Sarah Terzo

‘I stared and stared at my son’: mom screamed for abortion workers to call 911 after baby born alive

Sarah Terzo
By Sarah Terzo
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May 7, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - In previous articles, Live Action has covered cases where babies born alive after abortions were denied medical care and allowed to die, or, in some cases, were killed by direct action. The recent trial of Kermit Gosnell shows that these incidents continue to occur. The sheer number of cases we know about leads one to wonder how often babies are born alive, but no one outside the abortion clinic ever knows.

In April of 2005, a pregnant woman named “Angele,” decided to abort her 22 week old unborn baby. She was in her 30s, divorced, and already had two children. She did not want a third child.  She chose Orlando Women’s Center, also called EPOC Clinic operated by Dr. James Pendergraft. The abortion clinic’s website advertises “3 minute pain-free abortions.” The Orlando Women’s Center has published newspaper ads offering abortions up to 28 weeks.

Angele had named her baby Rowan. She chose a method of abortion that she hoped would cause the child a minimum of suffering - an injection of digoxin in the heart to kill him, rather than dismemberment by D&E.

The abortionist first had to insert laminaria, small sticks that expand inside the woman and dilate the cervix, making the abortion procedure easier. Before the insertion of laminaria, Angele was given a sedative. In her own words:

“The injection burned a lot as it went in. … The discomfort was distracting. I still felt the ‘lams’ as they were being inserted. Dr. Perper told me to relax my muscles and noted that my cervix was slightly soft. I asked him what that meant and he said it was good.”

Angele says the clinic workers discussed injecting the digoxin, but they never did. She described the doctor Harry Perper, MD, as “a very fast moving, hyperactive type of person.”

When Angele went back to the hotel, she continued to feel her baby kick. This confused her because she had been led to believe that the baby would be dead. At one point, in the middle of the night, while the baby was still kicking, she considered calling the clinic’s after-hours line, but decided not to.

The next morning, Angele took the pills meant to cause her body to expel her baby. She arrived at the clinic around 9 am. She was ushered into a room and told that her doctor would not be in the clinic until 2pm, and that if she delivered before then, without him present, she would have to stay and be examined by him. Angele was given a blanket and a heating pad, and left alone to go through labor.

The contractions began. At one point, the pain became intense and she asked clinic worker “Violene” if she could be given anything to ease the pain. She also told Violene that she thought she was about to deliver. Violene told her she was not ready, and left her again. In Angele’s own words:

“I came back to the sofa, (they both really smelled awful), wrapped up in the wet and sour-smelling blanket, then decided it was better without it. I rocked back and forth on my hands and knees, trying to hold the heating pad to my stomach to both relieve the pain and try to stay warm. I was looking down and saw little smears and spots of dried blood on the floor and an old cotton ball with blood on it by the fabric-covered sofa across from me. Noticing how dirty it was and how no one was in the room or even nearby in the hallway began to make me nervous and uncomfortable. I went right back to the powder room and began to try to push a lot. I thought it might help since I was told I was not nearly ready to deliver.”

“In one agonizing push, I felt and heard something come out. Then immediately another push. I was weak. I just held my head in my hands for a moment. Then I decided to stand up. I looked. There was my baby, the whitish cord and what I thought surely must be the placenta. “I started sobbing and lay down in the floor. I stared and stared at my son. I was horrified that I had just had him in a commode.” “His right leg moved. He curled up a bit like he was cold; I screamed for Violene! No one came. I managed to get to the doorway, pants down, blood everywhere and yelled again. I went back to my baby. I heard her say she’d be right there.

“I showed her Rowan, told her he was alive and moving and to call 911! She took a quick look, said he’s not moving now and she’d be back to take care of things while walking out. I called her again. I was touching Rowan softly and he moved again. I called her back. Rowan jumped, I think startled by the loud sound of my calling for help. I showed her that he was moving and alive. I begged her to hurry and call 911, now!”

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The clinic worker took one look at the moving baby and told Angele that she would get her supervisor. But the minutes ticked by, and no one came. It became clear to Angele that Violene was not going to summon help. She grabbed her phone and quickly dialed her friend, pleading with her to call 911 and send paramedics to save her baby. Listen to the call here. 

Angele continued to be left alone with her son, who she said reacted to her voice. All she could do was try and comfort him:

“I stayed beside Rowan talking to him, telling him how strong he was being and how proud I was of him. I told him God must really want us to be together for him to make it through everything he had just been through and that Mommy was so sorry but so happy to have a chance to love him. I told him he was a strong little miracle and that I couldn’t wait for him to meet his brother and sister. I just kept touching him, trying to warm him with my hands and talking to him so he would not feel any more afraid than he already must.”

Finally, the baby stopped moving as Angele waited for help.

She cradled the dead baby and began to pray, filled with remorse for choosing to undergo the abortion. A staff member came and demanded that she give her the baby. Angele refused, and continued to hold on to Rowan. The clinic workers left her alone briefly but returned to pressure her to give up the body of the child.

Meanwhile, the police (not the paramedics) showed up at the clinic. It was later found out that the paramedics had come, but a clinic worker, thought to be Violene, told them that a patient had merely “passed some tissue” and that “the physician had the situation under control.”(1) She convinced them not to enter the clinic. (The physician was not in the clinic at all when Violene told them this)

When Violene came back after talking to the police, Angele said:

“I spoke to her telling her how little I appreciated them telling the police my child was not alive. I stared hard at her and said, ‘Violene you saw him moving. That is when you were supposedly going to get your manager and “take care of it.” You stayed away until Rowan died. I don’t care what you say, you and I both know he was very much alive. We know the truth.’ She said nothing and turned away.

Although the doctor had never arrived and Angele had been told she had to be examined by him, the clinic workers seemed to want nothing more than to get her (and her friend, who had arrived) out of the clinic. They gave her a bag with medicine in it and ushered them both out the door.

Angele wanted an autopsy to be performed to prove Rowan was born alive. The local coroner refused to do it. Eventually, an autopsy was performed by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan C. Garavaglia.  The medical examiner was unable to determine whether Rowan had been born alive, because she did not find air in his lungs. However, she also found that, as Angele had said, the baby had most likely never been injected with Dixogin (there were no needle marks anywhere on the baby’s body, which would have been left had the injection occurred.) Dr. Garavaglia stated that it was “probable” that Rowan’s heart had been beating and that, therefore, he had been born alive. Without air in the lungs, however, it could not be officially proven. You can see Rowan’s autopsy report here. 

No action was ever taken against the clinic for Rowan’s death.

Angele later wrote a letter to Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman in which she said in part:

“Thank you very much for your kindness. It is amazing the out pour of kind words and support I am receiving after Rowan’s death.

I wish that I had such a network and support before, I would still be pregnant. …I hope that women will see my humiliation and remorse and seek forgiveness if they are post abortive.

I want to do everything in my power to see that this does not happen to other babies or mothers.

I want women in crisis pregnancies to see that whether they are of 6 weeks or 28 weeks gestation, that abortion will haunt them for the rest of their lives. I would like for them to know that no matter how little you want the pregnancy itself, you will want, love and cherish your child. Those 9 months of crisis are the toughest. If you make it through that, the rewards come 1000 fold!…. It is very shameful to step forward and admit publicly that I have been so wrong as to “choose” to take the life of my child. On the other hand if it will accomplish any or all of the above, then it is my duty, isn’t it? That is so long as I protect the children I have here first and foremost. I know God wants me to put them first, just as I should have with Rowan.”

1. Lynn Vincent“Death By Drowning” World 6/18/05

Note: This is part 6 of a series about how babies are born alive during abortion procedures:

Part I: ‘This baby is alive!’: the heartbreaking story of Baby Hope

P
art II: ‘That’s not a baby. That’s an abortion!’: clinic workers describe babies born alive

Part III: ‘This is so hard. Oh, God, it’s so hard!’: nurses tell of aborted babies born alive

P
art IV: ‘Hey, he’s trying to live, help him!’: Pro-choice pastor saw ‘aborted’ baby born alive

Part V: Baby born alive was tossed into a bag and thrown on the roof of the abortion clinic

Sarah Terzo is a pro-life author and creator of the clinicquotes.com website. She is a member of Secular Pro-Life and Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. This article reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org.

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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

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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, the 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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