"I sold abortions," Carol Everett confessed to a group of United Methodists attending a free luncheon sponsored by Lifewatch in the Hilton Fort Worth Hotel.
Everett, a former abortion clinic owner in the Dallas area, gave a perspective from inside the abortion industry, which she served for more than six years.
"When we opened, we did 45 abortions the first month. The last month (we were open), we did 545 abortions," said Everett, who was paid $25 per abortion.
Everett left the industry and founded the Heidi Group in 1995, a group of pregnancy centers in inner-city Dallas, where she serves women in impoverished communities with high rates of unplanned pregnancies.
Everett aborted her third child in 1973, hoping to save her marriage. As a part of her healing process, she named the child Heidi. The nonprofit organization honors Everett's unborn child.
The Heidi Group partners with the Salvation Army to provide bilingual parenting classes, Bible studies, counseling and prenatal medical care for the uninsured mother-to-be. Everett wants to bring hope and healing to women in the situation she faced so many years ago.
"We are an injured nation, for many of us are unwilling to admit or deal with our pain."
Everett recognizes the emotional complexity of the abortion issue and advised luncheon attendees to talk less and listen more. "I have never changed a mind by debate," she said.
The first of its kind, the Lifewatch luncheon intended to give people some information about the topic of abortions and the abortion industry, according to Lifewatch administrator Cindy Evans.
"It's a difficult subject but it's a lot more complex than we make it. It's more complex than a sound bite or bumper-sticker saying," Evans said.
Lifewatch, also known as the Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality, advocates on behalf of abortion opponents.
*Rouse is a freelance writer in Nashville, Tenn.
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