Kirsten Andersen


Botched abortion charges against unsanitary facility owner thrown out by his former mentor

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen

MUSKEGON, MI, February 19, 2013, ( – The former owner of the unlicensed Muskegon abortion clinic shut down by authorities late last year for its unsanitary conditions has gone into hiding. Now, the Michigan Board of Medicine is facing hard questions from state legislators after a local news channel uncovered evidence that the board chairman used his position to shelter the abortionist from an investigation into a botched abortion in 2009 despite having an alleged conflict of interest.

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, a former member of the Board of Medicine who sits on the state Senate Health Policy Committee, is demanding a hearing to investigate why Dr. George Shade was permitted to make a ruling clearing the abortionist of any wrongdoing, considering his past close relationship with the accused, Dr. Robert Alexander.

Their relationship stretched back nearly 20 years, when Alexander lost his medical license in 1990 and served time behind bars in federal prison for selling illegal prescriptions. It was Shade who helped him get his license back upon his release, writing a letter on his behalf that the disgraced doctor used as “Exhibit A-1” in his licensing board hearing. Shade then took the ex-convict under his wing, serving as Alexander’s supervisor and mentor at a “training program” at Detroit Riverview Hospital.

When asked by Target 8 about the potential conflict of interest inherent to his close relationship to Alexander, Shade said, “It's a very detailed process to investigate, and that process was followed.” Shade added, “This conversation is over” before hanging up the phone.

In 2009, Dr. Michael Engel filed a complaint against abortionist Robert Alexander on behalf of patient Sheria McCloud, stating that he botched her abortion.

When McCloud went to Alexander’s clinic seeking an abortion, she was told she was about 10 weeks pregnant. He performed an ultrasound and an abortion. “When I left, I thought that the process was done, because when I came home, I was bleeding,” McCloud told local station Target 8.

But a month later, she felt pain and movement inside her stomach and went to the emergency room. There, an ultrasound revealed she was 30 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby boy. Her son, Jeremiah, is now three years old.

In his complaint, Engel wrote, “[McCloud] informed me that Dr. Alexander did do an ultrasound and then, ‘stuck something up inside her and moved it around, removing something.’” When Engel called Alexander to ask for clarification, the abortionist told him he performed a “limited ultrasound,” because it was hard to do the ultrasound properly, “due to the patient being obese.”

Wrote Engel, “He stated he saw a gestational sac and removed that.”

But Engel expressed skepticism. “What he sucked out, who knows,” he told Target 8. “He could have punctured her placenta. This was an outrageous thing he did.”

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Engel says he treated ten of Alexander’s former patients for bleeding or infections due to botched abortions over a six-year period.

In his complaint, Engel said that after Alexander tore a hole in one patient’s womb during an abortion, the patient was “unable to walk for a month due to the pain.”

Engel says that woman is lucky to be alive. “She could have bled to death,” he said.

Despite the severity of Engel’s accusations against Dr. Alexander and the preponderance of evidence, more than 10 months passed without a single word from the Board of Medicine. Then, in May 2010, Dr. George Shade, then-chairman of the state Board of Medicine finally sent Engel a letter. His decision: “No investigation needed.”

That was the end of Engel’s complaint against Alexander, who continued operating a mold-riddled, blood-spattered abortion facility until the City of Muskegon shut it down as a threat to public health.

If Shade indeed followed procedure in dismissing the case against Alexander, Sheria McCloud thinks the process is flawed. “He shouldn't have been investigating my case if he was [Alexander’s] mentor,” said McCloud. “It should have been somebody else investigating. Why would you investigate my case and you are his mentor?

Both Engel and McCloud said no one from the state Board of Medicine ever contacted them to follow up or ask questions about their complaint.

A proper investigation, Engel said, “would entail talking to [Alexander], going to his place of business, talking to me, talking to the patient, doing basic due diligence, which they didn't do.”

Instead, the state sent him a letter in May 2010 informing him that Dr. Shade had determined there was “insufficient basis to authorize investigation of your allegation.”

In a one-page response addressing the complaint, Shade wrote: “Appropriate evaluation of the patient was performed. She was outside the legal limit for voluntary termination of pregnancy and was informed of such by the licensee [Alexander]. Patient was refunded her payment. No breach of standard of care, no fraud, no unethical practice.”

But McCloud, now parenting the young child she originally paid to have aborted, said she never received a refund for the botched procedure. She also said she was unaware that the case had been dismissed until Target 8 asked her about it.

“To this day, I thought the case was still open,” McCloud said. “Nobody ever sent me no letter or nothing.”

“That's what she says,” retorted Shade. He says the state would certainly have notified the patient. “I know the process,” he said. “I was on the Board of Medicine for eight years.”

Sen. Schuitmaker said Shade’s involvement in the case was a “clear conflict of interest” and “should never have occurred.”

“This is not about pro-life or pro-choice, this is about women's safety,” said Schuitmaker. “It is extremely troubling that any person, regardless of whether they sit on any regulatory committee, would have this kind of power to really put the public at jeopardy.”

Schuitmaker wants the state to re-open the original complaint if it can. “If there is any possibility, I think it’s incumbent upon the state Board of Medicine to really examine it and go back and understand where they failed,” she said.

Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, whose group is following the case, said that this may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to medical boards covering for abortionists.

“This kind of cronyism and corruption within Medical Boards that protect abortionists from legitimate complaints is sadly not unique to Michigan,” Newman said. “We have seen similar situations in several other states, including Kansas during the [now-HHS Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius administration. These are cases where Boards create a political climate that shields abortionists from accountability no matter how egregious the offense, then turns the offending abortionists loose to continue to inflict pain and injury on women.”

“Those who will allow political ideology to trump the lives and health of women should be criminally prosecuted over this abuse of power and breach of public trust,” Newman continued. “I certainly hope heads roll in Michigan over this.”

Anyone wishing to prosecute Dr. Alexander will have to find him first. Local media report he has stopped returning calls and no longer answers the door at his Plainwell home. Target 8 reporters visited the abortion facility in Detroit where he was rumored to be working after the closure of his Muskegon clinic.

The receptionist told them, “He was working here, but he doesn't anymore.”  

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Rebekah O’Brien

Watch: Family of 12 children totally blows away judges on America’s Got Talent

Rebekah O’Brien
By Rebekah O'Brien

Twenty years ago, he was devastated by the loss of his 6 youngest siblings in a horrific car crash. Now Toby Willis is the father of 12 phenomenally talented children, who recently stunned judges with their performance on NBC's America's Got Talent. 

Check out their performance here:

Willis is a man who didn't let the horror of his past define his future. He didn't let fear govern his life. Instead, he and his wife, Brenda devoted their lives to their children, who range from a beautiful 21-year-old all the way down to an adorable 3-year-old. Every child is incredibly gifted. And they have completely captured hearts across America. 

These 14 individuals remind us that no matter what, life is worth living, and living to the fullest.

Read more about the Willis Clan here

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Bishops: As world watches soccer, Mid East Christians being slaughtered

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

I'll be honest: I don't understand why soccer has so many fans. However, as my Facebook News Feed has been inundated with other people who seem to love the sport, I've accepted that I must suffer until Sunday evening before I get a four-year break. I've even watched a couple of hours to try and understand the game, only to return to mocking it on Facebook.

If only my friends and I -- a microcosm of the American and developed world's population -- spent a fraction of this time paying attention to some real battles going on, with real consequences for millions of Middle Eastern Christians. 

From Rorate Caeli's blog, a wake-up from two bishops. First, in Syria and Iraq:

It was unclear whether Syrian troops, who apparently advanced in and around the northern city of Aleppo on Monday, July 7, would be able to halt the ISIL fighters. Yet, most Christians have already been forced to flee Syria and Iraq, where the head of the Chaldean-Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, fears Christian life will eventually come to an end in the region.
"In ten years there will perhaps be 50,000 Christians left" in Iraq, he said in a statement released by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need and obtained by BosNewsLife. "Prior to 2003, this figure was about 1.2 million. Within ten years we have shrunk to a community of perhaps four to five hundred thousand faithful," he added.

The bishop begged from attention from Western states who he said "find football" in the current World Cup "more interesting than the situation here or in Syria."

And now Cardinal Barbarin, the Primate of the Gauls:

"The eradication of religious minorities is not, alas, a collateral damage of the insane strategy of the murderers: it is their declared goal," says Cardinal Barbarin. And he adds, "Because these are men who are being murdered, in silence, between two waves of a Brazilian soccer stadium," he insists by evoking the global enthusiasm for the football world cup.

Are there tangible, real benefits to the World Cup besides the occasional scoring of goals? Absolutely. It's what the entire concept of the Olympics is based around. But as American Christians continue to be sucked into a shallow world of sports, celebrity scandals, and political memes, we ignore where critical battles for peace and justice exist -- in the Middle East, and other regions of the world, where, to quote the Boston Globe's John Allen, "Christians...find themselves in a literal firing line."

Recently, my parish had a collection to help provide funds to Middle Eastern Christians. I'm ashamed that, despite being a professional reporter, blogger, and general politico, I knew so little about the situation that I shrugged off the chance to offer some financial assistance to Christians who are modern martyrs for the faith.

If only I was alone in my ignorance. Alas, I'm not -- and while Facebook memes about popes and soccer abound, the Middle East crisis will continue to go unnoticed.

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The suit alleges that Planed Parenthood performed the abortion on R.Z., and immediately returned her directly into the hands of her abuser. Shutterstock
Operation Rescue staff

Planned Parenthood performed abortion on teen, returned her to sex abuser: shock lawsuit

Operation Rescue staff
By Operation Rescue staff

Planned Parenthood faces a legal challenge in Colorado after Cary Smith, of Federal Heights, says she discovered that clinic staff failed to inquire or report about suspected sexual abuse of her 13-year-old daughter after giving her an abortion.

It was any mother’s nightmare.

According to the lawsuit filed on June 20, 2014, Cary’s daughter, R.Z., was only about six years old when her new step-father, Timothy David Smith, began to sexually abuse her. At this age, she was too young to realize that her step-father’s inordinate attention was actually a crime.

Little R.Z. turned seven, then eight. The years went by, and the abuse continued. But Cary Smith never knew.

The abuse eventually became both verbal and physical as well, with R.Z.'s step-father even threatening to take her life. Timothy’s verbal and physical abuse soon extended to Cary, even when R.Z. was present.

Then it happened. R.Z. got pregnant. 

On May 3, 2012, Timothy transported his 13-year-old step-daughter to Planned Parenthood in Denver, Colorado, for an abortion appointment that Timothy had forced R.Z. to schedule.

Planned Parenthood staff met R.Z. and her step-father and gave them the necessary paperwork. R.Z. filled out her date of birth and signed a few forms, but Timothy completed all the rest. R.Z. never read these documents.

According to the suit, throughout the visit, four staff members spoke with and observed R.Z. and her step-father. All of them had opportunity to see that R.Z.’s birth date indicated she was only 13—well below the age of consent. Yet, the suit says that none of them asked R.Z. about their relationship and none of them asked why their last names were different. As well, none asked about potential sex abuse, and none of them reported anything to the state.

After the abortion, R.Z. walked back out to the parking lot, got into her step-father’s car, and went back home. And the abuse continued.

Two months later, on July 18, 2012, Timothy was outside of the home, and Cary was left alone with her daughter. R.Z. took the opportunity to tell her mom that her own step-father was sexually abusing her, and had been doing so for years.

Cary took the 13-year-old to the hospital and immediately reported the abuse. She contacted Planned Parenthood for her daughter’s medical records, and discovered that her husband had arranged for a secret abortion for R.Z. earlier that year.

Timothy Smith was arrested and charged with multiple counts of felony sex abuse, and pled guilty to two counts in late 2012.

But Cary was not content. Although R.Z.’s abuser was now behind bars, the system hadn’t worked.

The first medical professionals who had seen R.Z.—the four Planned Parenthood staff members—must have known that her daughter was a potential victim of sexual abuse. These were professionals who had the information to do something. They had opportunity to ask R.Z. before her mother even knew.

And they had the responsibility to act—to report suspected child sex abuse—under Colorado law.

But, according to the lawsuit, these professionals did nothing. Worse, they performed a dangerous, legally-restricted procedure on a minor child, without informing her mother, and turned R.Z. back over to her rapist following the abortion.

Cary maintains that defendants’ negligence “created an unreasonable risk of physical harm” to her daughter. Cary is now suing Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains for five claims for relief, including negligence, negligent affliction of emotional distress, and extreme and outrageous conduct.

“We applaud Cary Smith for her brave stand to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for their crime against her daughter,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “This lawsuit is another indication that Planned Parenthood is dedicated to one thing—selling abortion; and they do not care how many young girls are raped or abused in the process.”

Read Smith v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood

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