Business is Business
About the Guest
Beauty, brains, money . . . suicide? Carol seemed to have it all. What could lead her to try to take her life? Carol Everett, author of Blood Money, talks about the abortion clinics she ran and her own abortion experience.
Beauty, brains, money . . . suicide?
Business is Business
Carol: Nothing worked in my life. I was miserable, I found myself at a psychiatrist's every day. I was trying to find something that worked, and I finally found one thing that did.
Bob: What Carol found was a new job opportunity – working in the abortion industry selling abortions.
Carol: I was paid $25 for each procedure, and every time I sold another woman a pregnancy termination, in some sick, twisted way, if that woman was okay, perhaps I was okay.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Thursday, January 29th. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We'll hear from Carol Everett today about how her life went from being a mess to being made whole. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us on the Thursday edition. We are going to spend some time hearing from Carol Everett on today's program, Dennis, but before we get into that, this is Day 25 of our 40-day Love Dare that we've been going through together this month, taken from the book, "The Love Dare," that was featured in the movie, "Fireproof," which is now out on DVD, and today's Love Dare assignment centers on the issue of forgiveness.
2 Corinthians, chapter 2, verse 10 says, "What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did, for your sakes, in the presence of Christ." And I've heard you say many times, you've quoted Ruth Graham, Billy Graham's wife, who said that a great marriage is the union of two great forgivers.
So your assignment today, if you are following along in the Love Dare with us, your assignment is whatever you haven't forgiven in your spouse, you need to forgive it today, you need to let it go, just as we pray to Jesus and say, "Forgive us our debts each day," we need to ask Him to help us forgive our debtors each day as well.
The lack of forgiveness has been keeping many husbands and wives in prison too long. So today you need to say from your heart, "I choose to forgive," and there is more on the subject of forgiveness in the book, "The Love Dare," which we have in our FamilyLife Resource Center. You can request a copy by going online at FamilyLifeToday.com. There is also information about the DVD, which is available from us as well. FamilyLifeToday.com is our website, and we have posted today's Love Dare assignment on the Web as well, and we hope you'll continue with us all the way up to Valentine's Day in the 40-day Love Dare.
Now, we're going to talk about abortion on today's program, and I was thinking about this – back when I was in college and in high school in the '70s, I think most of us had a perspective on abortion that it's a terrible thing, and you wouldn't want to have your sister have to have one or your wife ever to need one, but I think most of us thought I guess it needs to be there for those folks who are really in trouble and really need one.
Dennis: This was when you were younger?
Bob: This is – yeah, this was college age, and abortion was now legal, and everybody was asking, "What do you think?"
Dennis: Now, were you going to church at that time?
Bob: I was going to church. I was part of a local church, and I don't remember it being talked about until one Sunday night Mary Ann and I went to a film series, Francis Schaffer's film series, "How Shall We Then Live?" And I think it was the first film in the series that ended with a scene where Schaffer was on a shore, on a beach, and all over the beach were little baby dolls just washed up on the shore, just thousands of them.
We walked out of that movie that night, and we looked at each other and said, "You know, I've never really thought about this issue this way before," and that was a turning point in our thinking about the whole issue of abortion to where we came back and said, "This is an issue that is on the heart of God. We've got to consider it more deeply than we have before, and we want our heart to be God's heart on this issue."
I think that was the turning point in our own life to where we became strongly pro-life.
Dennis: I don't think I became strongly pro-life until we adopted.
Bob: That was the point where the issue became a reality for you?
Dennis: You know, Bob, honestly, when you're the recipient of life because a birth mother cared enough for her child to be able to give it that gift and then love that little girl enough to give her a forever family, boy, that moves it to a whole other level. And I believe I was pro-life before, but I think that receiving a child, an adopted child, I think that made us even moreso.
I know today that looking back now more than 30 years at Roe v. Wade, the Christian community needs to evaluate how we have gone about opposing the Supreme Court's ruling. I came to you, and I said, "You know, I want to talk with a key leader in this movement about this subject," and we ran across Carol Everett's book, "Blood Money," and we invited her to join us, and Carol was with us yesterday, and I welcome you back, Carol. Welcome back to FamilyLife Today.
Carol: It's good to be with you.
Dennis: Carol is the CEO and founder of The Heidi Group headquartered near Austin, Texas. It is – well, share with our listeners what The Heidi Group is all about.
Carol: The Heidi Group serves the servants in the pregnancy centers, the crisis pregnancy centers, the women's resource centers, of our nation – those helping girls and women in unplanned pregnancies all the way through and beyond. The Heidi Group offers strategic planning, fundraising, and we have an e-learning site so that these centers can train their volunteers, train their staff, certify them through Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and our goal is to serve them so they can better serve the women at no cost.
Bob: We've got a link to your website on our website at FamilyLifeToday.com if listeners would like more information. You really see these centers as key players in the strategy for responding rightly to what's going on in our nation, right?
Carol: Yes, we have 3,500 pregnancy centers across our nation that have seen approximately 2 million women, and depending on the center, 10 percent to 30 percent come to Christ, and from 90 to 98 percent of those women choose life for their babies. We do have some hills to climb. There are about 5 million women who need to be seen, and we need to find outreaches to those women.
Bob: Carol, you told us yesterday that when you were 28 years old, just a few weeks after Roe v. Wade had been declared by the Supreme Court, you had an abortion. You were a married mother of two, your husband didn't want you to have the baby. In fact, he insisted that you terminate the pregnancy, and you did. That began a spiral in your life that was a downward spiral, didn't it?
Carol: Yes. Nothing worked in my life. I was miserable, I found myself at a psychiatrist's every day. I was trying to find something that worked, and I finally found one thing that did. Every time I sold another woman a pregnancy termination, in some sick, twisted way, if that woman was okay perhaps I was okay.
Bob: Now, had you gone to work for an abortion provider? What were you doing?
Carol: Actually, I worked for a man who was selling medical supplies. That was back when women were just getting into sales. I was the first woman in medical supply sales in Dallas, Texas, and I worked for a man who saw an account come online, checked it out, it was an abortion clinic, and he opened four. So he paid me a $25 commission for sending clients to his clinics.
Dennis: And how did you get these clients? I mean, the contact in the first place?
Carol: I was calling on doctors – so doctors would – I'd just tell the doctor, "I have a place to send women if you need a referral," they would give it to me, and I would send them in.
Dennis: This is an industry that was spiraling out of control, growing rapidly. You jumped in and helped start – and actually formed a partnership with a physician?
Carol: With the man who did my pregnancy termination.
Bob: So from being paid a finder's fee, like you were doing initially, you actually became more entrepreneurial, and you said, at some level, this was cathartic for you, this was kind of covering over some of the guilt and depress you were feeling?
Carol: Yes, it was. And I evolved into working on a daily basis in the clinic before I started my own clinic. And I found, very quickly, we could change our sales techniques on the telephone, and that's what they were – overcoming every objection with "pregnancy termination is the answer." We more than doubled the business for the man I worked for who wouldn't share that money with me. So I took his best provider, my own doctor, the one who did my own termination, and we started our own clinic.
Bob: Now, what had happened to your marriage at this point? Were you still married?
Carol: No, we were a statistic – 75 percent of relationships that conceive a baby who is terminated, break up 90 days after the procedure, as my marriage did.
Dennis: Seventy-five percent ended in divorce or they split up if there is an abortion.
Carol: Within 90 days.
Bob: So the girl who was hearing from her boyfriend, from her husband, "We need to do this for our relationship," the statistics are …
Dennis: "It isn't going to work."
Bob: It's going to destroy your relationship, and you've got three months left.
Carol: If that long.
Dennis: So – you are now divorced, dependent upon some kind of income to really provide for your two children, and you forged this partnership?
Carol: Yes. The doctor, his live-in girlfriend, and I were one-third owners of Dallas Medical Ladies' Clinic. But my goal was to be a millionaire and, of course, 40,000 terminations would make me a millionaire at $25. It's the largest unregulated legal industry in our nation today.
Bob: Did you have any second thoughts about what you were doing?
Carol: When we killed a woman, I had second thoughts about what we were doing. She was 32 years old and a beautiful woman. She came in on a Wednesday night for her procedure, and she was farther along than she thought, too far along, and didn't have enough money. And so she was checked in the back, and I took her up front to talk to her. I told her how much more money she needed and gave her a 10 percent coupon for 10 percent off her termination.
And she came back on Friday night, we put her on the table, and my job, with two of the doctors, was to hold the baby still. You literally hold the baby and tell him where the baby's body parts are, and she bled a lot, but, obviously, that was normal with a second trimester termination, and put her in recovery, and I was cleaning up, balancing the books and working up front, and the doctor came up front, took me back, and I always knew when something was wrong, because he had a way of putting his hand on my shoulder, and he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "She's been bleeding, she's passed a clot. She'll be all right," and when we turned the corner, I'd never seen that much blood – ever.
He explained to me that he had instructed the nurse to call him if there were any problems, and he left. And …
Dennis: Was she in shock at that point?
Carol: Not yet. She was still awake, and her blood pressure was very low, and I tried to call him. I knew that he had made the comment, "The margaritas were waiting." I tried to call him, tried to reach him, couldn't reach him. We put her in a wheelchair, we took her out to the car with the promise that they would call if anything happened.
And so at 3:00 in the morning, they called Harvey. They didn't get me, they got Harvey, and Harvey knew nothing of the history because he did not return my phone calls. He told her boyfriend to put her in a tub of water. And what happens when you put a woman in a tub of water in that situation is that uterus opens up, and all the blood runs out and, at this point, all the blood in her body ran out. She had bled out before that, and at 6:00 that morning she was dead.
And I was devastated. This woman had a 16-year-old and a two-year-old, and we killed her. I mean, that's exactly what I thought. And I thought the authorities would rush in. They took her to a hospital, they knew she died. Surely someone was going to come in and stop us, and no one came.
Dennis: There were no lawsuits?
Carol: No, her family didn't want the truth coming forth about what had happened to her. The autopsy notes were changed, and nobody said, "You killed a woman." It didn't make the newspapers, the woman didn't even have an obituary. And the doors were open the next morning, and we were doing procedures again.
Bob: And when a woman came through the door the next morning and said, "I'm here for my abortion," and you were there, were you thinking, "Are we going to lose another one?"
Carol: I remember sitting in a chair that day, and my staff wondered what was wrong with me, but one of the things you do if you have problem is you don't let your staff see. You don't want them to know there was a problem. And I just remember sitting in that chair watching those women go through thinking, "You know, the police are going to pull up any minute." And no one came.
Dennis: You went on to do something that – I'm sorry, I just couldn't imagine that you did this, but your 14-year-old daughter needed to earn some money. And so you invited her into your business to work at the abortion clinic, right?
Carol: Yes. And let me say, before we get started, I'm still paying the price for that. The effects of that are still evident in her life at 39. She wanted to please me so badly.
She was the best salesperson I'd ever had. She has a natural instinct, and …
Dennis: Now, you're speaking at a sales meeting talking young girls into coming in …
Carol: And bringing their money so they could kill their babies, and my daughter did it. And she did it until I left. She would never go in the back where they did the procedures, but she saw a lot.
One day I took her with me – what happened was, we started maiming one woman a month to the point of major surgery – hysterectomy, colostomy, major life-changing surgery and then, of course, Sherry died. And there was a 22-year-old model who danced in, jumped up on the table, everything was fine, and I had my hand on that baby, holding that baby, and the doctor went in one time with the forceps, and he pulled out placenta, which is normal, and the next time he pulled out omentum, the lining of the intestine.
He had perforated her uterus somehow, and pulled the intestine through …
Bob: … the uterine wall.
Carol: Yes. Now, we have a 22-weeker there, the baby is still alive, and you can't go on. You were through. You cannot risk killing that woman on that table. You can't take that baby's life, so we had to transport her to a hospital, and I asked Kelly to go with me, I asked my daughter to go with me to hold the IV.
And what I saw in my daughter's eyes that day when she looked at me, not when she looked at that girl – when she looked at me to see her mother responsible for killing babies and women, I wish I could forget that look in Kelly's eyes, but it's there.
Dennis: She was how old at the time?
Carol: Seventeen, almost 18.
Bob: Obviously, in the years since then, you and Kelly have talked about this a lot.
Carol: We've gone through a lot on this.
Bob: What's her thinking today about what her mom was involved with, about what she was involved with and about where you are today?
Carol: My children strongly support what I do. I got an e-mail from my son yesterday telling me that he was proud of what I do, and Kelly has probably, without question, been my strongest supporter.
Dennis: Oh, really?
Carol: She went on to live her life, and got very busy, and I know has struggled with this. For instance, she had a two-year period of infertility, and I know that she had to question – because even though I knew better, I was saying, "Lord, Lord, is this what I must endure?" And then when a friend of hers had a Down syndrome baby, Kelly struggled greatly and became very angry at this woman for even contemplating a termination.
Bob: You know, I have to wonder how many husbands and wives are dealing with conflict in their marriage, and they don't know what the source of it is – how many women today wonder why they feel depressed, and they don't have any sense of where that's coming from. I have to wonder what the hidden legacy of abortion over the last 30 years has been in families.
Dennis: And in the next generation. I'm sitting here listening to this, Carol, and listening to your story, and I'm thinking there is only One who forgives sin. I mean, how could anyone ever come to the point of feeling forgiven if you didn't know there was a God who saw it all, who knows everything, and it's the God who became a man. In fact, the image I was having was of the story of Jesus when they lowered the paralytic down through the roof, and He said, "Your sins are forgiven," and the people didn't believe He had the right to say that because only God could say that, and so he said, "Which is easier? To say your sins are forgiven or to take up your pallet and walk." And the guy started walking. He was paralyzed. And, of course, the miracle was the authentication that he had the right, had the authority, to forgive sin.
And I think of what you've been through and of what I've been through of all my sin, but Romans 8:1, you quoted it earlier – "There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. There is a God who promises to declare us not guilty." Now, you think about that – that's sounds impossible. That's why He's God, and we're not. He is the one who says, "You know what? If you come to me in faith, trusting my Son, Jesus Christ, for forgiveness of sin, that I will remove your sin as far as the East from the West. I will take your sins though they be as scarlet and make you white as snow."
Bob: You know, one of the sections in Randy Alcorn's book, "Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments," which is a book, Carol, that you have endorsed and recommended. He's got a section in here called "Finding Forgiveness After an Abortion," which is a profound need for anyone who has been touched by this tragedy, whether it's been a father or an unwed mother or an abortion provider – finding forgiveness in an abortion culture is a profound need for many people. And, as you've said, Dennis, ultimately, that forgiveness can only come from one place – that cleansing can only happen when God chooses to cleanse us from all unrighteousness because of the finished work of His Son and how that is applied to our lives.
I'd just encourage listeners who may have been touched by this issue personally, to get a copy of Randy's book. Again, it's called "Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments." We have it in our FamilyLife Resource Center. You can go to our website, which is FamilyLifeToday.com. Information you need about the book is available right there. Again, it's called "Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments." We also list other resources that are available on our website to try to help you with this issue.
Again, the website is FamilyLifeToday.com. You can also call, if that's easier, 1-800-358-6329 is the number, and that's 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY – 1-800-FLTODAY. When you get in touch with us, someone on the team will answer any questions you have about the resources that are available, and they can make arrangements to have what you need sent to you.
Let me say a quick word to that group of our listeners who not only listen regularly to FamilyLife Today but also help support this ministry, and we hope that some of you who are regular listeners and have not supported the ministry will consider doing that. In each city where FamilyLife Today is heard, probably fewer than 10 percent of those who listen regularly provide the financial support to keep FamilyLife Today on the air on this station and on other stations, and we want to say thank you, if you are part of that group, for your past support, and we want to let you know, if you are able, to help with a donation of any amount this month.
We'd love to send you, as a thank you gift, Dennis and Barbara Rainey's daily devotional guide for couples, which is called "Moments With You" – 365 daily devotions designed to draw you closer to one another and closer to God in the process. There are discussion questions each day, prayer topics each day, along with the devotional that you can read together. Again, it's our gift to you when you help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today this month with a donation of any amount.
If you're making your donation online at FamilyLifeToday.com, when you come to the keycode box on the donation form, type in the word, "moments." If you are calling 1-800-FLTODAY to make your donation over the phone, just mention that you'd like the book, "Moments With You," and we'd be delighted to send it to you. We do so much appreciate your partnership with us and your support of the ministry of FamilyLife Today.
Now, tomorrow Carol Everett is going to be back with us, and we're going to continue to look at how we can respond to the issue of abortion in our culture today, now more than 35 years past the Roe versus Wade decision, and I hope you can be with us for that dialog.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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