Ben Johnson

‘A slap on the wrist’: Delaware fines abortionist $1,500 for running filthy ‘meat-market’ clinic

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

DOVER, DE, January 8, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An abortionist who ran a “meat-market” style Planned Parenthood facility – singing hymns to Jesus while performing abortions with unsterilized equipment on bloody tables – has been fined $1,500 and given a letter of reprimand.

The Delaware Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline decided on Tuesday to accept a consent agreement that Dr. Timothy Liveright signed in November.

Liveright, who has performed abortions in the state since 2002, surrendered his state medical license and agreed not to seek another. However, he retained his credentials in nearby Pennsylvania.

The settlement ends a drama that began last year when two of his former nurses went public about his practices, following futile attempts to alert the abortion industry and state authorities to his behavior.

Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich said Liveright's "meat-market" style of operation made the Wilmington Planned Parenthood an "absolute nightmare."

Liveright has said he has performed 50,000 abortions in his life, sometimes doing 30 terminations a day. Charging approximately $60 per procedure, he said he has sometimes made $5,000-$10,000 a month.

In an effort to keep the profits flowing, Liveright would perform abortions every eight-to-10 minutes, the nurses testified. Mitchell-Werbrich told the state Senate in May that Liveright rushed “patients back into unclean procedure rooms, where the examination table would still have bloody drainage and body fluids from the previous patients.”

He would reuse bloody gloves and unsterilized instruments, as well, she said.

In the first few months of this year pro-life activists witnessed ambulances visiting the clinic five times.

But when the nurses tried to alert authorities – including the state Planned Parenthood affiliate – they ran into a stone wall. Liveright later said that "Planned Parenthood is partly to blame for all this,” since it turned a deaf ear to his former employees' complaints.

The nurses say they also got “the run-around” from a myriad of state regulatory agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the state Division of Professional Regulation, the governor's office, the Board of Nursing, and Delaware Health and Social Services.

After they blew the whistle on his office, State Attorney General Beau Biden, the vice president's son, launched an investigation that found Liveright posed a “clear and immediate danger to the public.”

The attorney general's complaint listed 10 “acts of incompetence and negligence” in Liveright’s treatment of five abortion clients over a one-month period. These included oversedating patients, performing unnecessary suction procedures, improperly administering oxygen, and failing to “act with due competence and diligence” in such a manner that patients required emergency hospital visits.

The Delaware Division of Public Health found another 14 violations of state health regulations at the Wilmington Planned Parenthood affiliate. The office was briefly closed last June, then reopened when state health officials accepted Planned Parenthood's proposals to address their concerns.

But eyewitnesses say the criminal and administrative charges do not encompass the range of unprofessional, exploitative, and purely bizarre behavior Liveright regularly engaged in.

Liveright would sign hymn to Jesus while performing abortions, Mitchell-Werbrich testified. She said he also told one black patient that "Belgians took over Africa and did really bad things," and that "the United States is a big bully.” He added, "I didn’t think you’d know anything about that."

The nurse told Jill Stanek that Liveright would ogle, slap, or play peek-a-boo with his patients.

He would “look up and down patients, as well as staff members, in a sexual kind of way,” she told Stanek. “He actually stands back with a grin and slowly directs his eyes up and down a patient’s body.” As part of his consent agreement, he will also receive training on sexual harassment.

Vasikonis, who describes herself as “rabidly pro-abortion,” attended the hearing – unlike Liveright, who skipped the proceedings. On Tuesday, she told the Wilmington News Journal she was “disappointed” with the light penalty.

“A reprimand seems very mild to me and a $1,500 fine – to me it’s like nothing,” she said.

Mitchell-Werbrich said the paltry fine would soon be recouped. “A $1,500 fine? That’s a couple abortions. That's a joke,” she said.

“I have lost much more than $1,500,” Vasikonis said, adding that she has been unable to find work since she exposed her employer's negligence. “There is no real resolution.”

Click "like" if you want to end abortion!

But Planned Parenthood Delaware CEO Ruth Lytle-Barnaby said in a press statement that her organization was “pleased that this [case] has been resolved,” and pledged to “remain focused on providing high-quality, affordable health care to the 11,000 women, men and young people in Delaware.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Liveright admitted only that he did not properly record procedures performed on three patients.

Liveright initially denied all wrongdoing, calling the charges "bull---t" and pro-life complaints that he perforated a woman's uterus "nit-picky."

"It's one lousy incident,” Liveright said about the potentially deadly injury, “a tempest in a teapot."

"Most people in favor of abortion, I think, would be pretty happy with what I've done," he said.

Support hard-hitting pro-life and pro-family journalism.

Donate to LifeSite's fall campaign today


Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

, ,

Louisiana judge orders state to recognize gay ‘marriage’

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson

A Louisiana judge on Monday ordered state officials to recognize the out-of-state “marriage” of a lesbian couple and allow one of the women to legally adopt her partner’s child.

Angie Costanza and Christy Brewer were “married” in 2008 in California, but Louisiana’s marriage protection amendment, passed by 78 percent of voters in 2004, prevented the state from recognizing the couple’s union.  The pair sued in 2013 to overturn the law, in part because Costanza wanted to be listed as a parent on Brewer’s son’s birth certificate. 

Initially, Judge Edward Broussard dismissed the case without a hearing, but the couple appealed.  On Monday, Judge Edward Rubin took their side, ruling that Louisiana’s marriage protection law is unconstitutional in three ways:  According to Rubin, the ban on same-sex “marriage” violates the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution, as well as the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th amendment.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Rubin’s decision comes just weeks after U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman declared Louisiana’s marriage protection law constitutional – the first federal judge to decide in favor of a same-sex “marriage” ban since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year. “There is simply no fundamental right, historically or traditionally, to same-sex marriage,” Feldman wrote in his decision. 

However, because this case is being tried in the state courts, Rubin’s decision will take precedence over Feldman’s, pending appeal.

The state plans to appeal Rubin’s ruling to the state Supreme Court.  Meanwhile, the federal case is also moving forward.  Ultimately, it is expected that the question of whether statewide bans on same-sex “marriage” are constitutional will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court sometime in 2015. 

Advertisement
Featured Image
Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral Shutterstock.com
Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

New archbishops in Chicago and Madrid: Ratzingerians out, ‘inclusiveness’ in

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White
Image
Chicago's Archbishop-elect, Blase Cupich

Pope Francis announced Saturday that he is appointing as archbishop of Chicago a prelate best known in pro-life circles as the man who ordered his priests in 2011 not to participate in local 40 Days for Life prayer vigils. The media and Church watchers describe him as “progressive,” “inclusive,” and “left-of-center.”

The appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich, current head of the Spokane diocese in Washington, to America’s third most prominent see – an appointment which Vatican watchers predicted would signal the pope’s priorities for the direction of the U.S. Church – has been widely praised by liberal Catholics and opponents of Church teaching but met with concern by many Catholic activists.

The archbishop-elect gave a sense of his approach to the U.S. “culture war” in an interview Sunday with Chicago’s CBS affiliate, in which he suggested he would be open to giving Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians and a person wearing a button in favour of same-sex “marriage.”

“As long as they’re in church, are willing to hear the word of God, be open to Christ’s call of conversion for each one of us, then I think that that’s sufficient for me,” he said. “We cannot politicize the Communion rail and I just don’t think that that works in the long run.”

Cupich will replace the ailing Cardinal Francis George, known in the US as a “Ratzingerian” for his strong defense of Catholic orthodoxy, particularly on issues of sexual morality, but who is suffering from cancer and is overdue for retirement at age 77. The archbishop of Chicago is also normally granted the “red hat” and made a cardinal, which would make Cupich eligible to vote in upcoming papal conclaves. Cupich is scheduled to be installed in Chicago November 18.

The Chicago appointment mirrors that of another outside the US in recent weeks. Rome announced August 28 that Carlos Osoro Sierra, 69, will be installed as the new archbishop of Madrid, Spain’s capital city and largest archdiocese. But the story in Madrid has less to do with the new appointee and more to do with the would-be appointee who was demoted.

Until just before the appointment, most Vatican watchers expected the prominent post to be given to 68-year-old Vatican Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, dubbed the “little Ratzinger” for his orthodoxy in line with Pope Benedict XVI.  When LifeSiteNews interviewed Cardinal Cañizares in 2009 at the time of his appointment as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, he noted that denying communion to pro-abortion politicians was a charitable act.

Leaving his Vatican post, he was considered a natural for the Madrid spot. But instead it went to the archbishop of Valencia, and Cañizares is to fill that vacancy instead.

The former archbishop of Valencia is known for his strong “liberal” leanings and he will be replacing Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, 78, who, like Cañizares, is also known for following the lead of the retired Pope Benedict XVI.

El Pais wrote of the new appointee that Catholics of the Madrid archdiocese, accustomed to the “hieratic” Varela, will be seeing “an entirely different model.”

“Shortly after the announcement of his appointment, the most repeated words to define his figure were ‘dialogue’ and ‘moderation.’”

“During the 12 years he has been the head of the Catholic Church [in Madrid], Rouco Varela has too often mixed faith and politics, with an overdose of intransigence. Defending the (exclusively traditional) family and attacking laws that recognize the right of women to abortion are the main workhorses.”

Catholic News Agency’s Vatican-watcher, Andrea Gagliarducci, wrote that the appointment marks a “new course for Spain’s bishops.” He is described in the Spanish press as “affable,” “friendly,” and “extremely gregarious.” 

As for Cupich, David Gibson of Religion News Service described him as “a prelate closely identified with the Catholic Church’s progressive wing.”

Click "like" to support Catholics Restoring the Culture!

Vatican watcher Rocco Palmo, author of the “Whispers in the Loggia” blog, wrote that the appointment is “the most shocking major move the American hierarchy has seen in the last decade and a half.” Another Vatican veteran, John Allen Jr., wrote for the US Catholic online magazine Crux that Cupich so closely mirrors Pope Francis’ theology and style that he could be called the “American Pope Francis in Chicago.”

On his blog, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, known for his icy relations with the pro-life movement, shared his excitement over the “new breeze” brought by Cupich’s appointment. The bishop noted that Cupich “admires deeply the ecclesiology and vision” of leftist prelates such as former San Francisco Archbishop John Quinn and former Galveston-Houston Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza.

The news of Cupich’s appointment was met with praise in the mainstream press. According to The New York Times Francis has “set the tone” for US appointments by “replacing a combative conservative with a prelate whose pastoral approach to upholding church doctrine is more in keeping with the pope’s inclusive tone.”

It has also been praised by dissident Catholic groups such as the homosexual activist group New Ways Ministries. Last year, the group issued a roundup of evaluations of the various leading members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who were set to elect a new president. New Ways praised Cupich for his intervention in the 2012 debate leading up to a referendum on “gay marriage” in Washington State. Cupich’s only intervention was a pastoral letter in which he asked voters to uphold traditional marriage, but also called for a “more civil and honest conversation about Catholic positions on equality.”

“I also want to be very clear that in stating our position, the Catholic Church has no tolerance for the misuse of this moment to incite hostility toward homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity,” Cupich wrote.

Cupich stood out from his fellow US bishops in his response to the abortion-funding Obamacare. Though he joined his other bishops in condemning the Obama administration’s mandate that Catholic employers cover abortifacients and contraceptives, he encouraged Catholic Charities in his diocese to act as an Obamacare navigator and help people sign up for coverage that could fund the destruction of unborn life.

He also condemned the line of other US bishops when they threatened to shut down Catholic social services. “These kind of scare tactics and worse-case scenario predictions are uncalled for,” Cupich wrote in a letter to diocesan employees. “I am confident we can find a way to move forward.”

Today the anti-Catholic organization Call to Action issued a press release saying they are “relieved” at the appointment. “At a time when numerous U.S. Bishops are choosing to fight ideological battles, Pope Francis’ selection of Cupich demonstrates a desire for a humbler, more pastoral church.”  

Call to Action, like New Ways Ministries, works to overturn Catholic doctrine, particularly on sexual matters, from within the Church, and has received the censure of the US bishops for their activities. They wrote, “The choice of Cupich shows promise for a church which can be closer to the people. Catholics in Chicago and beyond yearn for a faith rooted in the Gospel call of love and justice over rigid orthodoxy.”

Share this article

Advertisement
Rick Perry
Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock
Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

,

Rick Perry: Joan Rivers’ death shows Texas is right to require abortionists to have admitting privileges

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson

In the wake of the high-profile death of comedienne Joan Rivers due to complications from throat surgery at an outpatient clinic in New York City, Texas Gov. Rick Perry pointed to the tragedy as an example showing the necessity for his state’s one-year-old law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as other ambulatory surgical centers.

"It was interesting that when Joan Rivers -- and the procedure that she had done, where she died -- that was a clinic,” Perry said at a Texas Tribune event on Sunday. “It's a curious thought that if they had had that type of regulations in place, whether or not that individual would be still alive.”

Many observers have criticized the governor’s remarks, noting that Rivers’ surgery was performed in a fully licensed ambulatory surgical center by a doctor with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, as is the current standard for abortion facilities in Texas, but died anyway.  However, the painstaking investigation into what may have gone wrong at the New York City clinic reveals that while all surgery carries risks, ambulatory surgical centers are required to take every precaution to ensure the safety of their patients, in contrast to more loosely regulated abortion clinics, where injuries and deaths are rampant, and often covered up.

While 32 separate medical associations have signed a joint agreement stating that anyone “performing office-based surgery must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, a transfer agreement with another physician who has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, or maintain an emergency transfer agreement with a nearby hospital,” abortion businesses have fought such regulations tooth and nail, arguing that requiring abortionists to maintain admitting privileges is too burdensome and will cause clinics to close their doors.  

Abortionists have also opposed tougher safety restrictions forcing them to adhere to the same standards as other ambulatory surgical centers, arguing that upgrading their substandard facilities to meet hospital-grade requirements is costly and unnecessary.  But proponents of such regulations point out that the tiny parking lots, narrow hallways, and lack of elevators common to most abortion facilities are serious impediments to getting lifesaving help to women in case of emergencies, delaying paramedics who can’t park their ambulances or maneuver gurneys through such buildings.  In addition, licensed ambulatory surgical centers must have and properly maintain state-of-the-art resuscitation equipment, and train employees in their use – something abortion clinics have repeatedly been cited for failing to do.

Share this article

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook