John Jalsevac

‘Heartbreaking’: State, Planned Parenthood ignored repeated complaints about ‘nightmare’ facility

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
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WILMINGTON, DE, May 31, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The two former Planned Parenthood nurses who blew the whistle on dangerous conditions at a Wilmington, Delaware, abortion facility say that they repeatedly contacted state and Planned Parenthood authorities over the space of many months to alert them to what was going on - to no avail. 

Rather than the help they sought, the nurses say they were met with either indifference, incompetence, or what had all the appearance of outright corruption.

The result, they said, was that more women were injured at a clinic where even the most basic safety precautions were flouted by woefully untrained and unqualified staff. 

Just this week the state’s Division of Public Health announced that they had found 14 violations of health regulations at the clinic. The attorney general’s office has also filed a complaint against former Wilmington Planned Parenthood abortionist Timothy Liveright, saying that he presents a “a clear and immediate danger to the public."

However, these actions only came well over a year after the nurses began reporting conditions at the Planned Parenthood affiliate to authorities - and then only after their story first broke in the media.

Republican State Senator Greg Lavelle said this week that the attorney general’s complaint is “too little, too late.”

“It smacks of reactionary, ‘we-have-to-cover-our-butts’ bureaucratic practices,” said Lavelle. Planned Parenthood and state officials, he said, are “partners in crime.” “This is typical abortion politics.” 

At the Delaware Senate this week nurse Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich outlined in painstaking detail the innumerable telephone calls and e-mails to the office of the state governor, the Delaware Division of Public Health Department, the Planned Parenthood Federation, and other authorities. 

She described the pattern of non-response, and worse, as “heartbreaking.”

For Mitchell-Werbrich the saga began in April of last year, when she first began working for Planned Parenthood.

By May, she says, she had already begun reporting her concerns to Planned Parenthood management. When no changes were made by July, she then took her concerns to the state's Division of Professional Regulation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

Among other things, Mitchell-Werbrich says she told these agencies about how “there were no guidelines, no standards of care, no procedure, or protocol manuals to be found anywhere" and "intravenous (IV's) were being started using an unsterile technique.”

She also related how Liveright once struck a patient during an abortion, how patients given sedation “were found outside walking down Market Street dazed and confused,” how medication and equipment had expired, and other offenses.

When the state agencies took no action against the clinic, Mitchell-Werbrich finally resigned in early August, worried that she could lose her license simply for working at the clinic. But her attempts to remedy the dangerous practices in the clinic did not end there. 

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On August 22, she telephoned the governor of Delaware’s office, where she spoke at length with the governor’s assistant, and the Board of Nursing.

Then, on September 7, she contacted Mary Peterson at the Delaware Health and Social Services. However, Ms. Peterson explained that she could only take complaints from patients, and that the department “had more facilities to inspect than inspectors to inspect them.” 

Disturbed by what she had heard from Peterson, Mitchell-Werbrich again called the governor’s office, but received no reply. 

Between July and December of 2012, testified the nurse, she contacted the State of Delaware Division of Professional Regulations and the State of Delaware Division of Public Health Department on a monthly basis. On five different occasions she was told that a different “new” investigator was assigned to the case.

Finally, at the end of December, the Division of Professional Regulation told Mitchell-Werbrich that it had completed an inspection and had discovered "several small housekeeping issues,” none of which merited either closure of the aboriton facility or even a citation. 

“Needless to say, I was in complete shock,” said the nurse. 

She alleges that there are only two reasonable explanations for the results of that inspection: either state inspectors were “too ignorant” to discover the violations, or the state had given Planned Parenthood advance warning of the inspection.   

Her suspicions were borne out in February, when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration performed its own inspection, and discovered serious violations, for which Planned Parenthood was fined. 

Even then, however, the office continued to operate, with Liveright continuing to perform his shoddy abortions, some of which landed his patients in hospital.

In the first few months of this year pro-life activists witnessed five ambulances take women from his table to hospital. 

Mitchell-Werbrich continued to stay in touch with the Division of Public Health and the Division of Professional Regulation, but promises for new information were repeatedly not followed through on. The nurse concluded she “was receiving the run around.”

It wasn’t until Mitchell-Werbrich and her colleague, Joyce Vasikonis, exasperated by the non-response from politicians and Planned Parenthood higher-ups, went to the media with their story that any serious action was undertaken against the facility. Even then, says the nurse, she was shocked by the incompetence of officials.

“I love my state,” Mitchell-Werbrich told senators this week, “and believed in our state's leaders but this incident has forced me to see that our state agencies and leaders are failing us." 

“I so trusted our state agencies would do their jobs, do the right thing, and truly investigate reports of abuse, and poor and unsafe care," she said. "I have a hard time laying my head down on my pillow at night. I cannot help but to think of all the patients who are continuing to be mistreated and uncared for at Planned Parenthood. I toss  and turn and feel helpless that I cannot do more to help them.” 

Vasikonis herself worked at the unsanitary institution for 10 months, and has a similar tale to tell of institutional inaction and coverup, as well as active, aggressive efforts by Planned Parenthood management to undo her attempts to clean up the facility. 

The testimony of the two nurses recalls other similar instances of persistent and apparently politically motivated inaction against abortion facilities in recent memory, not least of which is Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors,” which he was allowed to operate unmolested for decades despite repeated serious complaints. 

As well, recently three nurses from another abortion facility in Texas stepped forward telling of horrendous “abortions” in which living newborn babies literally had their necks twisted off by abortionist Douglas Karpen. They only went public with their story after repeated attempts to get state authorities to investigate failed. 

Shortly after they released their video, Texas authorities announced that they were opening an investigation against Karpen.


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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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