Eric Harrah was part owner of one of the nation's largest chains of abortion
clinics. He recently converted to Christianity and walked away from the
lucrative business of killing unborn children. Dr. Willke and Brad Mattes
interviewed him regarding his involvement in the abortion industry.
Dr. W: I am curious about your function in the clinic. Were you basically
business manager, owner?
Eric: I was an owner. My first position was Director of Public Relations
then I became an owner and from there went around opening clinics Ė that was
my biggest function with my different partners.
Brad: How did you select areas to open abortion clinics?
Eric: There were a lot of different factors that went into a decision to
clinic. Basically, you looked in an area that didnít have a clinic in it. You would
get demographic numbers, from areas that had colleges or universities, with
the amount of abortions that had taken place prior to that. If it had a high
abortion rate, that would be a prime area.
Dr. W: How would you hire the abortionists?
Eric: Well, before you would even go to a town, you would usually have
doctors lined up. A lot of times, doctors would contact me. There was always
some doctor somewhere in some town who was already doing abortions. Also,
in larger demographic areas (metropolitan areas) it was easy to tap any
number of residency programs.
Dr. W: These were residents whoíd moonlight?
Eric: That was not all I hired, but that was a very nice pool to be able
from, because they were interested. You take a resident, bring him into an
abortion clinic and they work part-time, even just one day a week. They can
make $75,000 a year, if not more, which is very beneficial to pay off their
Brad: How many states did you have clinics in?
Eric: About 11 or 12.
Brad: And how many abortions did your chain of abortion clinics do?
Eric: If I take all the numbers from the time I started in the abortion
the time I got out (10 years), we probably did about a quarter of a million total.
Brad: Were the abortions that were done in your clinics limited to first
Eric: Oh, no. People in the abortion business donít want to do first trimester
abortions. Thatís not where the money is. The money is in mid-second to early
third trimester abortions.
Dr. W: But you canít do those in every clinic Ė or do you?
Eric: No. Every place has different laws. In New Jersey, you can only go
weeks in a clinic setting, but what you do is get approved and open up a
surgi-center where you can get abortions done. Pennsylvania, which prides
itself on having some of the strictest abortion laws, actually has some of the
most lenient and is a mecca for late-term abortions. They go to 24 or 26 weeks
Ė thatís in a clinic setting. Delaware is 22-24 weeks Ė thatís in an office
Dr. W: Now these would be Ė what Ė D&Eís mostly?
Eric: D&Eís and D&Xís. I would never permit saline abortions to be done.
Brad: Did your staff ever delay womenís abortions so that they were kicked
into the more expensive category?
Eric: I personally never did myself. You have to understand that I became
hope this doesnít offend you, but I want to be totally honest) a lover with Dr.
Steven Bringham, who Iím sure youíve known or have heard of. And he was
pretty infamous for that type of thing. He was also known for re-using syringes
and all kinds of other things that I wouldnít do.
Brad: And he continues to perform abortions?
Eric: Yes, he does. But he gets sentenced on Monday, so he might be in
donít know what his situation is going to be.
Brad: Did pro-life efforts ever stop one of your clinics from opening?
Eric: None of mine.
Brad: Would you have any advice for pro-lifers on what they might do to
effectively stop a clinic now?
Eric: Oh, there are so many things they could do. You would have to do
whole separate newsletter on it. I go around speaking now to right-to-life
groups clueing them in on what to do.
Brad: Are there effective ways the pro-life movement can stop abortion
Eric: Oh, there are many peaceful, nonviolent ways that are totally legal
would not be part of the supposed, alleged RICO conspiracy by now. Yes, look
into and act while your town does not have an abortion clinic in it. Enact laws
preventing medical, surgical centers from being located within the city limits.
Most towns donít worry about this until it happens, and by the time it happens,
itís too late. You can pass very legitimate restrictions. There are laws they can
pass about hazardous waste..
Brad: How did you get into the abortion area to begin with?
Eric: I was with some friends on our way to the beach, and we saw a
right-to-life protest. I didnít even know there was an abortion clinic in my
hometown. At that time I considered myself to be pro-choice. I was very liberal,
politically. We pulled into the clinic and asked if there was anything we could
do to help. They said we could join NOW. I joined. I became secretary of my
county chapter. A year later I became vice president of the Delaware state
chapter, and a year-and-a-half after that, I became their first male ever elected
president. I quit my affiliation with NOW years ago. I started to become very
disturbed by a lot of their rhetoric, a lot of their hate, a lot of what I perceived to
be their racism. You have groups such as NOW, the National Abortion Rights
Action League and many other groups who do nothing but live off the blood of
aborted children. Their interest in keeping abortion legal is not so much
because they care about womenís rights Ė or that they are actually pro-choice.
Their true interest in keeping abortion legal, in my opinion, is so they can keep
their big, fancy offices in Washington, their nice clothing expenses and their
personal expense accounts.
Brad: When you were involved in this industry, what was your annual income?
Eric: When I walked away from the clinics, I walked away from everything.
my ownership and my money there. I wanted nothing else to do with it. The
average doctor who does abortions one day a week at a clinic averages 25-40
abortions. He will walk away in his pocket with an average of
$100,000-$125,000 a year. An average clinic that performs roughly around
8,000 abortions will gross approximately $1 million a year.
Dr. W: One doctor can do that? Thatís full time, though.
Eric: No, itís not. Not at all. Abortion clinics, Dr. Willke, are set up
slaughtering centers. You get Ďem in and you get Ďem out. I would say,
honestly, about 60%-70% of all abortions takes place on Saturdays.
Brad: How many women do they usually schedule in a day?
Eric: The maximum Iíve ever seen get done in a day is probably 50-60 women.
Usually, that takes two abortionists, but I have seen doctors kick out 40-50
patients by themselves. First trimester cases Ė if you have a doctor whoís
been doing it for a while and he knows what heís doing Ė you can push through
6-7 an hour. And that goes back to the whole issue too of how little regulation
there is. Even within PA, which prides itself on being the bastion for restrictive
abortion laws, there really are no regulations. Thereís nobody to monitor these
facilities. Thereís nobody who tracks the money that comes from the birth
control companies that flood through the clinics Ė the paybacks. Thereís
nobody who tracks the insurance companies that give incentives to physicians
for performing abortions, because insurance companies would rather pay for
abortions than pay for a full labor and delivery.
Dr. W: You get those incentive payments?
Eric: Oh yeah, they flow like water. If youíre a participating member of
insurance company, they will give you incentives to perform an abortion. First
trimester abortions are $250, and insurance companies such asÖIíve seen
them pay over $2,000 for those abortions, because they would rather pay
$2,000-$2,500 for a first trimester case than pay $7,000-$8,000 for prenatal,
labor and delivery.
Brad: So do you, as the clinic owner, pocket that money?
Eric: Oh, definitely.
Brad: Let me ask you about your attitude and contact with the women.
Eric: I would make their appointments. I would sit and talk to them in
waiting room. I would go into the procedure rooms with them. When I first got
started, I was very truly concerned about the women who were having
abortions, but, as in most cases, there are two reasons why people get
involved in the abortion industry. The first is money. The second is because
they really feel that itís helping women. But even those people who get involved
because they think itís helping women Ė at some point in time convert to the
fact that itís all about money. So you stop looking at women after a certain
point in time as being people that youíre helping and you just start looking at
them as dollar bills.
Brad: Thatís what happened to you?
Eric: Definitely. I found myself, probably the last half of the time that
involved in the abortion industry, very depressed about it, which led to a
cocaine drug addiction, and toward the very end, I think I ended up hating
Brad: Why was that?
Eric: I think it was because of the depression and guilt that I felt, myself,
was blaming them for it Ė for coming in and having this abortion Ė especially
the woman that you would see time and time and time again. There was one
patient who came in and had 16. Even the doctors who do the abortion
become hateful toward the patients Ė they become mean, rough.
Brad: So the average woman didnít get compassionate counseling when she
went in there?
Eric: I would say she got counseling, but compassion Ė no.
Brad: What kind of counseling did she get? Itís my impression there hasnít
Eric: In my facilities, I always gave option counseling. Of course you
abortion the most appealing. I told them about adoption and about foster care
and about (when there was welfare) assistance. The typical way it would go is,
"Well, you know you can place your baby out for adoption." But then, in the
second breath you would say, "Thatís an option available to you, but you also
have to realize that thereís going to be a baby of yours out here somewhere in
the world you will never see again.. At least with abortion you know whatís
happening. You can go on with your life."
Brad: So were the options more for your benefit to ease your conscience
for the women?
Eric: I would say that it was more for my conscience because, to be honest
with you, I really didnít care.
Dr. W: And the longer you were in it, the less you cared?
Eric: Yes, exactly, Dr. Willke. The longer I was in it, the less I cared,
really didnít really care what my conscience said. My conscience was totally
numb anyway. But what it did do was public relations-wise. You were able,
when a reporter or TV crew came, to pull out a packet of information for the
patients to read and they received it. So what can anybody say? Publicly it
looked good Ė in reality it was another tool that was used to force a woman
into abortion. Itís typical Ė I would give them an option and then shoot it down.
The only option you didnít shoot down, obviously, was abortion.
Eric: And then, again, Dr. Willke and Brad, if they came in for an abortion
they were scared, hey, inject them with some Fentanyl. It costs you two
bucks. Knock Ďem out. You guarantee them theyíll never feel a thing. Theyíd
come in and say, "Oh, Iím scared to deathÖ. I donít want to have this memory
for the rest of my life." Iíd say, "Sweetheart, there wonít be any memories. We
can give you an anesthetic that will knock you out. It costs me two bucks, but
Iím going to charge you a hundred bucks extra for it. Iím going to give you
some birth control pills when you leave." And then you have the drug
companies who would come in and throw these lavish parties and dinners for
the clinic staff to get the doctors to write prescriptions for them. The
prescriptions were written not necessarily based on what medication was best
for the patient. It was written on who gave the best party the week before. Did
the rep bring in the best donuts Ė did the rep bring the best pizza? Did they
give nice golf clubs this year?
Brad: Were there any direct financial incentives by drug companies?
Eric: Yes, there were.
Eric: And while there was legislation to curb that, it still goes on. You
understand that drug reps worked on commission. Their income is generated
by how many of their "scripts" are being refilled at local pharmacies.
Dr. W: Let me ask about picketing out front. Did you have that in front
of your places? And what influence did that have?
Eric: It depended on what kind of picketing it was. I found that it did
infuriate people and the woman who came in. What worked, and what I hated
the most, were the sidewalk counselors who would stand there and give a
brochure about the local CPC. Those were the most effective, because thatís
when the girl would stop to have a conversation.
Dr. W: And some of those women never came in?
Brad: You saw those dollar bills walking away.
Eric: You never minded it when the men were outside picketing, because
was good, especially if they were loud and obnoxious, telling women they were
going to go to hell. That was productive because they would come in and say,
"Who do they think they are telling me what to do?" Women were much more
effective at it than men, definitely. We knew which one was going to be
successful. What I found, in my personal experience, is that the women didnít
usually respond to younger women because they would typically look at them
and say, "Youíre my age Ė what do you know?" But who they did respond to
was older women Ė middle-aged women and senior citizen women because I
think, in their minds, those women had valuable advice.
Dr. W: Did you have escorts to help bring the women in?
Eric: Yes, at times, yes, we did.
Dr. W: And was that effective on your part?
Eric: It was effective when the picketers were rowdy. When the picketers
calm, it backfired on you because it was like you were trying to drag the
women in.When the picketers are loud, women are looking for someone to get
them into that clinic. So you would always hope, on Saturdays especially
(thatís the biggest day for picketing), that the picketers would be rowdy and
Dr. W: Is there any particular piece of literature that you recall that
Eric: Yes, one by your group, actually, that I used to hate. It was the
you did about fetal development.
Dr. W: "Did You Know?"
Eric: Yes, that was the one we hated the most. That really used to tick
And actually what we would do is (I shouldnít tell you this, but), the
right-to-lifers would get tired and they would put their stuff down on the
sidewalk, and theyíre talking and weíd go over and take all their literature and
just run with it.
Brad: What about your lifestyle as an abortion clinic owner. Your chain
one of the largest in the nation, is that correct?
Eric: Yes, it was. The thing I enjoyed, as an abortionist, were the number
celebrities and politicians who treat you as though you were a hero. Whoopie
Goldberg, Cybil Shepard, Morgan FairchildÖpeople who would come to
pro-choice functionsÖpoliticians who would actually court you. I had VIP
seating at five Supreme Court nomination hearings.
Brad: You enjoyed material possessions too, I would imagine.
Eric: Yes. The travel, the money was just there. It was a very, very comfortable
living. And it was easy money.
Dr. W: We hear that the number of abortionists is declining, is aging,
worries the industry.
Eric: The number of these abortionists, yes, is declining, but what is
increasing now is what's called "docs in a box", doctors who hold licenses in
anywhere from 5 to 20 states and spend their time flying from state to state
just doing abortions. You also have what are called "mega-docs" who totally
control a certain geographic area. Those are on the increase.. You should see
the anti-trust laws that are being broken by abortion providers Ė the "carteling",
as we used to call it, where you would get together for a friendly lunch and
decide what fee was going to be charged. The reason I was hated so much by
the people in the abortion industry was that I was a cartel-breaker. If I went into
a town where first trimester abortions started out at $275, I would go in and
charge $200, because I knew that the clinic had been around for five or six
years and already had a kind of debt. I was coming in and starting from
scratch. The thing was to go in and force them to shut down. Itís a very
cutthroat business, very backstabbing and very physically dangerous too.
Dr. W: Youíve known doctors doing abortions who were physically injured
lost their lives?
Eric: No, I never knew of anybody who lost their lives. I do know doctors
were physically threatened. Usually the way it happened is, if you were going
to go into an area where they already were, and they didnít want any
competition, they were usually very friendly. Theyíd give you a call, telling you
that your services were not needed. If you persisted, theyíd persist a little bit
heavier. But Iím not that stupid. Itís not worth my aggravation.
Brad: When you left the industry, you left everything behind?
Eric: Yes, I did. I didnít see how I could call myself a Christian and
be living off
the fruits of the abortion business. That made no sense to me. And I prayed
about it, and God told me to leave it all behind.
Dr. W: And what are you living off of now?
Eric: I go around and speak at churches. I did my first CPC benefit a few
months ago Ė I have a couple more of those booked. Iím writing a book.
Brad: Tell us about your book.
Eric: The book Iím writing tells the story of my life in the abortion business.
itís also a tell-all book about the abortion industry itself and it also gets into the
areas of my life I was involved in, which was homosexuality and how prevalent
homosexuality actually is in the abortion business. "The girls do carry on," as
we used to say.
Dr. W: Homosexual males or homosexual females?
Eric: Both, and Iíll tell you what Ė the lesbians are far worse than the
Anytime you have a feminist health care center that does abortions, theyíre
often all lesbians. Within the abortion business itself, thereís this love/hate
relationship between the feminists and the abortion doctors, because the
majority of the doctors are men.
Dr. W: Youíre doing something they want doneÖ
Eric: But they hate you because youíre a man. Over the last couple of years
groups such as NOW, NARAL and The Fund no longer control the abortion
industry. They did for a while, but the feminists no longer control it. What you
have now is a bigger struggle going on now between them and Planned
Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is hated by any doctor or [abortion] clinic
that is independently owned and operated. Their [Planned Parenthood] bread
and butter is the abortions that they do. They donít do it because they care
about women. Thatís where the majority of their money comes from. Planned
Parenthood is shrewd, though, because itís easier for a politician to stand
behind Planned Parenthood to support them than it is to stand behind some
entrepreneurial businessman or woman who has an independent clinic. Itís
more socially acceptable.
Dr. W: Yes, PP has an image of doing it legitimately.
Eric: Yes, but what PP also has within the business itself is their record
being racist, squashing competition and outright lying about competition to
squash them. What PP wants is a monopoly in the abortion business.
Brad: Tell us about how you switched from pro-abortion to pro-life.
Eric: I grew up in the Church, so I knew that abortion was wrong. Iíd say
the last five years I was having serious depression and guilt over my
involvement, which led to my cocaine addiction. I saw myself doing things like,
in the morning, getting up and watching the 700 Club, just trying to have some
tie back to my Christian roots, I guess you could say. Finally, when I came to
State College in Pennsylvania to open a clinic (which I didnít want to come
here), it was nice to have someone Ė a right-to-life group Ė who came to me
and didnít ridicule me or call me names but reached out to me.
Brad: Give us some detail of how they reached out to you.
Eric: Well, there was a big battle getting the clinic open here in State
I was on the front page of the paper, I think, for forty-some odd days straight. It
was the biggest news story, I think, ever to hit this town. There were protests,
prayer marches and all kinds of things that the right-to-lifers did to shoot me
down for opening, but I was able to overcome it. (Thereís a whole bunch of
other things that happened behind the scenes that people donít know about,
which included secret agreements and secret deals with officials and different
things.) So the clinic finally opened and there were massive protests every
day. I said to the people with my clinic: "Donít be scared. Right-to-lifers are
very fickle ( I still stand behind that). They will come out and they will picket us
very heavily for the first month or so, and then the numbers will dwindle until
eventually thereíll be hardly anybody here protesting." And that came to pass,
as it always had. But that day, they came and told me that there was a
football team outside picketing, and I went outside with my bodyguards to see
what was going on. There was just one gentleman standing there in a Penn
State football sweatshirt who started talking to me.
Brad: But he reached out to you with love and not hate and that made the
Eric: Exactly, yes.
Brad: Was it a lonely existence where you were at that time?
Eric: Oh, it was very lonely. I hated State College. I had spent the majority
my time shuttling between New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris. I grew
up in small, podunk town and I vowed that I would get out of it, and I did. I
thought that I had failed. Iím back where I started, even though I really wasnít. I
always tell the story when I go to speak that a homosexualís worst nightmare
is to be stuck in a town where thereís no Macy's and no Starbuck's. This town
had neither. It was a very lonely existence, yes. Steven Bringham decided it
was too hot to be here politically, so he stayed back in our homes in New
Jersey and Connecticut.
Brad: You shared homes together then?
Eric: Yes, we did.
Brad: You made a radical changeÖ
Eric: No, I didnít make a radical change. God made a radical change in
did nothing. I did nothing but bend to the will of God, like I should have done a
long time ago. I did nothing to change myself Ė God changed me Ė because if
it was up to me, and left to my own devices, I canít save myself and I canít
change my way of thinking. The old me wouldnít have walked away from
thousands upon thousands of dollars a week and millions of dollars in the bank
Ė for what? To go out and get $400 to $1,000 to speak at a CPC banquet,
when I was making a hundred times that a week? Itís not about me, itís about
God. And thatís what I want people to understand.
Dr. W: How do you view violence to stop abortions from being performed?
Eric: I do not accept, nor will I ever tolerate, anyone who label themselves
Christian or a pro-lifer who advocates violence, killing someone because
theyíre involved in the abortion business. That person is not pro-life.
Dr. W: I agree with you strongly.
Eric: Dr. Willke, the reason I agreed to do an interview with you is because,
over the years, you have stayed consistent. You never advocated violence.
Every piece of information I ever saw that you put out was truthful, it was
honest and it was never hate-filled.
Brad: You recently came out of the abortion industry. Tell us about some
the new things pro-lifers should be concerned about.
Eric: The non-surgical, Methotrexate/Misoprostil abortions. Thatís a whole
other racket. By the time you count the two medications and the needle you
need to give the injection, itís going to cost you around $15. I was charging
anywhere from $375 and others charged as much as $600. Now, hereís the big
racket they do with it. They bring these women in and they know itís only good
up until about 7 or 8 weeks. A woman comes in at 9 or 10 weeks and they tell
her about this wonderful non-surgical abortion. Sheís so desperate not to have
to have the surgery that she opts for the non-surgical procedure. They know
itís going to fail and then they tell her, "Now weíre going to give this to you, but
if it fails, youíre going to have to pay us for a surgical abortion."
Dr. W: And totally unregulated.
Eric: Dr. Willke, Abortion is totally unregulated! Anybody can open up
abortion clinic. Almost any doctor can work there, even anesthesiologists. A
can do an abortion because he or she has MD or DO after their name.
Brad: Did you have experiences in your clinics with chemical abortions?
Eric: Oh, yes. We were one of the first ones in the country to do it. And,
actually, it got to the point where we'd say, "You come in, sweetheart. You
donít like needles? Thatís okay, weíll fix you up on Methotrexate in a glass of
orange juice and it works in the exact same way."
Dr. W: How about the RU 486? Were you in on any of those trials?
Eric: No, I was never in on any of those trials because I didnít want to
because the FDA will regulate RU 486 very strictly.
Dr. W: You know thereís a certain battle fatigue out there in Right-to-Life
Eric: I understand that people are tired, but they need to get re-energized.
They need to know that their efforts have made a difference. Unfortunately,
they donít hear that enough.
Dr. W: The one thing that has really energized pro-lifers has been partial-birth
Eric: That has totally floored me! The American people also need to know,
when they talk about abortion at 14, 15 or 16 weeks, you pull a baby apart to
get it out. I have seen my fair share of D&X abortions done over the years. I
started to see more abortions that were done on fetuses where the baby was
born whole and was left there to die. With the advent of new medications to
help in labor, there is not such a need to do the gruesome D&X abortions.
Brad: She essentially went into premature labor, is that what they did?
Eric: Exactly, yes. They would cause premature labor, she would be delivered
and the fetus would be put aside to die.
Brad: How do you think pro-lifers have fared in the public forum?
Eric: You know what the most hated commercial that the right-to-lifers
out was? It was "Life, What a Beautiful Choice". We hated that commercial. It
even made me feel guilty, showing these beautiful babies.
Brad: Did you experience anything with Post-Abortion Syndrome?
Eric: Yes, itís rampant Ė and, actually, I had Post-Abortion Syndrome.
why I became a cocaine addict. I hated putting babies in strainers and rinsing
them off and putting them in zip-lock bags. I consider myself to be an
abortion-survivor because I was on a fast track of dying because of it.
Post-Abortion Syndrome is very prevalent Ė very, very prevalent.
Brad: So you saw it in women?
Eric: I saw it in women ten minutes after the abortion. I saw it in women
after the abortion. They would call begging for help.
Brad: What was your response to them?
Eric: "Youíll get over it, sweetie. Your hormones are going crazy right
soon as your hormones calm down, youíll be fine." That was the standard line
that was given.
Dr. W: And, of course, it didnít mean a thing.
Eric: No, it didnít. But, you know, it bought you some time with them.
implanted in their minds that there was nothing wrong with them. It was their
Dr. W: And they went away?
Eric: They went away, but at some point in time, they would usually re-surface
again. In my clinic we had protocols for what to do when people threatened
suicide. They would call six months after the abortion. They couldnít stand it
anymore. They were going to kill themselves and you had to keep them on the
line and then call a crisis mental center and get intervention.
Brad: So the abortion industry is aware of Post-Abortion Syndrome?
Eric: Yes, but they deny it.
Dr. W: How about effect on men?
Eric: What I did see was this little game that was played, where the men
would come in with these girls and say, "Oh, honey, right now is not the right
time to have the baby, but go ahead and have the abortion and weíll have
another baby and get married soon." Then, as soon as the abortion was over
with, heíd dump her. That happens constantly. And I would tell girls, "Donít you
even think for a minute that heís going to be back when youíre back here for
your checkup, because heís going to be gone." "No, Eric, itís not like that.
You donít understand him like I do." And then, a month later: "You were right,
Eric. He left me."
Dr. W: Sweet-talk her into it and then leave her there.
Eric: Exactly. Leave her there. Iíve seen guys drop girls off at the abortion
clinic, pay for the abortion, sit around and wait until they hear the suction
machines start Ė then they know itís over and theyíre gone. Wonít even take
her home! Iíve seen that more than I can remember. Iíve seen all kinds of
Dr. W: Eric, we really do thank you for your time and your straightforward
answers. I encourage you to keep writing your book. &127;
[Interview courtesy of Abortionfacts.com]
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