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Abortion industry converts tell the inside story
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Dr. Beverly McMillan was no reluctant participant in abortion. Though raised in a conservative Tennessee Christian home, as a young medical student she adopted the ideology of radical pro-abortion feminism. As a doctor, she went on to open the largest abortion mill in the state of Mississippi.
Dr. McMillan stopped doing abortions in 1978. With her husband she is active in the pro-life movement. Dr. McMillan told her story at the second Meet the Abortion Providers conference in February 1989. Her statement has been slightly edited for readability.
Dr. Beverly McMillan
I knew pretty early that I wanted to be a physician and when I was 18 I left my little town in East Tennessee to go off to the U of T in Knoxville to begin my pre-medical training. I thought I was ready to take on the world!
I soon found out, however, that the world I had just entered was a lot different than what I'd grown up in. I made a decision as a 19-year-old sophomore that I was going to live the way of the world
I decided to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. Now this was in the late 1960's, and I had not encountered abortion at all in my medical school training or my internship. It wasn't until I went off to do my residency at Cook County Hospital, that I came face-to-face with abortion.
It hit me that these women were coming from the back alley abortion mills in Chicago.
I had to spend six weeks of my six months on a ward called the Infected OB Ward. As soon as the sun went down, the elevator started coming up from the Emergency Room depositing women on our doorstep. All these women had very similar situations. They were all bleeding, running a fever, and had a tender, enlarged uterus. About halfway through that evening it finally hit me that these women were coming from the back alley abortion mills in Chicago.[Back to Top]
Every night I was on call some 15 to 25 women would come in and we would take these women back, one at a time, to a little treatment room where, without any anesthesia at all, we would have to do another D & C and we would have to scrape out whatever infected tissue the abortionist had left in. It was a pretty brutal situation.
In 1973, when the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down, I had finished my residency training and went into private practice with another physician in a little town just outside of Lexington. We went out and bought a suction abortion machine and we started doing first trimester abortions in our office.
In 1974, my husband presented me with the news that we were moving to Jackson, Mississippi. I got re-organized and opened up my private practice of obstetrics and gynecology in January 1975. Business was very slow.
In the spring of 1975 I met a group of concerned citizens and clergy who had banded together for the express purpose of opening up the first abortion clinic in the entire state of Mississippi. They had lined up a place, nurses, counselors, and equipment, but they could not find anyone willing to be called the local abortionist.
Initially I said, no, thank you. But as time went on it really started to bother me because I knew that the reason I had turned them down was because I was just afraid. I really did think that legal abortion was a good thing for women. So I did finally accept their offer, and in the fall of 1975, I gained the dubious distinction of opening up that first abortion clinic in Jackson, Mississippi.
By 1976, things looked like they were going pretty well for me. My private office was busy; the abortion clinic was busy. I had a nice car, a nice house; I had three healthy little boys, and all the clothes I could want. In fact, I realized that everything that I ever wanted to accomplish when I left eastern Tennessee.
I didn't know what was wrong. Thoughts of suicide were beginning to cross my mind.
The confounding part was, I was so depressed that by January, I couldn't stand it. I didn't know what was wrong. Thoughts of suicide were beginning to cross my mind and that had never happened before.
So being an intellectual type, I decided I just needed something to get my head straightened out. I went out to a secular bookstore and stumbled across the book entitled The Power of Positive Thinking, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. I thought, "This sounds like a good book. I've got a lot of things to be positive about, I just need to get my attitude right."
At the end of the [first] chapter Dr. Peale had a list of ten things to do to start getting your positive attitude in shape. I was going down the list and reached number 7, and it said: Affirm ten times a day, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Well, I choked. I thought, "What kind of trash did I pick up in this bookstore?"[Back to Top]
One miserable Monday morning I was driving to work. I was pulling into the doctors' parking lot at Baptist Hospital and I finally just gave up and said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
I felt the presence of someone coming up over the back seat of my car and grasping my right shoulder—the hand of heaven.
I was unprepared for what happened next. I was not alone in that car. I felt the presence of someone coming up over the back seat of my car and grasping my right shoulder—the hand of heaven. He was just right there in the car with me and, oh, my goodness!
Well, I got the car parked (that was a major accomplishment), and put my makeup back on because I was crying out of joy. I must have said that verse a hundred times that day, not just ten times.[Back to Top]
I finished reading the book. And at the end of it, Dr. Peale had two other suggestions: He suggested reading the Bible every day and to engage in some Christian fellowship.
So I went out and bought a Bible and started reading the New Testament. Well, I began noticing that something strange was happening during my nights on call at the abortion facility. What had been very easy for me to do up till this time started to become harder and harder to do. I didn't understand why because nothing that I was reading in the New Testament said Thou Shalt Not Commit Abortions. But it was the Holy Spirit starting to work on me.[Back to Top]
I've heard other people talk about their experiences in coming out of the abortion situations and my situation seems to be very similar. It doesn't happen all at once.
One of the things that was starting to bother me was, after I would do the suction D&C procedure, I would then go over to the suction bottle and go outside the room to a sink where I would personally pick through it with a forceps. I would have to identify the four extremities, the spine, the skull and the placenta. If I didn't find that, I would have to go back and scrape and suction some more.
Standing at that sink, I guess I just started seeing these bodies for the first time. I don't know what I did before that. I remember very clearly seeing an arm and seeing the deltoid muscle, and it struck me how beautiful this was. The thought just engorged my mind: "Here is this beautiful piece of human flesh, what are you doing?" So for a number of months I just directed medicine.
I eventually started going to church. Sitting under the preaching of the Gospel and really hearing it for the first time, God began impressing me with a number of things, one of which was that He wanted me to get baptized as a believer and publicly identify with what He had done in my life.
God was just impressing on my heart that I was not to come into the church and bring the abortion clinic with me and sully the holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. So in the fall of 1978, by the grace of God, I got baptized in my church and I resigned from the abortion clinic.[Providers Index] [Back to Top]