Cheryl Sullenger

Exception or the rule? Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’ may not be as rare as you think

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger

Analysis

Philadelphia, PA, April 8, 2013 (OperationRescue.org) – Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s capital murder trial continues this week in a courtroom packed with worn, bloody furniture and outdated equipment seized from his dilapidated abortion clinic, which has come to be known as the “House of Horrors.” Gosnell is charged with seven counts of first degree murder for killing newborn babies born alive after abortions by snipping their spinal cords with scissors. He also faces one count of third degree murder in the overdose death of a patient, Karnamaya Monger.

But are the conditions described last week by two clinic workers and a Crime Scene Unit Officer really so different that what can be found at abortion clinics across America?

Fighting to Keep Abortion Unsafe

CSU Officer John Taggart carefully photographed the narrow maze of hallways, stairs, and claustrophobic rooms filled with clutter, so much so that in some cases, one would have had to scoot sideways down the hallway past rows of chairs, empty water jugs, and other items to get from one part of the clinic to another.

Meanwhile, the abortion lobby continues to fight clinic regulations that would ensure emergency workers have gurney access to procedure rooms as if such rules are an outrageous demand meant to deny women their Constitutional rights. But the truth is that if Gosnell’s clinic had complied with such rules that have since been enacted in Pennsylvania, Karamaya Mongar, the immigrant that he is accused of killing during a second trimester abortion procedure, might still be alive today.

Photos shown in court showed the only “handicapped” exit to the clinic down a hallway crammed full of broken office furniture and other debris. On the night Mongar died, the door was locked with a key that frantic clinic workers could not find as firemen sought a way to get their Code Blue patient out of the facility and to an awaiting ambulance.

“Most abortion clinics endanger the lives of their patients by doing abortion in substandard facilities,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “We have seen it over and over.”

In fact, when Pennsylvania began inspecting clinics in that state, they found massive deficiencies. Two abortion clinics immediately closed rather than clean up and others have since followed suit.

Certainly Pennsylvania isn’t alone. Just last year in Birmingham, Alabama, pro-life activists photographed emergency responders hand-carrying two abortion patients out of the New Women All Women abortion clinic down broken stairs and into a trash-strewn alley. An inspection by the Alabama Department of Public Health discovered 76 pages of clinic deficiencies, including medical tasks that were done by untrained, unqualified staff. The state forced the abortion clinic, a repeat offender, to close.

No License? No Problem.

Untrained, unqualified staffing is a major problem that can be found in almost every abortion clinic across the country. None of the employees at Gosnell’s abortion clinic were properly qualified for their jobs, including at least two, Eileen O’Neill and Steven Massof, who held themselves out to be licensed physicians when they were not. In fact, Massof testified that his first experience with patients was at Gosnell’s clinic where he was seeing patients alone and prescribing drugs just two weeks after he started working there.

In Southern California, at least two unlicensed workers were caught illegally doing abortions at the now defunct Clinica Medica Para La Mujer De Hoy abortion clinic chain in 2009. A third abortionist, Laurence Reich, had his medical license revoked in 2006 for sexually molesting his abortion patients, only to be found a year later still doing abortions when police raided his abortion clinic.

“All over the country we have affidavits and other documentation of unqualified workers performing tasks that the laws say should only be done by licensed individuals that included everything from starting IVs to helping with the surgeries,” said Newman. “In 2009, we had four of former employees of late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart come forward and relate very much the same story as told by Gosnell’s workers of drug violations, unqualified medical practices, dirty conditions, falsified ultrasounds, and other abortion abuses.

Falsified Ultrasounds

A Kansas clinic where Carhart worked was caught falsifying fetal ages through manipulated ultrasounds during a pro-life undercover investigation conducted by Operation Rescue in order to avoid compliance with the Kansas late-term abortion limits. His Nebraska clinic employee who blew the whistle on his illegal practices confirmed the ultrasound manipulation.

Massof testified of such manipulation of the ultrasound scans in detail during his testimony against Gosnell last week. He demonstrated with hand motions how he would raise the abdominal ultrasound transducer to a higher plane than it should be in order to make the baby in the womb appear smaller.

Unsanitary

Filthy conditions and reuse of dirty surgical equipment at Gosnell’s clinic shocked the public when it first became public. Gosnell was accused of spreading sexually transmitted diseases from one patient to another because he did not clean surgical instruments between patients. However, similar conditions are well documented throughout the abortion industry.

A former Kansas City abortionist, Krishna Rajanna, lost his medical license after photos surfaced that showed blood-stained carpets in procedure rooms, reused surgical equipment, and the storage of employee’s lunches in the same refrigerator as the aborted baby remains – the same conditions found at Gosnell’s clinic.

Wichita abortion clinic bought and closed by Operation Rescue revealed dirty, roach-infested conditions, a leaky roof, moldy ceilings and walls, and blood-spattered wash room where the contents of the abortion suction machine bottles were dumped down a sink and ground up in an industrial garbage disposal in conditions nearly identical to those identified by the CSU officer and employee Eileen Hampton.

In Muskegon, Michigan, earlier this year, police responding to a call of broken glass at an abortion clinic operated by Robert Alexander discovered such filthy conditions, including filthy surgical instruments, that the clinic was closed immediately by the Fire Marshall. This clinic would still be operating today had it not been for the police’s discovery.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Numerous documents of abortion clinic deficiencies have been compiled by Operation Rescue and can be read at AbortionDocs.org.

Charnal House

But perhaps most disturbing is the allegations that earned Gosnell’s abortion clinic the “House of Horrors” moniker and designation as a charnel house. Inside the clinic were found the remains of viable babies that had allegedly been murdered after being born alive. Their spinal cords had been cut with scissors in what Massof described as a literal beheading where the brain was separated from the babies’ bodies.

The conclusion drawn by the few media outlets that have bothered to cover the grisly Gosnell case is that this never happens elsewhere. Not according to Alisa LaPolt Snow, a lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, who made headlines just last week with her testimony in opposition to a bill before the Florida legislature that would protect infants born alive during abortions.

Florida State Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, had asked Snow, “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”

Snow’s shocking response was that at Planned Parenthood, “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”

“It may be news to Planned Parenthood, but killing newborn babies is murder, no matter how or where they are born in this country. Gosnell made that decision to murder these babies over and over under the same circumstance described by Rep. Bradenton. That’s why he now faces the potential of the death penalty if convicted,” said Newman. “So are newborns murdered at other abortion clinics in America? The answer to that would have to be ‘Yes.’”

The Rule, Not the Exception

The primary difference between Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” abortion clinic and so many others around the country seems to be that he was caught. Americans can only wonder with dread how many other Gosnell-like clinics continue to operate under the protection of political climates like those described in the Gosnell Grand Jury report that ignore abortion abuses in order to protect abortion businesses at nearly any cost.

Last week, CSU Officer Taggart described the condition of Gosnell’s abortion building where metal poles held up a leaky roof and the stench of death and cat urine lingered. Those conditions have only continued to deteriorate as the clinic has stood idle over the past two years. The leaks in the roof have expanded. The ceiling and drywall is moldy and coming down. Exposed electrical wires create a safety hazard. It has become so unhealthful to enter the building that Prosecutor Joanne Pescatore told the judge that she got sick the last two times she was there. Taggart said he expects the building to fall in soon.

So deteriorated are conditions at the building today that it was decided that the jury members could not tour the facility because their safety could not be ensured. But what Pescatore and Taggart have done by documenting the conditions of the clinic and displaying the outdated and filthy furnishings and equipment is give us all a glimpse in to nearly every abortion clinic in America, where profit comes first and the lives and safety of women come in a distant second.

In Gosnell’s home, authorities discovered $250,000 in cash stuffed under his mattress. Safes inside his clinic were found to contain envelopes stuffed with twenty-dollar bills. Gosnell was said to own at least six properties, including a home on the bay with a large boat and private boat dock.

This is the nature of abortion in America today. Women, especially the poor urban women of color that dominated Gosnell’s abortion business, are preyed upon by shoddy abortionists who profit financially while the women are rushed to emergency rooms in droves around the country.

“Abortion continues only because Americans have been denied the truth about the abuses that go on every day in our country’s abortion clinics. When something negative does come out about an abortionist or clinic, the pro-abortion liberal media either refuses to cover it or acts as if it is an anomalous incident. Abortion lobbyists cry about health and safety laws as if they hurt women, when in reality, those laws are necessary to protect women from harm and exploitation by those who pretend to champion the rights of women,” said Newman. “The only real way to protect women from the abuse inflicted upon them by those like Gosnell is to close every abortion clinic and relegate the barbaric practice to the dustbin of history where it belongs.”

Reprinted with permission from OperationRescue.org

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

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

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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