Dave Andrusko

‘Some of the slaughtered were so much like babies that should be taken home’: Gosnell Grand Jury

Dave Andrusko
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The murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell was postponed Monday because Gosnell’s attorney was sick. Perhaps he’d read some of the Grand Jury report, from which we are excerpting every single day the trial goes on.

In Section IV, titled, “The Intentional Killing of Viable Babies,” the Grand Jury reports on babies who were aborted alive and then killed who were so big that (as one Gosnell employee said of one boy) “he was nearly the size of her own six pound, six ounce, newborn daughter.”

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Gosnell left dozens of damaged women in his wake. His reckless treatment left them infected, sterilized, permanently maimed, close to death, and, in at least two cases, dead. Their injuries and deaths resulted directly from Gosnell’s utter disregard for their health and safety. However, if their fate was entirely foreseeable, it was not necessarily the product of specific intent to kill.

The same cannot be said of untold numbers of babies – not fetuses in the womb, but live babies, born outside their mothers – whose brief lives ended in Gosnell’s filthy facility. The doctor, or his employees acting at his direction, deliberately killed them as part of the normal course of business.

Gosnell and his staff severed the spinal cords of viable, moving, breathing babies  who were born alive.

Surgical abortions in Pennsylvania, performed up to 24 weeks of gestational age, are legal. Killing living babies outside the womb is not. The neonatologist who testified before the Grand Jury defined “born alive.” According to this expert witness, the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act defines a human as “somebody who’s been completely expelled from the mother and has either a heartbeat, pulsating cord, or is moving.”

Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act defines “born alive” similarly, but adds breathing and brain wave activity as indicators of life. 18 Pa.C.S. §3203.

Gosnell’s staff testified about scores of gruesome killings of such born-alive infants carried out mainly by Gosnell, but also by employees Steve Massof, Lynda Williams, and Adrienne Moton. These killings became so routine that no one could put an exact number on them. They were considered “standard procedure.” Yet some of the slaughtered were so fully formed, so much like babies that should be dressed and taken home, that even clinic employees who were accustomed to the practice were shocked.

Baby Boy A

One such baby was a boy born in July 2008 to 17-year-old we will call “Sue.” Sue first met Gosnell at the Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, an abortion clinic in Wilmington, Delaware, where Gosnell worked one day a week. The girl was accompanied by her great aunt, who had agreed to pay for the procedure, and who testified before the Grand Jury. After an ultrasound was performed on Sue, Gosnell told the aunt that the girl’s pregnancy was further along than she had originally told him, and that, therefore, the procedure would cost more than the $1,500 that had been agreed upon; it would now cost $2,500. (Gosnell normally charged $1,625 for 23-24 week abortions.) The aunt paid Gosnell in cash at the Delaware clinic. He inserted laminaria, gave Sue pills to begin labor, and instructed her to be at the Women’s Medical Center in Philadelphia at 9:00 the next morning.

Sue arrived with her aunt at 9:00 a.m. and did not leave the clinic until almost 11:00 that night. An ultrasound conducted by Kareema Cross recorded a gestational age of 29.4 weeks. Cross testified that the girl appeared to be seven or eight months pregnant. Cross said that, during 13-plus hours, the girl was given a large amount of Cytotec to induce labor and delivery. Sue complained of pain and was heavily sedated. According to Cross, the girl was left to labor for hours and hours. Eventually, she gave birth to a large baby boy. Cross estimated that the baby was 18 to 19 inches long. She said he was nearly the size of her own six pound, six ounce, newborn daughter.

After the baby was expelled, Cross noticed that he was breathing, though not for long. After about 10 to 20 seconds, while the mother was asleep, “the doctor just slit the neck,” said Cross. Gosnell put the boy’s body in a shoebox. Cross described the baby as so big that his feet and arms hung out over the sides of the container. Cross said that she saw the baby move after his neck was cut, and after the doctor placed it in the shoebox. Gosnell told her, “it’s the baby’s reflexes. It’s not really moving.”

The neonatologist testified that what Gosnell told his people was absolutely false. If a baby moves, it is alive. Equally troubling, it feels a “tremendous amount of pain” when its spinal cord is severed. So, the fact that Baby Boy A. continued to move after his spinal cord was cut with scissors means that he did not die instantly. Maybe the cord was not completely severed. In any case, his few moments of life were spent in excruciating pain.

Cross was not the only one startled by the size and maturity of Baby Boy A.

Adrienne Moton and Ashley Baldwin, along with Cross, took photographs because they knew this was a baby that could and should have lived. Cross explained:

Q. Why did you all take a photograph of this baby?

A. Because it was big and it was wrong and we knew it.  We knew something was wrong.

I’m not sure who took the picture first, but when we seen this baby, it was – it was a shock to us because I never seen a baby that big that he had done. So it was – I knew something was wrong because everything, like you can see everything, the hair, eyes, everything. And I never seen for any other procedure that he did, I never seen any like that.

The neonatologist viewed a photograph of Baby Boy A. Based on the baby’s size, hairline, muscle mass, subcutaneous tissue, well-developed scrotum, and other characteristics, the doctor opined that the boy was at least 32 weeks, if not more, in gestational age.

Gosnell simply noted the baby boy’s size by joking, as he often did after delivering a large baby. According to Cross, the doctor said: “This baby is big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop.” The doctor released Sue to go home 13 or 14 hours after she arrived. Her aunt described her condition: “She was moaning. She was standing up. She was like holding her stomach, doubled over.” She remained in pain for days and could barely eat. When she developed a fever, her aunt called Gosnell. He instructed the aunt to take her temperature and asked if she was taking pain medicine he had given her – which she was.

But he did not have her come in to be checked out. And he did not suggest that she go to a hospital. When Sue started throwing up a few days later, her grandmother contacted a different doctor, who told her to get to a hospital right away. Sue was admitted to Crozier-Chester Hospital. Doctors there found that she had a severe infection and blood clots that had travelled to her lungs. According to Kareema Cross, who spoke to the aunt, Sue almost died. The teen stayed at the hospital for a week and a half. She became extremely thin and took months to recover, according to her aunt.

Reprinted from National Right to Life News

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In-utero laser surgery saves unborn twins

Dave Andrusko
Dave Andrusko
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A tip of the hat to ABC 13 News which broadcasts in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and especially to reporter Lucy Bustamente for her terrific story about Ella and Anna Springer. The twins were born February 21 at 32 weeks and are doing fine.

However, no one could be sure there would be a happy outcome when Crystal Springer, then 22 weeks pregnant, learned that her babies had a condition known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

TTTS is rare and potentially lethal, and occurs only in identical twins. In TTTS one sibling, called the recipient, takes too much blood from the other–the “donor twin”–who can suffer stunted growth as a result, or die.

More specifically, “The shared placenta contains abnormal blood vessels, which connect the umbilical cords and circulations of the twins,” according to the Twin to Twin Transfusion Foundation. “The common placenta may also be shared unequally by the twins, and one twin may have a share too small to provide the necessary nutrients to grow normally or even survive.”

When Mrs. Springer and husband Nick, a sailor on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, learned that Ella and Anna had TTTS, “I felt like I failed them,” Mrs. Springer told Bustamente. “I thought I did something wrong to cause this.”

But “they went right from the doctor’s office to Eastern Virginia Medical School to meet with Jena Miller, MD, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist,” Bustamente explained. Dr. Miller counseled that they operate immediately because the undernourished baby could go into heart failure. Miller recommended a laser procedure–performed in the womb– to separate the blood vessels.

The December 9 operation went “perfectly,” Miller explained, but the babies weren’t out of the woods yet. “Dr. Miller knew still it was not time to celebrate,” Bustamente told her viewers. “The twins had a 40% chance of dying since the [abnormal blood] vessels could form again.”

Thankfully, they did not.

The couple wanted Dr. Miller to deliver the twins, because she had done so much for them and their children. She made it just in time to perform the C-Section on February 21. Anna was born healthy at 5 pounds, seven ounces. Ella weighed in at 4 pounds, seven ounces, and also was healthy.

The girls went home after six weeks in the Special Care Nursery at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and there is every reason to believe Anna and Ella will develop normally.

“The new Sentara EVMS Fetal Care Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital provides in-utero treatment for many fetal conditions once considered life threatening or treatable only after birth,” ABC Channel 13 News reported. “It’s the only site of care in Virginia and one of few on the East Coast to perform laser therapy for TTTS.”

And the Springers were the first beneficiaries. As Mr. Springer told Bustamente, they have twin girls “who sleep through the night and eat well.”

Reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News

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Wednesday begins two days of expert testimony in case of man who slipped abortifacient to girlfriend

Dave Andrusko
Dave Andrusko
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It seemingly came out of the blue. John Andrew Welden admitted tricking his then-girlfriend Remee Jo Lee into taking misoprostol (Cytotec)last March with the intention of causing Ms. Lee to miscarry her 6-7-week-old unborn baby. His lawyers had worked out a plea bargain so that Welden pleaded guilty to lesser charges of consumer product tampering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud as part of a plea bargain to avoid first-degree murder charges under the NRLC-inspired Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

The September agreement between prosecutors and defense attorney Todd Foster recommended a prison term of 13 years and eight months for Welden. And then….

Last month U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara, clearly influenced by a court filing submitted in June by Welden’s attorney, Todd Foster, told both parties that “The Court has grave concerns with regard to whether there exists a true factual basis to support” the plea bargain parties have already signed.

Foster’s filing included an affidavit from Dr. Rebecca Allen, who teaches obstetrics and gynecology at the medical school at Brown University, who “opined that it would be ‘impossible’ for one 200 microgram dose to have caused serious bodily harm and also ‘impossible’ for anyone to definitively say that it induced Lee’s abortion,” according to Patty Ryan, reporting for the Tampa Bay Times.

Judge Lazzara delayed the sentencing and promised to take testimony from experts on the “potency” of Misoprostol—specifically whether a single 200 microgram dose could have induced Ms. Lee’s miscarriage. That is what the court will hear today and tomorrow.

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Originally a federal grand jury indicted Weldon on two federal charges, one of them a murder charge made possible by the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act legislation that was instigated by NRLC and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2004. Had Weldon been convicted on that charge, Weldon would have faced a mandatory life sentence without parole.

Weldon told Ms. Lee that his physician father said that she had an infection and he was bringing her antibiotics. After scratched identifying markings off the Cytotec pills, Welden then put the fraudulent label on the empty pill bottle and put the altered Cytotec pills inside. (Cytotec can be used to induce contractions.)

Welden “also affixed a second label to the bottle reading, ‘Amoxicillin: 125mg oral tablet,’ a common antibiotic,” according to reporter Elaine Silverstrini. Ms. Lee began feeling severe pain and cramps, The Tampa Times reported, and “On March 31 [2013], she went to Tampa General Hospital, where she was told the unborn child was dead.” Ms. Lee’s baby was estimated to be 6-7 weeks old.

Reprinted with permission from NRLC

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Skeptical panel hears arguments against portions of pro-life Texas bill

Dave Andrusko
Dave Andrusko
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A three-judge federal appeals court panel Monday heard an hour-long debate over the constitutionality of two sections of HB 2, a pro-life 2013 Texas law.

The consensus, for what it’s worth, among media accounts is that judges Jennifer Walker Elrod, Catharina Haynes, and Edith Jones were skeptical of the plaintiff’s arguments made on behalf of Planned Parenthood and a number of abortionists by Janet Crepps, a lawyer for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel did not indicate when a decision would be rendered on U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel’s October ruling which overturned portions of HB2. Whichever way the panel rules, the case is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Plaintiffs challenged two portions of HB2. The first requires that abortionists have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. The second addresses how chemical abortifacients are administered. The law requires the abortionist be in the same room as the woman receiving the chemical abortifacients (which is not the case with so-called ‘web-cam” abortions) and that abortionists follow the protocol approved by the FDA for the use of the two-drug “RU-486” abortion technique.

Crepps and Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell sparred over the intent and the impact of the provision requiring that abortionists have admitting privileges in a local hospital.

Crepps argued that the law would force abortion clinics to close, and that the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas in particular would be without an abortionist. As a result pregnant women seeking abortions would have to drive 150 miles to have an abortion, Crepps told the panel.

Mitchell rejoined that the plaintiff’s “burden is to show that that 30-mile radius is unconstitutionally burdensome everywhere through the state.” He added, “And they have not met that burden here.”

A key question raised in court and in court filings was whether an absence of abortionists stemmed from HB2 or unrelated factors. For example, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated that “there is no medically sound basis for H.B. 2′s privileges requirement.”

Judge Haynes asked (according to the paraphrase of Andrea Grimes of RhRealitycheck.org) why “if ACOG’s group of thousands of OB-GYNs in Texas felt abortion was an essential procedure, more of them didn’t perform abortions themselves. If more of them didn’t sign on to perform the procedure, thereby reducing access to abortion, she said, ‘that is not a creature of HB 2′s making.’”

Crepps responded that doctors [abortionists] are afraid of violence and harassment. To which Judge Jones asked, “And what did Dr. Gosnell do?” a reference to the abortionist convicted in 2013 of three counts of first degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter.

Pro-abortionists say that more than a dozen abortion clinics have closed because of the law, although some (apparently four) have reopened. The obvious question is how many others will sudden ly reopen in the weeks and months to come.

In a November 22 court filing, the state of Texas argued that the new requirements promote the health and safety of women and advance the state’s “interest in protecting fetal life.”

“Although some opponents of (the law) have questioned whether the statute’s health-and-safety benefits will outweigh the costs imposed on abortion providers, the Supreme Court allows states to resolve disagreements within the medical community over the proper standards of practice.”

As NRL News Today reported, on October 28 Judge Yeakel ruled that the admitting privileges provision places an unconstitutional burden on women’s access to abortion. Three days later a 5th Circuit panel (which included two of the judges who heard oral arguments yesterday) allowed Texas to enforce the law while the state appealed Yeakel’s decision.

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In a 20-page decision, Judges Priscilla R. Owen, Jennifer Walker Elrod, and Catharina Haynes wrote, “[T]here is a substantial likelihood that the state will prevail in its argument that Planned Parenthood failed to establish an undue burden on women seeking abortions or that the hospital-admitting-privileges requirement creates a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion.” (See nrlc.cc/1iuZmDM.)

On November 28 the U.S. Supreme Court voted not to block (“stay”) the appeals court’s action allowing the law to be enforced.

HB 2 was passed in July by the Texas Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Perry. The overall bill is best known for pro-abortion state Senator Wendy Davis’s filibuster which temporarily foiled the will of the legislature and the people of Texas. Davis subsequently used the enormous media attention she received as a springboard to announce that she was running for governor.

As NRL News Today has reported, the silence of pro-abortionists was deafening on Texas’ Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. That law which prohibits aborting babies capable of feeling pain, was never challenged and went into effect in October, the same day Yeakel issued his injunction.

Reprinted with permission from NRLC

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