Carol Everett owned two abortion clinics and was the director of four. She eventually became pro-life and now speaks about her experiences.
Like nearly all abortion clinics, Everett’s clinics had “recovery rooms” where women could stay after their abortions until the anesthesia wore off or they felt well enough to leave. Everett says there were two main reactions among women right after their abortions:
…[T]here 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.
These women may have been going through their abortion procedures in a state of denial. Afterwards, they could no longer sustain that denial and were forced to face the truth about what they had done. Everett believes that by facing reality instead of repressing it, these women may be on the path to healing. But she goes on to talk about the second group of women:
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.
The five year statistic seems to be anecdotal, but Everett knows, from bitter personal experience, that repressing the trauma of abortion only leads to more heartache later. Women who have abortions have a higher risk of suicide (6 – 7 times higher in adults and 10 times higher in teens) as well as higher rates of depression, sleep disorders, and psychiatric hospitalizations. Pro-life groups need to reach out to these women with compassion, regardless of how they are coping (or not coping) with their abortions.