Cheryl Sullenger

California set to enact dangerous experiment allowing non-physicians to perform abortions

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
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Analysis

Sacramento, CA (OperationRescue.org) - In California, a bill known as AB154 sits on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown awaiting his signature. This bill would dramatically expand surgical abortions in California by allowing nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), and physician assistants (PAs) to conduct surgical “aspiration” or suction abortions of the kind generally used in the first trimester of pregnancy.

The legislation was introduced by Assemblywomen Toni Adkins, the former administrator of a failed abortion business in San Diego. Adkins has long attempted to dangerously expand abortion services, once opening an abortion clinic in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood (using an abortionist that would later lose his medical license after killing a woman during a botched 20-week abortion) that soon closed due to financial mismanagement and lack of business. Apparently not one to learn from failure, Adkins is now expanding abortion in an ever-decreasing market, through the use of non-physicians.

Adkin’s legislation is the result of a study conducted at the University of California San Francisco by the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health in association with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) for the purpose of proving that non-physician abortion are safe. The study recruited NPs, CNMs, and PAs for training in surgical abortions under a state waiver that exempted participants from the law that banned non-physicians from performing abortions.

Radical abortion advocates

Participants in the study, like Adkins, all have histories of radical abortion activism.

The two of the three primary investigators in this experimental program are not even licensed physicians. Tracy Weitz, PhD, Director of ANSIRH, obtained her doctoral degree in medical sociology. Her goal is to find “creative ways” to expand abortion. She is also seeking ways to expand access to the more risky late-term abortions.

Diana Taylor, PhD, is a nurse practitioner. She has long been a proponent of doing away with laws that prevent “advance practice clinicians” from conducting surgical abortions. She currently serves as a board member for Clinicians for Choice, an affiliate of the National Abortion Federation.

The third primary investigator on the non-physician abortion study was Dr. Phillip Darney, an ObGyn who serves as director of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Darney is a radical abortion activist and proponent of lowering the standard of care for abortionists so they do not have to abide by the higher obstetrical standards. He testified on behalf of late-term abortionist Shelley Sella, who was charged by the New Mexico Medical Board for negligence involving a 35-week abortion on a high-risk woman with a history of previous cesarean section delivery that resulted in a ruptured uterus. Darney’s testimony that abortionists should be exempt from obstetrical standards, which were admittedly violated by Sella, helped clear Sella of the charges against her.

Safety questioned

The study’s results were published in the American Journal of Public Health on January 17, 2013, declaring that the rate of complications from non-physician abortions were essentially equivalent to the rate of complications from physician abortions.

“Abortionists, particularly in California, tend to be among some of the worst in the nation. To compare non-physician safety to the horrific track record of that motley crowd is a frightening prospect,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, who worked for years in California to expose dangerous abortionists and bring them to justice.

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For example, one abortionist, Andrew Rutland, was a licensed physician who had his medical license revoked in 2002 after his negligence was found responsible for the death of two babies during delivery. His license was restored in 2007. The disgraced Rutland found employment in the abortion industry where (predictably) he killed a woman during a botched abortion in a dirty, ill-equipped acupuncture office. He surrendered his license rather than face Board accusations that his negligent treatment qualified as a homicide.

Unsafe track-record of licensed abortionists

Rutland is not an anomaly. Over the past decade or so, one California abortionist after another has been subjected to disciplinary action or license removal for shoddy abortions and/or criminal conduct.

• Abortionist Laurence Reich was convicted of raping and molesting his female patients in the 1980s. With his license restored in the 1990’s Reich went to work at an abortion clinic where he had unrestricted access to vulnerable women. Once again, he was caught sexually abusing his abortion patients and surrendered his license in 2007, yet when his clinic was raided by police a year later, they found Reich still at work doing abortions.

W. Constantine Mitchell was convicted of billing and insurance fraud in the 1980s. Later, Mitchell was found covering up for Rutland’s shoddy practices under the guise of a “supervising physician.” Mitchell allowed Rutland to engage in abortions outside his presence in violation of a medical board order. He continues to do abortions in California.

Phillip Rand was an elderly abortionist in Southern California who botched a 20-week abortion in Orange County in 2004 then abandoned the patient in his haste to get to another San Diego County abortion clinic where more abortion patients waited. The patient died. Rand, who was 83 at the time, was forced to surrendered his medical license.

Nolan Jones suffered multiple disciplinary actions for a series of badly botched abortions and finally had his medical license revoked in 2009 for falsifying medical records to cover up his shoddy practices and for violating his terms of probation.

George Dalton Flanigan III, was placed on probation in 2007 for gross negligence and incompetence, and for failing to report a felony Medi-Cal fraud conviction. His license was restored in 2012 and he now continues to conduct his abortion business without restriction.

Feliciano Rios, a Chula Vista abortionist, pled guilty to felony perjury and insurance fraud in July, 2009. He was later busted a few months later for illegal possession of firearms. Rios continues to operate an abortion clinic.

Nicholas Braemer surrendered his license in 2000 after the California Medical Board filed a petition against him for two seriously botched abortions that landed patients in the hospital, and for aiding in the unlicensed practice of medicine.

Bruce Steir killed Sharon Hamptlon during a botched abortion at his abortion clinic in Moreno Valley. So horrific were her injuries that Steir was eventually convicted of manslaughter and served time in prison for her death.

Suresh Gandotra killed Magdalena Ortega Rodriguez during a horrifically botched abortion at 30 weeks gestation. Gandotra fled the country to evade murder charges. There is still a valid no-bail arrest warrant on the charge of murder for Gandotra in San Diego County.

These are only a few of the long list of California abortionists who have been caught subjecting women to negligence and incompetence. They were all licensed physicians with years of training and experience. They have provided a very low standard to which non-physicians are to be compared.

No reporting requirements

Given the history of abortion abuses in California and the lack of reporting laws, there is no way to know the complication frequency for non-physicians, who are suddenly empowered to do surgical abortions.

“Abortionists simply do not self-report abortion complications. Anyone who thinks they do is completely naive about what actually goes on inside abortion clinics today,” said Newman. “In fact, our experience shows that they do everything they can to conceal complications.”

The new California law is guaranteed to be signed by Gov. Brown, a staunch abortion supporter. This ill-advised measure will subject women to a social experiment by radical abortion proponents to see if they can survive a lower standard of care over an extended period of time. The dangers to women are compounded by the fact that there is no way to quantify the success or failure of this social experiment because there is no mechanism in place to monitor the complications once the law in enacted.

Massive complications predicted

And there will be complications – we predict very bad ones – because the non-physicians lack the training to treat women who do suffer common abortion complications, such as a torn cervix or a perforated uterus. The non-physicians will not be able to attend to their hospitalized patients and fix their mistakes because they lack the skill and authority to do so. This will create a lack of continuity of care that will pose serious, life-threatening delays in treatment.

Women suffering such complications will simply be packed off to a local hospital – if they are lucky – where emergency room staff will be forced to figure out what went wrong and try to clean up the mess. This is already standard procedure for most licensed physicians that engage in abortion practices, and we can only expect the same or worse from non-physicians.

Adkin’s new social experiment of abortion expansion runs counter to the national trend to hold abortionists to greater accountability and oversight. Abortion clinics operated by licensed physicians are closing at an unprecedented rate due to a lack of business and a failure to comply with minimum health and safety standards and other laws. California’s reckless new law that lowers the standard of care to unacceptable levels inevitably will doom vulnerable women injury and death. We predict it will be a complete failure.

Read Text of AB154

Reprinted with permission from Operation Rescue


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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

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By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

Tony Gosgnach
By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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