This testimony was originally given at a "Meet the Abortion Providers" workshop sponsored by the Pro-life Action League of Chicago, directed by Joe Scheidler. For more information see http://prolifeaction.org/providers. Priests for Life offers their video, "Inside the Abortion Industry," containing excerpts of the testimonies of many former providers. Order the DVD, "Meet the Abortion Providers" at http://prolifeaction.org/store.
Thank you all for coming.
In 1973, when abortion was legalized, I was married, had an 8 year-old daughter and a 10 year-old son. Two weeks later, with abortion very much in the news and everywhere we turned we were still talking about abortion, I found myself pregnant. When I told my husband, I was excited. But his initial reaction was, you'll just have to have an abortion. Because I really didn't want to deal with that with him, I decided I'd look for someone to help me. I went to my friend, my doctor, and cried out to him, and said, "Harvey, Tom doesn't want me to have this baby." And he said, "Oh, that's easy. You bring Tom's urine in, the pregnancy test will be negative, we'll do the abortion in the hospital, and your insurance will pay for it".
What I'm telling you is that this man offered to do an illegal abortion in the State of Texas and, yes, indeed, we did it. I was looking for someone to tell me not to have the abortion and I ran into an abortion salesman. And that's what happens in our nation today. We're going to talk a lot more about that, but let's go back to my story and what happened to me.
When I woke from that abortion, I picked up the telephone, and literally started working from my hospital bed, not realizing that I was already running from that decision. Within a month I was having an affair, and that had not been one of my patterns prior to that time. Very soon I started drinking; I'd not ever drunk in my life and I would go out and just get drunk once a month. It was almost like on target; once a month I had to do it. Very soon I asked my husband to leave, and then I started seeing a psychiatrist daily.
At the rate of $125.00 an hour, I could not go on with this very long. So I decided to do what I called, "get hold of myself." I changed everything I could in my life, except my children. I got away from the job I'd had; got away from my husband, and decided I would make it on my own. What I'm telling you is the story about how my life went along at a pretty good level for a while, and the moment I had that abortion, it went straight downhill. And I think that's what happens to every woman who has an abortion.
One of the things that I want to impress upon you today is, yes, we do have to save the babies; they're important. But we're saving the mother, and, yes, we're saving the father. My ex-husband has been in counseling all this year trying to deal with this abortion. And we're saving all those family units in our entire nation. We've got a lot of work ahead of us.
When I did get hold of myself, I went to work for a nice Catholic man who had a medical supply business. At about this time abortion became legal in the State of Texas, and very soon we had an account on-line that was very profitable for us. We were making over $1,000 a month profit out of this account. So he decided that he wanted to look into it to see exactly what sort of business they were, and yes, indeed, they were an abortion clinic. So this great Catholic man who told me he never wanted to see an abortion, never wanted to know what an abortion really was, opened his first abortion clinic, and soon he had four. All this time he kept inviting me to join. He kept saying, come over and do this, come over and do that; if you'll go out and sell abortions for me, I'll pay you $10 an abortion, and on and on and on. I kept selling medical supplies, and finally the day came when I needed to make more money, and I went in and said, hey, I'm quitting my job; I want to go with another company. And he said, give me some time; let me come up with something. So, he got me on the fringe of the abortion industry by asking me to go out and set up referral clinics all over Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. And I did that for a while and it was quite profitable. Then one day the call came: Come into the clinic; I need you to work in here for a month.
When I got in the clinic I had to decide whether to get involved in the abortions over here (and I am a scrub tech, so I have been involved in the medical industry for a long time), or if I was going to get involved with the numbers. And since I had that option, I got involved with the numbers. With just a very few small changes, his abortions went from 190-195 per month to over 400 per month. So then he sent me to another clinic. I went to his Fort Worth clinic, and yes, we were soon doubling his abortions over there. The last month I was with him in those two clinics (by then he had split with his partner), he was doing something over 800 abortions a month.
I went in and said, hey, look, I've doubled your business, come on, give me an equity interest in the business. And he politely said no, and I politely scheduled my hysterectomy, the kids teeth being fixed, everything his insurance would pay for, and, by the way, I placed my Yellow Page ad to come out in six months for my own abortion clinic. We opened and the first month we did 45; 65; 85, and the last month I was there, with two clinics functioning in the Dallas area, we did over 500 abortions a month in that clinic. I was compensated at the rate of $25.00 per case, plus one-third of the clinic's, so you can imagine what my motivation was. I sold abortions. I had made $150,000; was on target in 1983 to make about $260,000; and when we opened our five clinics, I would have been taking home about a million dollars a year. I expected to make more than that after we were really functioning.
All of this sounds neat. I had two kids in college, and I was alone and I was making plenty of money. But that money went absolutely nowhere. Taking home that much money a month, I literally couldn't even pay my utilities. What you've got to remember is that this is really one of Satan's strongholds. That money literally ran through my fingers so that my motivation was to do more abortions to make more money, and on and on and on.
That's what I think happens with doctors. A banker called me one time and asked me to go to work for an abortionist there in the Dallas area. He said he was putting $27,000 a month in my bank in his account and he can't pay me back what he owes me. Go to work for him and help me. That's the way it is. These guys just get in there and it goes on and on. With Satan in there, we had problems between the partners, and so if we were going to open these five clinics, I went to our financial advisors and said we've got to get the partners' problems straightened out, let's do it. So he called in a man he told me was a business counselor. This man met with us for an hour each, brought us back together for a fourth hour, and had a paper with six points on it. All six of these points were in my favor, and I thought, boy, I paid you $75.00 an hour long ago when I found you. He told the doctor's live-in girlfriend to get out of the clinic and stay out and to leave me alone. But we had to agree to meet with him for four more weeks, an hour each. On our second visit, I found I couldn't control him. You know, when you're in the world you control people, but I couldn't move him. So I suppose out of desperation I finally asked him the question: Are you a preacher? He said, yes. I said, what in the world are you doing in here? He said, God sent me. I said, wait a minute! I'm a Christian; I have a Bible in my desk; I tithe on all this abortion money, and I want you to know that God has me in here helping women, and God doesn't really talk to people anyway.
So, through a long period of discussions, he told me that indeed God did talk to people. That God had asked him to come into this situation for 30 days, and through much prayer, he and his elders had decided that there was indeed someone in there that the Lord wanted out. And we left in 27 days. Now that's kind of remarkable. But you don't take this lying, cheating, stealing on our income tax woman, and just change her into an angel overnight. And you also don't just walk away from all of this without looking back. So when I started telling people that I was leaving the clinic, they started telling me how crazy I was. They'd say, how are you going to pay your bills? Of course, I did spend it all. I mean, you'll never be able to make this much money; you can't even live on $5,000 a month, and where are you going to make $5,000 anyway?
Then people said, you worked so hard to be here, why? So I literally fell to my knees in that abortion clinic. At this point it was: Lord, if there is a Lord, if this is not where you want me, hit me over the head with a 2 x 4. Now I encourage people not to ask that because He has a 2 x 4, and my 2 x 4 was a report that Channel 4, a television station in our area did. They sent their star reporter, Laura Randall, in, wired for sound. And we so convinced her that she was pregnant and that yes, she needed an abortion, and we had the answer, that when she left there the poor girl was so shaken that she went to another doctor. She was not sure she wasn't pregnant. And she wasn't pregnant. So we had a five-day report wherein Laura Randall, wired for sound, came in the abortion clinic and had our doctor saying, yes, baby, you're pregnant. Come on, let's do this abortion today. You haven't had anything to eat, you've got your money, why would you want to come back tomorrow. Come on, let's do it now. And that was my answer to prayer.
I didn't understand why. I didn't have enough sense to know, but I did know that I had a peace about walking out, and I did know that God did answer prayers. He put me in a wilderness situation for a long time.
I've got to tell you this, and there is no good way to tell it. I have tried a million times. From the abortion clinics, I had a meat market. Now my problem is that I don't very often call it a meat market. You see, I call it a butcher shop. So when I say butcher shop, people think I'm talking about the abortion clinic. But I was involved in the butcher business for several years, I guess. (That wasn't very funny.) Anyway, I did go into this butcher shop and I did stay out there and the Lord worked with me for a very long time. And through the man who washed my windows in the butcher shop, the Right-to-Life came into my life. Through a long period of association with this man who was a seminary student washing my windows, I finally decided that yes, the Lord did want me to speak out, and that I would become involved in this Movement. Now what I do is just go around and tell people the truth about what really happens inside one of the abortion mills.
There are all sorts of experiences with the abortion. I want to walk you through my experiences in an abortion clinic.
Let's just step back. How many of you have children 14 and under? How many of you have seen a number, unsolicited, that you think you could call that said, "Problem Pregnancy," "Abortion Information," or "Pregnant?" in your area where you think you could call for abortion information? Let's talk about those kids when they find out that they are pregnant. They may not want an abortion; they may want information. But when they call that number that's paid for by abortion money, what kind of information do you think they're going to get? Let's remember, they sell abortions. They don't sell keeping the baby. They don't sell giving the baby up for adoption. They don't sell delivering that baby in any form. They only sell abortions.
In the State of Texas, a girl can come in to have an abortion, and the abortion clinics are not required to have parental consent. Most of the abortion clinics in Texas do require it for 14 and under. However, let's paint this picture: The girl comes in, has an abortion, she can sign for it. But when the doctor rips her uterus out and they take her to the hospital, they won't admit her until her parents get there and are told she had this abortion without their consent. And they will not repair the damage or try to save her life until the parents sign on the dotted line. And that happens. It's terrible.
So the girl calls this number and says, I'm pregnant. How far along are you? What's the first day of your last normal period? They've got their wheel there and they figure it out. This counselor is paid to be this girl's friend. She is paid to be the authority for this girl. She is supposed to seduce her into a friendship of sorts to sell her the abortion. Every problem this girl has: I don't want to tell my parents. You don't have to tell your parents. They don't have to know. You're old enough to come in and have it without them knowing. And then the money, and they ask them to go get their money and pay the people back in a year. Then the two questions they ask are: Does it hurt? Oh, no. Your uterus is a muscle, and they hold their hand up if they're seeing them; if not, they tell them over the phone: It's a cramp to open it; a cramp to close it; it's a slight cramping sensation. Everybody's had cramps; every woman in the world. So they think that's no problem. I can stand that; I've been through it before. And then they say: Is it a baby? No, it's a product of conception; it's a blood clot; it's a piece of tissue. They don't even really tell them it's a fetus, because, you see, that almost humanizes it too much. It's never a baby. They can't admit it themselves when they go in the back and have little 6-week fetuses, babies that they put down disposals, and that's how we did it in our clinic. The clinics in Dallas use disposals so none of those crazy Pro-Lifers will come and get them out of the trash anymore and bury them the way they did. So, they lie to her. You know, if you look at abortion from the face, I cannot tell you one thing that happens in an abortion clinic that is not a lie. They tell the counselors, and I told the counselors, not to rock the boat; not to answer any questions that they didn't ask. Get them in here; the faster you can get them in here, the easier it is on them. You concentrate on the woman; you tell them to help her, and you don't deal with the baby at all.
So they get this girl to come in the clinic, and many times they just get her to come in for a pregnancy test, and if that's the case then they greet her at the door and they say, Oh, Linda, I'm so glad you're here. I've been waiting for you. This girl doesn't know they have an appointment book and each counselor has to schedule their appointments an hour apart so she has plenty of time to spend being their "friend" while they're there. She takes them back; she does the pregnancy test; it doesn't really matter. If there's any way they can convince this girl she's pregnant, she's going to be pregnant. But they go through this test anyway. She tells her she's pregnant, and the girl might cry. She may get upset. But they take her into a separate room; they don't want anyone to see anyone crying in there; it's supposed to be a great place; we're supposed to help people in the abortion clinic.
If she has the abortion that day, she goes through one procedure, but if she comes back another day, she just comes in the front door, fills out some forms (very minimal information). Most of the information on that form is name, address, telephone number, and your financial status. So they can find out to what group they need to appeal with their $250,000 per clinic Yellow Page budget.
Then the girl goes back, has some lab work, and then she pays, up-front, for what they have decided the term of pregnancy she is. Cash, Master Card, or Visa--get a Master Card, Visa or American Express. You might consider sending them back because they do charge for abortions, and tell them why you're sending them back. They will accept those charges. Then the girl goes into this room for counseling and they give her a 6 to 12-page form. This form is written by an abortion attorney. Ours was written by one out of New York, and it was written to confuse the girl to death. It had every possible complication of an abortion you could imagine, and it would take [a doctor] two hours with a medical dictionary to go through it. Words two inches long that no one could possibly understand, and it does its job. It confuses her and she doesn't ask any questions. She goes back to the two questions: Does it hurt? Is it a baby? And when you have convinced her again and lied to her again that no, it's not going to hurt, and if she doesn't have her money--in the State of Texas you have to pay extra to be put to sleep--it's an extra $100 to $250, depending on how far you are into the pregnancy.
Then she goes into this holding room, waiting for the abortion. And it depends on the day of the week, of course, as to how many people are in there. Saturday is the big day, but it could be a day in the week when there are only five or six people in there waiting. And soon, if there are 30 or 40, especially, they kind of number each other so they know what order they are going to be going out in. They kind of laugh and joke. And if there is one crying in there, you get that one out. You don't want that one affecting the rest of them.
She is taken back to the procedure room, put on the table, and draped. Her chart is put in the door. Each chart in our clinics was handled with a little coupon on the front. The coupon was for the doctor, because when he walks up to that door for the first time--if you have two or three doctors working, you don't know which one is going to do the abortion--so, they don't collect the doctor's money with the clinic money, they collect it separately and do not show it on any of the records in those clinics. In the four clinics I've been in and worked in, they never showed that they collected the doctor's money at any place. That way, they are independent contractors; you don't have to be concerned with their malpractice insurance, and you don't have to report it to IRS. He collects the coupon, puts it in his scrub suit pocket. At the end of the day he goes up and presents his coupons. This is how many I've done. And each doctor presents them separately. The girl counts the coupons, figures out how much she owes him, and pays him in cash.
As I said earlier, I have seen doctors walk out after three hours work and split $4,500 between them on a Saturday morning. More, if you go longer into the day, of course. The doctor walks in, sees the patient for the very first time, pats her on the leg, says, Hi, baby, how are you? You call them "baby" so you don't have to remember their name. And she says, Oh, I'm scared, or, I'm cold. Never anything positive. And he doesn't really ask her any questions. It's just get the abortion done. If he discovers that she may be farther along than anyone thought she was, they stop right there, collect the money, and then finish the procedure.
If abortion is such a good thing, why don't they give them away? If abortion is such a good thing, why don't they go ahead and do the abortion then, and trust you to pay the extra $200 when they're finished? That's not the way it is. I've never been able to come up with the words to describe the abortion procedure, because, you see, you're educating people about abortion. You know more about it than the average person. However, no matter how bad you think abortion is, there are no words to describe how bad it really is. It kills the baby. And, yes, I've seen sonograms with the baby pulling away from the instruments that are introduced into the vagina. And the woman, the mother, is hurt if she doesn't have the extra money to be put to sleep, and I've seen D&Es through 32 weeks done without the mother being put to sleep. And, yes, they hurt, and they are very painful to the baby. But, yes, they are very, very painful to the woman. I've seen six people hold a woman on the table while they did her abortion.
But, they have the abortion and they go to the recovery room, and then there are two reactions in the recovery room. The first one is: I've killed my baby. And even then, it amazed me that that was the first time they called it a baby and the first time they called it murder. But, you know, as bad as that sounds, that's probably the healthiest reaction. That woman is probably going to have the ability to walk out of there and deal with it, and perhaps be healed and go on.
And now, in Europe, where they've had abortions for much, much longer than we have, there are some authorities in the Netherlands who are alluding to a spiritual healing that women have to go through before they can completely deal with their abortion. So they're getting closer day by day by day. But the second reaction is: I am hungry, you kept me in here for four hours and you told me I'd only be here for two; let me out of here. Now that woman is doing what I did. She's running from her abortion. She's not dealing with it; she's choosing to deny it, and she's the woman that we read all the statistics about, post-abortion syndrome. They say now it's an average of five years before people actually deal with the fact that, yes, they did kill their baby. And yes, they do have to deal with that.
You know, I go back to my own personal healing, which just started a year ago. I was making deals with God. I didn't want to talk about my own abortion. Then when I finally did deal with it, I cried nonstop for five months because, you see, I killed my baby, and I'm still not through that. And how difficult it is for all these women because, you see, I believe that every woman, even if she's not physically harmed, is harmed by abortion.
Then what the recovery room personnel do is resell it. They resell them on their next abortion. They don't say, hey, I'm reselling you so you'll go out and get pregnant and come back. But they make subtle innuendos that say, you know, this isn't going to happen again, but, you know we're always here. And when you leave here you're going to have a couple of days when you won't feel so good. You'll have a couple of days of depression, and that's just your hormones realigning, and everyone who has a baby has postpartum depression, and don't worry about it. And there they are encouraging them to suppress their feelings about that abortion.
So they go through this whole gamut of reselling abortion, encouraging suppression, and say, call us if you have a problem. And the girls leave, and they do have problems.
The girls that walk out of there, though, are the lucky ones. We were seeing over 500 abortions per month; we were doing the only one-day second or third trimester abortion in the state of Texas. (We didn't call it third; we called it second.) Meaning that we didn't use the laminaria. We did all the dilation on that day, and that's why we were seeing such a tremendous number of complications. We saw complications in the second and third trimester, but we were seeing one per 500 abortions for over a year. Yes, we had a death. A 32 year-old woman with a 17 year-old son and a 2 year-old son. Never made the papers. Her boyfriend felt guilty for his part in the abortion and he didn't want to deal with it. Her family thought, yes, she had probably had an abortion, but they didn't want to deal with it. It never came out. No lawsuit.
The 21-year-old that danced in, and I'll never forget her for as long as I live. She was my son's age. Danced in to get her "problem" taken care of. Had the extra money to be put to sleep. And you see, my job with two of those doctors was to put my right hand on the baby and hold it while they did the abortion so I could tell them where the head was and where the legs were, and all of that. And I had my hand on that woman's stomach, and that baby was perfectly inside her uterus; she had been examined by the doctor; and he said, yes, the baby was inside her uterus and everything was fine and she was 24-weeks. And he went in one time, and he pulled out placenta, and he went in the second time and he went through the back of her uterus and pulled her bowel out through her vagina. We put her in the car because we didn't want an ambulance in front of the abortion clinic and we took her to the hospital. Seven doctors worked on her and they did a colostomy on her. When the reports came back, they said that it was an abdominal pregnancy that had not been in the uterus, and seven doctors and a pathologist concurred with that, and then the hospital wrote off her bill, and there was no lawsuit, ever. She was told that had been a normal complication; it was just amazing that she'd made it that long. And she didn't know any better. And then the girl that the doctors decided had a fibroid tumor at the back of her uterus. That's a highly common tumor that's very rarely malignant. And the two doctors decided they were just going to pull this out after she had her abortion, and they didn't know they were pulling on the back of her uterus, and they pulled the uterus out wrong-side-out of a 21- year-old; she had a hysterectomy.
Those are the ones that I remember. Those are the ones that bother me. Those are the ones that I have to go through and deal with and be healed of constantly. Because, you see, it was like the mothers were presenting their babies to be killed. And it was okay to kill 500 babies a month. But when we started killing or maiming a mother for each 500 babies, even I couldn't handle that.
There are two problems that are going on that we might be able to do something with, too. That is, that abortion clinics, if they have someone that does present themselves thinking they're pregnant and of course the test show they're not; that they're going to sell that abortion to that non-pregnant woman. And every time that you are standing in front of an abortion clinic, you are holding a light on inside that clinic. You are holding those people accountable and that day they are less likely to do the woman who is not pregnant because they're scared of you. They think these crazy Pro-Lifers are going to run in, chain themselves to the table. We had seven locks or something from the front door to the back. They are less likely to do that woman who is too far along that day too, because, you see, when the babies are so big they don't come apart like the others. Their muscle structure is strong that the heads come off from the body, and you can't dispose of those in the disposal. You have to put those in the trash. And we used to take ours over to opposition abortion clinics' trash and hope they'd be found there.
But every time you're in front, you're holding that light on. They slow down. An abortionist who brags and thinks he can do eight to ten, maybe even twelve abortions an hour, with a picketer in front of him, will slow down. Do four, six, three, something--but he'll slow down. He's afraid of you.
If there is good medical care inside an abortuary, the day you're standing out there is the day it happens. And you asked me how I feel about what you do? First of all, in Dallas, Texas, we have a guy named Winston Wilder, and thank you, Lord, for Winston. When I finally got over the right side... That's another thing, you don't see the defectors from the Pro-Life side to the abortion side, did you ever notice that? The defection's this way, and there are a lot of them. Winston and I sat down and I gave him all the names, addresses, telephone numbers, business offices (because many times their partners do not even know they do abortions). We had one guy called in from the Bahamas because they suddenly started picketing his office, and his partner didn't know he did abortions in the clinics. At their private homes, many times their wives do not know they do abortions. Many times their mother-in-law doesn't know they're doing abortions. Many times the maid doesn't know they're doing abortions. Their neighbors, of course, rarely know. But that's the most effective thing. Picket them where they live. The clinics, yes, because it is my firm conviction that every day abortion is done and we're not standing in front of the abortion clinic, that we are held accountable. We must be there doing what they say that we should do.
But even more important than that, I believe at their homes and their private clinics where they're going in and being closet abortionists. We do have responsibility; it's pretty clearly laid out to us. I'm just so delighted to meet people who are out there doing it.
Thank God for you'all.