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Kermit Gosnell’s capital murder trial continues this week in a courtroom packed with worn, bloody furniture and outdated equipment seized from his dilapidated abortion clinic, which has come to be known as the “House of Horrors.”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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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Growing ‘Women Against Feminism’ movement draws fury

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By Hilary White
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Critics of feminism have long said that it is entering the final stages of its long career, with more of its assertions about the nature of human sexual and social relations being contradicted by the evidence and fewer young people following its dictates every decade. But in the last few weeks, it seems that feminism’s last gasp is being used to direct insults at young women who are lining up to publicly reject and ridicule it.

The Tumblr site Women Against Feminism has started a social networking trend in which thousands of young women photograph themselves holding signs bluntly denouncing feminism, giving a sharp indication that the feminist brand has become poison to young, hip, and internet-savvy women.

Mainstream and journalistic feminists have lashed out at the site and its followers, entering into an online spat over the increasingly popular photos. The signs say, “I am not a victim,” and “This is what an anti-feminist looks like.”

They continue: “I am an adult who is capable of taking responsibility for myself and my actions. I define myself and derive my value by my own standards. I don’t need to be ‘empowered’. I am not a target for violence and there is no war against me. I respect me and I refuse to demonize them and blame them for my problems.”

The messages held by the women pinpoint with pithy and acerbic precision exactly the reasons given by many critics that the movement has lost favour with young people. They call it a creed of double standards that promotes victimhood and endorses bullying of anyone who critiques it.

The site’s explanatory page, which was taken down for unknown reasons in the last two days, said, “Feminists are the only people who lose their minds with rage when you tell them that women already have the same exact rights as men. That’s not good enough. They want more. They desperately want to be victims. They want a privileged social position.”

The author goes on to accuse feminism in general of systematic censorship, discrimination, elitism and “policing other women” who do not toe the line – as well as baseline misandry. The anonymous creator denounced feminism’s adoption of “abortion as ‘empowerment’”:

This opinion is unpopular, but I don’t agree that I need to have my baby scraped out of my uterus in order to feel empowered. But the abortion industry (i.e. Planned Parenthood) makes a ton of money off this perversion of empowerment. ‘Abortion as empowerment’ teaches women to see their wombs as nothing but garbage bins full of disposable waste.

One of the contributors wrote, “I don’t need feminism because my self-worth is not directly tied to my victim complex. As a woman in the western world I am not oppressed, and neither are you,” says one. Another: “I don’t need feminism because I don’t need to bully someone to share my opinions with others.”

Some come right out and say that feminism promotes exactly the evils it purports to fight against: “I don’t need feminism because I believe in equality, not entitlements and supremacy.”

Although the site and its contentious photos have been running around the internet for many months, arguments among journalism’s feminists started breaking out this week after a mocking Buzzfeed feature helped the site gain momentum on social media outlets.

Some feminist journalists simply flung insults. Lillian Kalish sniffed on Ryot, “These Women Who Think They Don’t Need Feminism Don’t Know What Feminism Is.” “Did these posters ever think to look up the actual definition of feminism?”

Nuala McKeever, in the Belfast Telegraph, called the women posting the photos “silly, ignorant, vacuous wee girls with absolutely no thoughts beyond their own self-absorbed inanities.”

Time Magazine’s Sarah Miller said, “I Really, Truly, Fully Hate ‘Women Against Feminism’—But…” Miller wrote, “[T]he tendency to see sexism everywhere is proof that feminism is healthy and vigilant, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, because misogyny is insidious and rampant… We need feminism.”

But Miller added, “Still, the pain that we experience as women—even physical—does not give us the right to tell people there’s one way to think or feel, or to assume that we have some god-like understanding of everyone’s motivations.”

Cathy Young, however, responded in Time, saying, “Stop Fem-Splaining: What ‘Women Against Feminism’ Gets Right.” She writes, “The charge that feminism stereotypes men as predators while reducing women to helpless victims certainly doesn’t apply to all feminists—but it’s a reasonably fair description of a large, influential, highly visible segment of modern feminism.”

The site, Young says, “raises valid questions about the state of Western feminism in the 21st Century — questions that must be addressed if we are to continue making progress toward real gender equality.”

Sarah Boesveld wrote in the National Post on Friday that the site shows that feminism has become “complicated” and “sometimes alienating.” She quotes an email sent to the paper by 22 year-old Australian Lisa Sandford, who “believes in equality for the sexes” but firmly rejects feminism as “rude and nasty” and intends to be a stay-at-home mother. 

Sandford wrote, “If feminism really accepted equality, they would not tell me my views are wrong, they would accept it and let me be.”

Browse the 'Women Against Feminism' archives here (warning: occasional strong language).


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Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse

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Welcome Baby Filipino 100 Million!

Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse
By Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse

Population Research Institute welcomes the birth of little Chonalyn Sentino. Baby Chonalyn was born this past Sunday to parents Clemente and Dailin, and was feted in the Philippines as “Baby 100 Million.” PRI welcomes Baby Chonalyn as well, saying that she will be a blessing to her family, her community, and her nation.

The Philippines is one of the largest Catholic countries in the world, and its people value children. For this reason, it has been a target of the population controllers for decades. It was one of the countries singled out by Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council in 1974 for special “attention” and, more recently, has been bullied by the Obama administration into passing its first population control law. 

The bill, which was touted as being all about promoting “reproductive health,” was actually intended to drive down the birth rate. For example, section 15 requires that all couples receive a “Certificate of Compliance” from the local Family Planning Office before becoming eligible for a marriage license.

Some in the Philippines are decrying Chonalyn’s birth, repeating USAID’s talking points about the “dangers” of overpopulation. They welcome Chonalyn as an individual little girl, while simultaneously calling for future little girls and boys to be removed from existence.

The Philippine Star wrote that the birth symbolized a “large population that will put a strain on the country's limited resources.” Another paper cited the executive director of the official Commission on Population who bluntly said “We'd like to push the fertility rate down to two children per (woman's) lifetime.” And the Global Post cited “concerned advocates” who thought the current population was not a “complement with the country's economic growth.”

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But many other Filipinos aren’t buying into the anti-people hysteria. Francisco Antonio, a Filipino Chemical Engineering graduate student at Yale, adamantly rebutted the notion that there are too many Filipinos, saying: “I celebrate life because population control is defeatism disguised as pragmatism. And because human creativity holds more potential for protecting this planet and its inhabitants than any other resource I know of.”

A Filipina currently living in California told PRI that she welcomed the transition of her country to 100 million persons: “Filipinos are not a burden to the world population, because we not only care for our own but also for others in the world. One of the greatest and most sought after exports of the Philippines is our skilled, motivated, and exemplary workforce. And these workers tirelessly cultivate their family and community abroad and in the Philippines. We are a very social and civic minded people. We care and share because it is part of our culture and we do it with a smile.”

 Ed, a Filipino accountant, also celebrated the birth of Baby Chonalyn: “The typical Filipino does not associate a baby with ‘cost’ or ‘expense’ but rather as a ‘blessing’ and a ‘gift.’ This is because Filipinos recognize that true happiness does not come from the accumulation of material wealth or prestige, but rather, from true, genuine, and strong relationships with other people. [Filipinos] value life, not because the Church says or the Pope says so, but because they recognize it to be true. And the truth about the value of life, will continue to shine, long after the debates are over.”

It goes without saying that we at the Population Research Institute also welcome Chonalyn’s birth. We need more Filipinos, not fewer. 

Reprinted with permission from Pop.org.


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Two very different ways to respond to Pope Francis’ unrecorded interviews

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By John-Henry Westen

In the last few weeks another series of interviews with Pope Francis surfaced and have again left many Catholics scratching their heads.  Headlines all over the world had the Pope saying that two percent of priests are pedophiles, but is that what he said?  Even though the Vatican spokesman did issue a clarification, that question and others remain unanswered.

Critical reactions to these interviews have been interesting not even so much for their contents as from whom they arise.  These are the observations of some of the most faithful Catholic Church watchers today.  The folks pointing out these concerns are not, as many would assume, ‘“far right-wing-holier-than-the-Pope” types, but mainstream Catholics known for their loyalty to Pope Francis.

Phillip Lawler is the founder of Catholic World News, the first Catholic news service operating on the Internet. In part of his criticism of the most recent interview, he states: “Why was Pope Francis speaking with Scalfari without having first established clear ground rules for the conversation—rules that would certainly include recording and verification of any quotes?”

(To comprehend the situation accurately it is necessary to have an understanding of the man whom the Pope has allowed to interview him.  Eugenio Scalfari is relatively unknown in the West even after the fanfare of his papal interviews. LifeSiteNews has produced this piece to assist that understanding.)

Lawler recalls: “Back in October the Vatican had been embarrassed by an ‘interview’ in which [Scalfari’s] reconstructed quotes caused an uproar, and the Vatican press office was forced to issue an awkward ‘clarification’ which only added to the confusion.”

In addition to that clarification of the October Scalfari interview, the confusion and uproar got so bad that the Vatican removed the interview from their website, where they had it posted in the section containing the Pope’s speeches. Interestingly, that interview resurfaced two weeks ago on the Vatican website only to be removed again after a new round of criticism.

A blogger at the EWTN-owned National Catholic Register offered an observation similar to Lawler’s but with a little more bite. Pat Archbold writes, “The internet is once again abuzz with the second-hand hearsay of an unrecorded Papal interview.” Archbold advises his readers with characteristic sarcasm, “So pay no attention to those crazy and outlandish anti-Catholic headlines tearing up your RSS feed.  Just ignore them and hope they will soon go away, just like unrecorded Papal interviews.”

A second unrecorded conversation with the Pope makes news

Another write-up of an encounter with Pope Francis also caused a stir.  Brian Stiller, an Evangelical leader from Toronto was part of a delegation of Evangelical Christians who met with Pope Francis earlier this month. In his July 9 account, Stiller puts in quotes this statement he attributes to the Pope: “I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community.  There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s not spend our time on those. Rather, let’s be about showing the love of Jesus.”

That led noted priest-blogger Father Dwight Longenecker to first caution that the quotes are “Brian Stiller’s memory of the conversation.” 

Then with the caveat of not actually knowing the whole conversation, Fr. Longenecker says “it would not be unusual for a Catholic priest of Pope Francis’ generation to feel that way.”  He explains that he has “heard from numerous convert clergy over the years who said when they went to their local Catholic priest and expressed the wish to become Catholic the priest told them it wasn’t necessary and that they could do much more good to Christ’s kingdom and the Catholic church by staying where they were and evangelizing within their own denomination.”

“Now this strikes me as rather troublesome on several levels,” says Longenecker. He notes he had himself once used that line with a Protestant friend, to which his friend replied, “You don’t want to convert me? Why not? I don’t have much respect for your religion if you think so little of it that you don’t want me to share it!”

“He basically called me out on what was a little lie on my part. I wanted to be nice to him [so] I said I didn’t want to convert him. He said our discussion would be much better if I admitted that I did want him to become Catholic. He was right. I did. I still do.”

Inside the Vatican

Vatican journalist Edward Pentin has reported that unnamed “Vatican officials are uneasy and perplexed” about the interview. Pentin began reporting on the Vatican as a correspondent with Vatican Radio in 2002 and has since covered the pope for a number of publications, including Newsweek and The Sunday Times.

“The officials’ discomfort also extends to the Pope’s spontaneous telephone calls to strangers, a couple of which implied he deviated from Church teaching but, being private and unrecorded conversations, are difficult to verify,” he wrote for Newsmax.

From the outset of the Francis pontificate, there were these unrecorded and yet published interviews – the first was from a meeting with Latin American religious leaders in June 2013.  That was the one that had Pope Francis speaking of the existence of a “gay lobby” in the Vatican and also about being concerned about Catholics who would count rosaries to offer prayer bouquets.

At the time LifeSiteNews published nothing on that first unrecorded interview even though almost all other news services did.  Shortly thereafter I was at the Vatican inquiring about that unrecorded but reported-on encounter and was assured by various Vatican insiders that the communication was not accidental but intended – to me at the time a rather startling revelation.

But that same assessment came later from another Vatican quarter, a man who speaks German as does the pope and also shares the pope’s religious order.  “Francis knows exactly how power is spelled,” said Bernd Hagenkord, a Jesuit who is in charge of German programming for Vatican Radio in a May interview with The Atlantic. “He’s a communicator in the league with Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. They say he’s being unclear, but we know exactly what he means.”

Two different ways to respond

One of the most disturbing outcomes of these ‘interviews’ is that the words and interpretations of what is being said by the Pope, while they may be clear for the German Jesuit, are remarkably unclear for the vast majority of Catholics.  Catholics who know well their faith, its moral teachings, and the reason for them are few and far between. They are able to discern that the Pope cannot mean to undermine Church teaching; that those teachings are unchangeable.

But most people are taken in by the media’s false interpretation that ‘who am I to judge’ involves a new acceptance of homosexuality; the false possibility for legitimately-married Catholics to divorce and remarry outside the Church and still receive Communion; the idea that the Church should quiet down on her teachings on abortion, contraception, and same-sex “marriage.”  All of those false conclusions were drawn from previous Francis interviews.

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There are two ways forward for faithful Catholics in such a situation.  One way – a way that is most tempting - was recently recognized as a growing tendency by blogger Father Ray Blake. “Most Catholics but especially clergy want to be loyal to the Pope in order to maintain the unity of the Church,” he said.  “Today that loyalty is perhaps best expressed through silence.”

In leading up to that observation, Blake noted that in the previous pontificate “there was a solidity and certainty in Benedict's teaching which made discussion possible and stimulated intellectual honesty, one knew where the Church and the Pope stood.”  He added, “Today we are in less certain times, the intellectual life of the Church is thwart with uncertainty.”

However, Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke suggested a different approach recently. According to Burke, who serves as head of the Vatican’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura, the pope has made a strategic decision to focus on making the Church appealing, and thus bishops and priests “are even more compelled to underline these teachings (on life and family) and make them clear for the faithful.”

He told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, “The Holy Father has said on different occasions that he expects that bishops and priests are doing this teaching while he’s trying to draw people closer and not have them use [these doctrines] as their immediate excuse for not coming to the faith.”

Cardinal Burke’s strategy confronts the culture head-on even on the most difficult issues.  He sees that the often-used but failed tactic of avoiding difficult situations, of obfuscating or compromising on moral issues as worse than useless.

When truth is pushed aside for political correctness, to fulfill ideals of civility or to achieve false unity and false peace, the world is harmed by the lack of truth the Church is called to bring to it.

When truth is boldly proclaimed and held to, despite persecution, even the enemies of truth are forced to see that the opponents of their secular or liberal ideologies truly believe their teachings and are willing to suffer for them. This eventually generates a degree of respect from some of the critics and an openness to re-consider their own flawed positions.


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