Published: Friday, October 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 02:10
Carol Everett, a former Planned Parenthood volunteer, was the guest speaker Tuesday in the UC Ballrooms.
Bear Catholic launched its week-long celebration of being pro-life this week, a stretch that featured speakers and events across campus. One event was a silent memorial of 3,300 crosses in front of the University Center on Tuesday that was meant to respect the 3,300 lives lost to abortion each day.
Another event, BEARfoot for Babies, gave students an opportunity to rally and demonstrate their pro-life beliefs. Students attract attention by walking around campus without shoes — some students choosing to write pro-life sentiments on their feet — which inspires conversation on an issue important to a large part of the community.
Throughout the week, guest speakers were invited to speak out against abortion, including Carol Everett — who received two abortions and is a former Planned Parenthood volunteer — Lila Rose, Rebecca Kiessling, and Brian Gail.
“I’m seeing all these bare feet, and I just think that’s amazing, and God bless you for doing it,” Everett said. “It’s a very difficult story to tell, but I’ve told it many times. I want to tell it. It’s a very difficult story to hear, but I want you to hear it.”
As she proceeded to tell the audience of students about her life and experiences, she drew from experiences as a young girl when she was molested by her grandfather and then later by another family member. These events led her down a road of alcohol, beginning when she was 10 years old. Her drinking became more of a problem as she got older.
In college, she indulged in drugs and promiscuity, getting pregnant her junior year. She explained that the father of the baby took little responsibly for “her problem,” and she walked into the abortion clinic alone. She was told the procedure was simple and nearly painless with a quick recovery and that the clump of cells was not even a baby yet.
The experience was anything but painless like the clinic promised. Everett said it was excruciatingly painful, and she received little support or sympathy. Depression followed, as well as another turn toward alcohol, drugs and promiscuity.
Everett became a member and volunteer of several feminist organizations in an attempt to reclaim the power she never felt over herself. She received another abortion when a heavily-drinking boyfriend refused to have children. The treatment she described the second time was even worse.
“I think it’s just an amazing testimony to the truth of abortion and the hurt behind it,” said Raquel Kato, a senior psychology major. “I think she speaks on behalf of a lot of women who are feeling the same thing but don’t feel like they can speak out about it. It’s not just the baby. The woman too is affected by it.”
Everett explained the clinic did not care about women but rather merely cared about abortion. She changed her mind at the last minute, attempting to back out but the staff would not allow her to leave. Everett said the place she began to find real healing was the Catholic Church, the last place she thought she would find anything.
She married a Catholic man and had three children. When they wanted a fourth, there were some complications.
“The doctor did an ultrasound. There on the ultrasound was my little girl,” Everett said. “There were her arms and her legs and her little heartbeat. And it just hit me — that is life. How can anybody deny that that is life? Then the horror hit me of what I had done to my two babies, and I was so upset.”
Listeners walked away with a new perspective from Everett’s speech.
“It was really big news to me,” said Maggie Sweeney. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard what actually happens in an abortion clinic or how women are treated in it. I thought they were treated a lot better, to be honest.”