body, my choice.”
Born in 1952 in communist Hungary, Teglasy survived multiple abortion attempts on his life. Today, he is a dedicated pro-life advocate who has helped to save tens of thousands of unborn babies from abortion.
Teglasy was one of 14 abortion survivors featured in the new Faces of Choice video campaign. He recently spoke with LifeNews about his miraculous survival, his relationship with his mother and his pro-life ministry in Hungary.
His parents’ circumstances were extremely difficult in 1951 when he was conceived. Teglasy said his father had been a major in the Hungarian army during World War II, but when the communists took over, he was declared an enemy.
Teglasy said his father, mother and older brothers were removed from Budapest and forced to resettle in a poor, rural area in northern Hungary. His father struggled to find work, and the family nearly starved.
“While in this sad plight, my mother realized she was pregnant. My father did not favor the abortion, but my mother did not want to carry me to term,” he said.
Desperate, his mother tried to find a doctor willing to abort him, but abortions would not become legal until five years later. Teglasy said she tried to throw herself against a desk, took hot baths and eventually took quinine pills to attempt to induce labor. Nothing worked, and, in 1952, he was born.
The relationship between mother and son was strained, though Teglasy did not know why for many years.
“When I was a little boy of 3 years old, I kept looking for my ‘real’ mother since I could not accept … that she was my mother,” he said.
He remembered how his godmother treated him with more love and care than his birth mother did.
“As a child, I could not ask her about the strange relationship we had because I simply did not know about her abortion attempts,” he said.
Then, one day when he was about 12 years old, he accidentally overheard his father talking to a relative about the abortion attempts, Teglasy said. It was not until his mother was on her death bed, decades later, that the two finally reconciled.
“Only then at the end, I felt I could draw close to her,” he told LifeNews. “The experience of reconciliation was so bittersweet … I hope she experienced forgiveness in the sense of knowing herself guilty of serious offenses but throwing herself on God’s mercy.”
In those final moments together, Teglasy said he also realized that he had been wrong to resent his mother. At her bedside, he said he cried and asked God to forgive both of them.
Teglasy believes his life is a “miracle,” and he has dedicated it to helping others in need. He envisions a future where pregnant mothers view their pregnancies “not as burdens or curses but rather as an expecting, joyful and glorious stage of their motherhood.”
Since 1956, more than 6 million unborn babies have been legally aborted in Hungary, but were it not for Teglasy, there could have been many more.
He began working with Human Life International after meeting Father Paul Marx, the founding president of the pro-life organization, in 1992. Four years later, Teglasy formed his own pro-life organization, Alpha Alliance, which has provided support for approximately 43,000 mothers and babies to date.
Of his participation in the new Faces of Choice organization, Teglasy said he was impressed by the talent of young founder Lyric Gillett. Watch him share his story with Faces of Choice here.
“I am truly thankful to her since she, by her brilliant talent, made me and many thousands of good, willing people to understand the deeper dimensions and meaning of our own tragedies,” he said.
Faces of Choice has been helping to shed light on the reality of abortion through the stories of abortion survivors. Despite ultrasounds and other modern medical advances, Teglasy said people are still deceived by the myth of “choice.”
“We live in a time when, in spite of all the highly developed technical advances, abortionists usually turn away the screens of their ultrasound machines to conceal the reality of children before birth from the eyes of their parents,” he said.
“This means that they have fear of admitting that children before birth are real persons and faces of mankind,” he continued.
“We have the mission of encouraging all the modern followers of Doubting Thomas by saying this to them: Open your ears and hearts to the heartbeat of ours,” Teglasy said. “Put your finger on our face. Take our hands and not our lives. Touch the wounds of our bodies and souls. Stop doubting and believe.”