Cheryl Sullenger

‘House of Horrors’ filthy furnishings displayed in courtroom

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
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PHILADELPHIA, April 18, 2013 (Operation Rescue) - Two witnesses took the stand yesterday in the capital murder case of Kermit Gosnell, providing testimony from the perspectives of a patient and an employee of substandard conditions and illegal practices at Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” clinic at 3801 Lancaster.

Mary Kincade had been a patient at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society clinic for about 10 years and was last seen five-to-six years ago. She said she only saw Eileen O’Neill, whom other clinic workers referred to as “Doctor” even though she had no license to practice in Pennsylvania. Kincade was not an abortion patient, but saw O’Neill for yearly well female exams. Kincade never saw Gosnell at the clinic during any of her visits.

O’Neill is on trial with Gosnell on charges of theft by deception, conspiracy to commit theft, racketeering, conspiracy related to corruption, perjury, and false swearing.

Kincade thought O’Neill was a licensed physician and noted that certificates hung on the wall of her office, which led her to believe they allowed her to practice medicine.

There was a discrepancy in Kincade’s patient file concerning co-payments for office visits. Kincade testified that she remitted a co-pay of $30-40 each time she saw O’Neill. However, in her file, there was only one receipt for $40. The inference of this testimony was that there were irregularities in the billing and record-keeping practices at Gosnell’s clinic, although prosecutors did not fully detail their theory concerning what appeared to be evidence of financial malfeasance during today’s court proceedings.

Near Death Experience

The longest testimony of the day came from Latosha Lewis, 31, a medical assistant who worked for Gosnell for almost 10 years. Lewis was not arrested with Gosnell and his eight co-workers in January 2011. Instead, she was arrested and charged by the federal government related to apparent drug activities at Gosnell’s clinic. She made a plea agreement and faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison and a “hefty” fine. She will be sentenced sometime later and could receive leniency due to her cooperation with prosecutors.

Lewis testified about her training and how her duties at Women’s Medical Society grew until she was assisting with abortion procedures. She stopped doing so in 2007, because she overdosed a woman and was worried about whether she would ever come out of anesthesia. She also said she stopped administering Cytotec, a drug that caused powerful and often unpredictable contractions, around the same time.

“I saw women deliver too quickly and didn’t want to deal with that,” she explained.

Lewis testified that Gosnell was well aware of why she refused to continue to drug women. He reassigned her to work at the front desk.

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Reused Curettes Cause Spike in STDs

Lewis indicated that Gosnell’s equipment was outdated and never inspected, and that he often reused disposable curettes, which is the sharp-ended tube that enters the womb in abortion procedures and applies suction for the removal of the pre-born baby and other tissues and fluids.

Lewis testified that the curettes were washed, dried and placed in an antiseptic solution, then reused. The curettes are meant to be disposable and for single use only. She indicated that she noticed that women who had abortions using the reused curettes began returning to the clinic suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.

Earlier testimony indicated that plastic curettes are more porous than metal surgical instruments and simply cannot be adequately cleaned for reuse.

Mongar Suffered Illegal Abortion

Lewis was on duty when Karnamaya Mongar came for her abortion, and through the use of a relative as a translator, she helped fill out Mongar’s medical history forms and took her vitals.

Mongar’s original chart seized from Gosnell’s clinic was examined in court. Those who touched it were instructed to don purple latex gloves because the file was stained with blood and other bodily fluids and emitted an unpleasant odor.

There was no notation of Mongar’s weight on the chart, which is usually important information for women undergoing anesthesia. Lewis testified that the scale in the clinic had been broken for a month, and she had no way to weigh patients.

Lewis noted that Mongar started the clinic on the first day she arrived at the clinic, which violated a law that requires information be given 24 hours prior to an abortion. Nevertheless, Lewis inserted the form into Mongar’s chart and signed it affirming that the 24-hour waiting period had been observed. Lewis said she had already left work for the day and was not present when Mongar died.

Dangerously Shoddy Drug Records

Lewis testified that notations in the chart and in a narcotics log book kept at the clinic were unreliable, because other workers failed to consistently make proper entries. Therefore, no one really knew exactly what the patients were given or when.

Measuring Fetal Feet

In one of the more dramatic moments of the day, Prosecutor Ed Cameron brought Lewis to a square white rolling table that had been seized from Gosnell’s clinic and brought into the courtroom along with other pieces of outdated and filthy furniture and equipment. The metal legs of the table were rusted and dirty. Lewis agreed that Gosnell would pull out a flat shelf from the table and there he would measure fetal feet that were placed in glass trays, just as Cameron demonstrated for the jury.

Jars with severed feet in formaldehyde were discovered in Gosnell’s abortion clinic over a wash sink, where smaller abortion remains were washed down a drain and ground with a garbage disposal.

Phony Fetal Ages

Cameron then went through a tedious process of reviewing one patient file after another, confirming the amounts of drugs given as well as the size of the baby’s heads on the multiple ultrasound found in each chart along with the fetal ages recorded in the charts.

In general, ultrasound measurements showing the biparietal diameter, or BPD, which is the measurement across the baby’s head, varied from 53-75.8 mm. This measurement is used to determine fetal age. However, recorded in the charts almost uniformly was the fetal age of 24.5 weeks.

According to a chart found on the internet, 53 mm BPD equates roughly to 22 weeks gestation. A 75.8 mm BPD would represent 29-30 weeks gestation both ends of the spectrum were noted as representing fetal ages of 24.5 weeks in the charts.

Many charts had notations concerning the cost of the second trimester procedures. Prices ranged from $830-1,665. Many women who did not have the full amount were aided by an abortion fund that raises money to pay for portions of an abortion bill that patients cannot cover. However, more women signed promissory notes and were put on a payment plan for the balance. Lewis testified it was not unusual for women to disappear and never pay their balances.

The Defense Spin

Defense Attorney Jack McMahon also reviewed each of the files with Lewis. He noted that there were signed consent forms in most of that charts that included a 24 hour consent for abortion, a consent to be given Cytotec, and a consent form for the use of Digoxin, a heart medication that is injected into the pregnant woman’s abdomen for the purpose of bringing about “fetal demise” prior to the abortion.

Another Digoxin form in some of the charts contained a diagram of a pregnant abdomen with intersecting lines defining four quadrants were a notation was to be made to indicate the location of the Digoxin injection.

McMahon made much of the paperwork before the jury and emphasized how it showed that Gosnell did indeed obtain the necessary consent. Attention to the Digoxin forms was meant to bolster his argument that all the babies aborted at Gosnell’s clinic were already dead before being expelled from the womb.

Cameron Delivers Question of the Day

Cameron powerfully nullified McMahon’s argument by pointing out that each and every file contained information about abortions done at 24 weeks or later. The last day an abortion can legally be done in Pennsylvania is 23 weeks, 6 days.

“He got consent to do illegal abortions?” Cameron forcefully asked.

McMahon erupted, but Cameron had made his point.

The prosecution is expected to call two final witnesses on Thursday then rest its case. The defense is expected to begin its case on Monday.

Gosnell faces seven counts of first degree murder for severing the spinal cords of babies born alive during abortions.

He's also facing one count of third degree murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, who died of a drug overdose during an abortion by Gosnell.

In addition, Gosnell is charged with abuse of corpse, tampering with evidence, corruption, conspiracy, obstruction, racketeering, and solicitation for murder.

If convicted, Gosnell faces the death penalty.

This article originally appeared on Operation Rescue and is reprinted with permission.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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South African mom files ‘wrongful life’ lawsuit on behalf of Downs son

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A South African woman has launched a "wrongful life" lawsuit against the Cape Town-based Foetal Assessment Centre, claiming a failure to inform her that the child she was carrying was at risk of having Down Syndrome prevented her from aborting her baby.

A twist in this lawsuit is that, unlike other "wrongful birth" lawsuits, the mother in this case missed the time limit to file the claim on her own behalf, so she is asking the South African Constitutional Court to allow her to sue the center for “wrongful life” on behalf of her now-born son.

“You have a duty to tell my mother carrying me that I'm malformed so that she can make an informed decision as to whether or not to carry me to term,” the statement of claim against the Foetal Assessment Centre reads, according to SABC News.

“It is not as if the foetus is sort of putting up its hand and saying why you didn’t destroy me," the mother's lawyer, Paul Hoffman, explained to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. "The foetus is complaining that its malformation, its development is the result of the bad advice that was given.”

The SABC report did not say what compensation the woman is seeking.

The scope of the case is similar to that of a New Zealand couple who won a lawsuit claiming monetary compensation after a routine 20 week ultrasound scan failed to discover that their daughter had spina bifida.

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The mother, whose name has not been released, claimed that the continuance of the pregnancy was a “personal injury,” and, had she been given the correct diagnosis after that scan, she would have aborted her daughter.

"We consider that the continued pregnancy of the appellant following a misdiagnosis in the 20 week scan is capable of being an injury suffered by the appellant,” the court ruled, and directed the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to make the woman eligible for compensation for the ongoing surgical and physiotherapy expenses incurred by their child.

New Zealand disability advocate Mike Sullivan said the underpinning attitude behind the decision is that those with disability, both born and unborn, are seen as a burden on society.

“This is what happens,” Sullivan said, when “the children become reduced to nothing – wrong even to exist.”

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