Wendy Davis, the woman in pink sneakers, became an overnight celebrity after she filibustered a Texas bill that would have protected some unborn children of 20 weeks and older. She was celebrated for her stand by the president of United States, by most of the mainstream media, and by Planned Parenthood and other abortion-industry stalwarts. As the Texas legislature convenes for another special session, affording Davis more of the spotlight, abortion in the Lone Star State deserves a little sunlight.
Deborah Edge knows abortion. She used to work for Texas abortion provider Douglas Karpen, who is currently under investigation after allegations surfaced that bring to mind the horror stories revealed about Kermit Gosnell. Here, Edge talks about her experience and explains her reasons for leaving the industry, in which move she was aided by the efforts of a former Texas Planned Parenthood clinic director, Abby Johnson, who now has a ministry for clinic workers who want out.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: While working for Dr. Karpen, how easy was it for you to believe that you were helping provide a good service, truly helping women?
DEBORAH EDGE: As a mother of seven children, I have always been a nurturing woman. But I know it was God who put that desire to help people in my heart. I was dealt a pretty bad hand as a child and young adult, and I made some poor choices because of it: from growing up in an abusive environment with a single parent, to going through many trials and tribulations in life and giving my heart to men who took advantage of me. I became motivated to become a good mom and to provide the best I knew how. I always promised myself never to abuse my children and always to help those who came to me.
I always wanted to work in the medical field and to comfort those who needed physical or emotional help. I felt as if I was able to provide that to the women who were coming to the clinic. I genuinely felt I was doing the right thing for these women. I chose to ignore the life inside of her womb and focus solely on her needs. I remember hearing Abby Johnson say that there is a disconnect in the workers’ minds when it comes to seeing the woman and her baby as two people that need to be cared for. I definitely believe that is true and is where my mind was. I would hear stories from these women about abuse they suffered: drug addiction, rape, young women in the middle of their college education, husbands that had been involved in affairs, etc. I remember thinking that because abortion was legal, it was okay to help these women make that choice. I held many women’s hands during their abortion procedures. I remember at times crying for those unborn babies and the reasons that were given to take their lives. I was soon looking at it as if it was them who would have to answer to God — after all, it wasn’t me who was forcing them to have an abortion. I couldn’t see my part in it and that I was guilty as well. And honestly, I was also thinking of my own situation and about the children I had to take care of.
LOPEZ: You primarily worked in the “lab” area of the clinic, “where we sorted through the parts of the aborted child to make sure they were all accounted for and nothing was left inside the patient.” What goes through your head when you’re doing that?
EDGE: Working in the lab was just part of the job for me. I felt like I was doing so much good for these women, that surely I would be forgiven for not protecting these children. It was hard to see in the beginning, but then evil takes over your mind and your thoughts. You become desensitized to what you are seeing. It’s almost like you are numb to it. And you just keep thinking of the women and how you are “helping” them.