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
Image

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!”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

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.


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkins’ statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

"It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities," Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. "Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

"While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born," she said. "Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection."

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, "People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society."

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the "difficult and confusing time" when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience "negative attitudes."

"What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information," the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the church they attend in New Jersey, "because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey , 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

Advertisement
Featured Image
President George Bush takes the ice bucket challenge in a video released this week.
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

What’s wrong with the viral ‘ice bucket challenge’? A lot, say pro-life leaders

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

Pro-life leaders in the U.S. are warning about ethical problems with the viral "Ice Bucket Challenge" that has raised over $15 million for research into Lou Gehrig’s Disease since late July, making its way to the top of American politics, and the entertainment and business worlds in the process.

In recent days, former president George W. Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, TV hosts Oprah Winfrey and Jimmy Fallon, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have all had ice-cold water dumped on their heads in support of the effort.

They have been joined by many thousands of everyday Americans eager to do their part to raise funds to find a cure for the fatal neurodegenerative disease.

However, pro-life leaders from Patheos blogger Father Michael Duffy to the American Life League (ALL) are all pointing out that the ALS Association, which is behind the wildly popular fundraising effort, funds and otherwise supports embryonic stem cell research.

Instead, they are urging that pro-life people who want to participate in the ice bucket challenge send their donations to other charities that don't have similar ethical issues.

Embryonic stem cell research requires the destruction of an unborn child. This is unlike adult and umbilical cord stem cell research, which are considered ethical.

A spokesperson from the ALS Association admitted to American Life League in an e-mail that while the organization "primarily funds adult stem cell research," they are "funding one study using embryonic stem cells (ESC)..."

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

"It is noble to combat a deadly disease," Live Action president Lila Rose said in a statement provided to LifeSiteNews, but added that "it's such a shame that the ALS Association...chooses to support research that thrives from experimenting on and killing tiny, innocent human beings."

"Embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of pre-born people, is inherently unethical and a violation of fundamental human rights, and even materialists must admit that promises of its benefits have failed to deliver," continued Rose. "There is no good reason to condone this practice; in fact, all it does is taint the ALS Association, whom I'd otherwise be happy to support."

In the email to American Life League, ALS Assocation Spokesperson Carrie Munk defended the organization, saying that the embryonic stem cell research is being funded by an outside donor, and "the stem cell line was established many years ago."

She added that "under very strict guidelines, The Association may fund embryonic stem cell research in the future," and that currently "donors may stipulate that their funds not be invested in this study or any stem cell project."

At least one Catholic archdiocese has spoken up about the problematic relationship between ALS Assocation and unethical research.

"We appreciate the compassion that has caused so many people to engage in the ice bucket challenge," said a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. "But it's a well established moral principle that a good end is not enough. The means to that ends must be morally licit."

Both Fr. Duffy and the archdiocese have recommended money be sent to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, Iowa. It is an organization that exclusively researches with adult stem cells. 

One D.C.-area Catholic, Robert Vega, wrote on Facebook that "in light of the absolute dignity of human life and necessity to defend it...I have taken down my Ice Bucket video, untagged myself from my nomination video, and encourage anyone to whom I may have spread the Challenge to do the same."

Embryonic stem cell research, which was a major controversy throughout the presidency of George W. Bush, has quietly, although decidedly, become less popular after many of the exalted promises of its proponents failed to materialize. As LifeSiteNews reported, in 2012 California and Maryland funded a fraction of the embryonic stem cell research projects that they did in 2007. Likewise, Maryland funded nearly twice as many stem cell research projects in 2012 as it had in the prior year -- but only one of the grants was done for an embryonic research project.

Advertisement
Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

, ,

Catholic couple fined $13,000 for refusing to host same-sex ‘wedding’ at their farm

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson
Image
Robert and Cynthia Gifford

The New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) has ruled that the Roman Catholic owners of an Albany-area farm violated the civil rights of a lesbian couple when they declined to host the couple’s same-sex “marriage” ceremony in 2012.

Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who own and operate Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, were ordered by DHR Judge Migdalia Pares and Commissioner Helen Diane Foster to pay $10,000 in fines to the state and an additional $3,000 in damages to the lesbian couple, Jennie McCarthy and Melissa Erwin for “mental pain and suffering.” 

Additionally, the Giffords must provide sensitivity training to their staff, and prominently display a poster highlighting state anti-discrimination laws.

The Giffords’ attorney, Jim Trainor, told LifeSiteNews that the two-year-legal drama and resulting fines all stemmed from a single brief phone call in 2012 that caught his clients off guard.

“The entire interaction between the Complainants and the Giffords transpired during a two to three minute telephone conversation which, unknown to Mrs. Gifford, was being tape recorded,” Trainor said.

“After communicating the fact that they chose not to hold same-sex marriage ceremonies at the farm because to do so would violate the Giffords’ sincerely held beliefs (that God intended marriage to be between a man a woman only), Mrs. Gifford invited the couple to visit the farm to discuss handling their wedding reception, which the couple refused.” 

The Giffords draw a line, Trainor explained, between a ceremony that solemnizes a homosexual relationship and a reception that celebrates the union after the fact.  To participate in the former, they argue, would be a violation of their own religious beliefs, especially because marriage ceremonies on the farm typically take place in and around the couple’s home, where they live full-time and are raising their two children. 

Click "like" if you support TRADITIONAL marriage.

But the Giffords are willing to serve gay couples in other ways – for example, they allowed another lesbian couple to throw a birthday party for their adopted child on the farm.

Trainor said he believes the decision by DHR goes too far in that it seeks to regulate what the Giffords can or cannot do in their own private home, even though state law only requires “places of public accommodation” to adhere to anti-discrimination laws.

“They consider the farm their home,” Trainor said. “They live there, they work there, they raise their kids there.”

Trainor also said that the Judge and Commissioner should have taken into account the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling, which came down weeks before the DHR notified the Giffords of their decision.

“We're disappointed that neither the Administrative Law Judge nor the Commissioner considered the Gifford's Constitutional (1st Amendment) rights, including the right not to be compelled to participate in a ‘marriage’ ceremony which violates their own religious beliefs,” Trainor said. 

Trainor said he and the Giffords are evaluating their options for further legal action.

The Giffords could simply ask the DHR to reconsider their decision, but Trainor said he doubts that approach would be successful. In order to formally appeal the ruling the couple would have to go to the New York State Supreme Court. 

But there is another option: The Giffords could file a fresh lawsuit in either state or federal court challenging the constitutionality of the DHR ruling.

While religious liberty has been a hot topic in federal court lately, Trainor said New York’s state constitution “actually offers a lot” of protection when it comes to religious freedom. “Many people view it as more expansive than the U.S. Constitution in terms of religious freedoms.”

However, Trainor emphasized that the Giffords have not yet decided which avenue, if any, they are planning to take in terms of pursuing further legal action.

In the meantime, the Giffords will continue hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions at the farm, Trainor said. However, they are considering hiring a dedicated employee to handle the ceremonies in order to avoid having to directly participate in any future same-sex “weddings.”

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook