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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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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 millions 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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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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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.

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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
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
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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