With the 25th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision nearly upon us, we all are reminded that 37 million babies have been put to death in the United States alone. Carol Everett helped 35,001 of them to be destroyed.
Her involvement with the abortion industry is the subject of this autobiographical book, Blood Money. The reader is provided a view of "the selling of abortion" from the inside. Carol has been out of the abortion business since 1984; this paperback was published in 1992.
When she left her job, she determined that abortion was wrong, and before long pro-life organizations were asking her to speak. She spoke in Peoria while we were still living there. So impressive was she that I used a videotape of her speech in the composition courses I was teaching at Illinois Central College as a prompt for students to write about. Some students remained unaffected, but most realized they were becoming acquainted with information that had never been made available to them before (which opened their eyes).
The book begins with the story of a woman who died from having a legal abortion at one of the clinics. With a little more care, the woman's life could have been saved; part of the story includes how the clinic was able to cover up their guilt in this matter.
From this frantic introduction, the next several chapters focus on the author's childhood. The reader needs to know her background in order to understand the way she related to men (particularly her second husband who wanted no more children; he even insisted that she agree to get an abortion if she became pregnant).
The account of Carol's own abortion is not unlike that of Linda Francke in her essay, "The Ambivalence of Abortion." Some of Carol's thoughts included, "What kind of mother am I to voluntarily take your life from you? I wish your dad would call me and say, 'Stop!'--releasing me from the stupid promise I made" (67).
She further writes: "As I lay there, mentally preparing myself for the abortion, I irrationally wished for Tom to be transformed into a knight in shining armor who would race through the door of the hospital room and rescue us--the baby and me" (67). One can only wonder how many million women have been mislead on the "procedure" of abortion and felt as Carol did?
When I woke up, my womb was empty. I felt the void where my child had been safely tucked away only a few hours earlier. Depression overwhelmed me; guilt engulfed me; tears flooded my eyes. I felt too ashamed to call my mother... (67-68).
One would think that such an experience would turn a person immediately into a pro-lifer, and sometimes it does. Some women feel violated, lied to, and experience anger along with their deep sorrow. But in other cases women seek some sort of validation. If they can help other women do the same thing, then it can serve to make their own decision less painful. People always feel that there is safety in numbers.
Not too long after her abortion, Carol was offered work in a "clinic." She took the job and became quite proficient at selling abortions. Her marketing skills soon helped to destroy 400+ babies a month.
Carol was able to obtain media coverage for her place of employment by holding a press conference and offering free abortions to victims of rape--if they reported it to the police. The publicity was great, even though they never did a single abortion for such a cause.
When one learns that Carol got $25 for each abortion scheduled, that may not seem like a lot of money. But with 500 or more abortions a month toward the end of her career, she was making between $12,000 and $15,000 per month in salary. The "doctors" earn even more. Despite their protests about helping women have safe abortions and the "right to exercise control over their own bodies," money is the motivating force.
Safe abortions? Besides the one woman who died, several others were maimed. This book is not full of gory and gruesome details, but there are a few occasions which should make a normal person shudder. One of those involves a description of a botched attempt to remove the baby from the womb: "The doctor had perforated a fifteen-year-old girl's uterus and had pulled her colon through her vagina" (92).
The girl was swiftly rushed to surgery, and the clinic avoided being blamed for the catastrophe. Carol said she learned a vital lesson that night: "A successful abortion clinic needs doctors willing to put their license on the line in the cover-up of botched abortions" (92).
What was Carol's attitude toward protestors or anyone who called this "business" into question?
I kept a Bible in my top right-hand drawer and pulled it out if someone said, "Abortion is a sin." My answer was emphatic: "I am helping women because God wants me to. I tithe out of all the money I make. I pray every day." It was true, but I didn't tell them I actually prayed for freedom from complications and death, and for more abortions every day (108).
Sometimes the clinics were so zealous in selling abortions, they began performing them on women who were not actually pregnant. A technician would point to a spot on a sonogram, take the woman's money, and schedule her "abortion."
The Dallas news media caught them, and ran an expose on them (not on the evils of abortion, however). Carol was made the scapegoat by the doctor she had been so close to for years--the one who had done her own abortion and been her constant business partner.
She had other offers from people to work for them in the same profession, but in discussing these matters with someone, she decided finally that abortion was wrong and that she had been wrong. Her change of heart was due to a denominational "pastor," who gave her the usual non-Biblical "receive Jesus into your heart" line. But her actions and attitudes changed.
This book is interesting from more aspects than can adequately be reviewed. It reads very fast and provides insights into people's rationale that are just not easily discovered elsewhere. Without intending to, it makes a powerful argument against killing those who participate in this abominable industry. The transformation of some of those who have departed the pro-choice cause is amazing, and their eyewitness testimony is powerful.
The book contains 210 pages and was published by Multnomah Press. "Christian" book stores still carry it.
*Send comments or questions concerning this article to Gary Summers. Please refer to this article as: "RECOMMENDED READING: BLOOD MONEY (1/18/98)."