What I Saw in the Abortion Industry
CAROL EVERETT SPEAKS ON THE ABORTION INDUSTRY
Carol Everett was involved in the abortion industry in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, area from 1977 until 1983. As director of four clinics, owner of two, Ms. Everett was responsible for the clinics' daily operation as well as all employee training programs. Everett, who had an abortion soon after it became legal in 1973, now speaks out on "What I Saw in the Abortion Industry."
Q. WHAT LED YOU TO BECOME INVOLVED IN THE ABORTION INDUSTRY? A. I was searching, attempting to justify my own abortion. I finally evolved into a job working for a man who eventually owned four abortion clinics. Soon, with just a few marketing changes, his business more than doubled. Each time I sold an abortion, I justified my own.
I watched my employer's income go from $25,000 to $125,000 a year in two clinics. I wanted part of that money earned in direct response to my efforts. So I marched into his office and said, "I have more than doubled your business - I want an equity interest." And he politely said, "No." I placed a yellow page advertisment for my own abortion clinic which would open in six months (when the yellow pages came out).
Q. WHY DO YOU REFER TO IT AS AN ABORTION "INDUSTRY"? A. It is the largest uncontrolled industry in our nation. Most of the clinics are run in chains because it is so profitable. Where else can someone like me make $150,000, much less a quarter of a million a year?
I made $25 for each abortion, so I knew exactly how many we did. The last month I was involved, 545 abortions equaled $13,625 in my pocket.
I have seen three doctors split $4,500 for three hours work. I suppose it is much more now, but that was not bad for three hours work on a Saturday morning.
Q. DID YOU OPERATE THE CLINIC SEVEN DAYS A WEEK? A. Yes. Sunday was our most profitable day. Most women want to get in and get out quickly. They know abortion is wrong, and especially on Sunday, so they hurry through. The women don't ask questions on Sunday. You can work with a skeleton staff because the women who come in for an abortion on Sunday mean business. We would do 15 to 20 (abortions) on Sunday in two to three hours! While everybody else was in church, we were doing abortions!
Q. WHAT DID IT COST TO HAVE AN ABORTION? A. Then it was $185 to $1,250 for a second or third trimester abortion. The price was based on the number of weeks into the pregnancy. Twelve weeks and under was $185 and 13 to 14 weeks was $250, and 14 to 15 weeks was $375. The $1,250 was the top of the line - general anesthesia, second or third trimester abortion. Abortions can be performed with oral medication or, if you have the money, with general anesthesia. It's not free!
Q. WOULD ABORTION CLINICS TURN AWAY WOMEN WHO COULDN'T PAY THE FULL PRICE? A. When I was still in the abortion industry, an 18-year-old women wanted an abortion but only had $50. She was 18 to 19 weeks pregnant, which meant the total abortion price would be $450. She went to several abortion clinics in Dallas. Not one of the clinics she approached would give her a free abortion, so she went to a "back-alley" abortionist who was supposed to be out of business, had her abortion, and died!
Q. HOW DID YOU ADVERTISE YOUR CLINICS? A. We spent roughly $350,000 annually on advertising - $250,000 in yellow page advertising, $50,000 in newspaper advertising, and the balance in direct-mail with coupons. Research your market, and advertise where the consumer will see it.
We used the coupon method of tracking the effectiveness. At one time we had so many coupons available that if a woman had brought them all in, we would have had to pay her to have an abortion! That's how bad it was.
Q. WHAT TYPES OF COUNSELING WAS OFFERED AT THE CLINICS? A. In the clinics I was involved with, we didn't do any real counseling. We answered only the questions the woman asked and tried not to "rock the boat". We did not discuss any alternatives to abortion unless the woman forced us to. Each woman asks two questions. "Is it a baby?" "No, it is a product of conception (blood clot or glob of tissue)." "Will it hurt?" "No, you will feel a slight cramping sensation." Most women have had the cramps and have lived through them, so the woman thinks the procedure must not be too painful, however, an abortion is excruciatingly painful!
The counselor does try to determine the reason this woman wants the abortion. Not so much to help as to use fear to reinforce the abortion decision.
Q. WAS THERE ANY FOLLOW-UP COUNSELING? A. We told them it would be available, however, we used some techniques in the recovery room to discourage further contact except for future abortions. We told them, "In about seven to ten days you are going to feel depressed for a couple of days. Don't worry about that. When a woman has a baby, she has a couple of days of postpartum depression. You will have that, too. It's just your body figuring out that you are not pregnant, and your hormones are realigning." So when the woman starts to deal with the reality that "I killed my baby", she thinks it is normal because of the hormone activity. She is encouraged to repress these natural feelings.
Yet, a 13-year-old girl came in for a two-week check-up. The check-up is not as much to check them, as it is to be sure you didn't miss a pregnancy. She didn't come out of the room for a long period of time. She was slitting her wrists.
Q. WHAT METHOD OF ABORTION DID YOUR CLINIC USE? A. For the most part, the abortion industry stopped using the saline and prostaglandin procedures because of the number of live births. A live birth means you have to let the baby die, or dipose of it in some distasteful way. Most second and third trimester abortionists use the D & E (dilation and evacuation) method. The abortionist uses a large forceps to crush the baby inside the mother's uterus and remove it in pieces. The side effects of live birth and the mother going through labor are avoided. But it is a horrible procedure in which the baby must be re-constructed outside the uterus to be certain all the parts have been removed!
Q. HOW DID YOU DISPOSE OF AN ABORTED BABY? A. In our clinics, we put them down the garbage disposal. We used the heavy duty model. Some second and third trimester babies' muscle structure is so strong that the baby will not come apart, so they must be disposed of through trash receptables.
Q. ARE YOU AWARE OF ABORTIONS ON WOMEN WHO WERE NOT PREGNANT? A. Yes. The women who is not pregnant, or the one who is too far advanced in her pregnancy, may see the doctor before the abortion procedure. A sonogram is performed, locating a clear view of the uterus. A uterus will show up pregnant or not. The sonogram screen is locked in place and the doctor or technician points out the uterus to the woman. "See, you are pregnant." This woman who does not routinely read sonograms accepts the opinion of the expert and buys an abortion she does not need!
Q. WHAT WAS THE YOUNGEST GIRL WHO YOU SAW COME INTO YOUR CLINIC TO OBTAIN AN ABORTION? A. The youngest girl I ever saw was eleven years old. The youngest I have heard of was nine years old. By the same token, a crisis pregnancy center in our area counseled a ten-year-old who delivered a healthy baby.
Q. WHAT WAS THE LATEST STAGE OF PREGNANCY WHERE AN ABORTION TOOK PLACE? A. The largest baby I ever saw aborted was thirty-two weeks.
Q. PEOPLE HEAR THAT HAVING AN ABORTION IS A SAFE EXPERIENCE. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE COMPLICATIONS YOU SAW WOMEN HAVE IN YOUR CLINICS? A. We were doing a one-day traumatic dialation, which has a higher rate of complication. We were completing over 500 abortions monthly and killing or maiming one woman out of 500.
Common complications that take place are perforations or tears in the uterus. Many of those result in hysterectomy. The doctor might cut or harm the urinary tract, which then requires surgical repair. A complication that is rarely publicized is the one in which the doctor perforates the uterus and pulls the bowel through the vagina, resulting in colostomy. Some of those can be reversed, some must live with the colostomy for the remainder of their lives.
Q. HOW DOES AN ABORTION CLINIC GET AROUND THE DEATHS THAT TAKE PLACE DURING AN ABORTION? A. The abortion clinics never accept any resposibility for complications. They just say it was not their fault. The concern is not the patient at this time. The concern is with taking care of the doctor and keeping his reputation and the clinic's clean.
You must have built-in cover-up with the patient's family. They are dealing with their guilt and emotions over the situation and do not want to deal with the added pressure of exposing the truth through the media.
Q. WERE YOUR CLINICS TYPICAL OF OTHER CLINICS AROUND THE COUNTRY? A. Yes. Many of the clinics were chains and had the same kind of problems. We became friends with the people who managed and owned these chains. We became very close knit, and found excuses to get together because they had to deal with the same problems you were dealing with. For example, "How are you covering up a death?" I couldn't ask anybody on the street that!
Q. WHAT LED TO YOUR GETTING OUT OF THE ABORTION INDUSTRY? A. It was definitely a religious conversion. As I travel and I talk to post-abortive women, I have yet to meet a women who is healed of her abortion experience without knowing our Lord Jesus Christ personally.
It was a painful transition, but God sent me such incredibly good people who have stood by me and discipled me all these years.
Q. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CLINICS? A. I initially sold them; however the buyers only made a couple of payments. I filed lawsuit. The suit was settled out of court, and the proceeds went to a pro-life fund used to help women with problem pregnancies.
Q. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WOMEN CONTEMPLATING HAVING AN ABORTION? A. First, help her identify the changes her body is making to accommodate the pregnancy. Encourage her to think of the baby as a real person. Talk to her about which sex she would like the baby to be.
Find the problem. Usually only one thing is in the way of her continuing the pregnancy. Most commonly the fear is of the discovery of her sexual activity. We must step in to stand beside her to help her, whatever the need. You must be as good as the abortion salespeople, except you have the truth on your side. Share all her alternatives. Carol Everett Greater Dallas Right to Life P.O. Box 810717 Dallas, TX 75381