Operation Rescue staff

Jury selection to begin in murder case of abortionist who snipped newborn's spinal cords

Operation Rescue staff
By Operation Rescue staff

PHILADELPHIA, March 1, 2013, (Operation Rescue) – Jury selection is set to begin on Monday in the highly publicized capital murder case against Philadelphia late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, whose squalid “house of horrors” abortion clinic and callous, almost flippant attitude toward his macabre abortion practices shocked the nation.

“The Gosnell case is a watershed moment for the issue of abortion,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “The discovery of his horrific practices helped shed light on an abortion industry that has run amok without oversight or accountability for decades, and has prompted significant changes in abortion laws and attitudes toward enforcement in several states.”

In all, Gosnell faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants. Additional charges include conspiracy, drug delivery resulting in death, infanticide, corruption of minors, evidence tampering, theft by deception, abuse of a corpse, and corruption.

The case began in January 2010, when police raided Gosnell Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia, thinking that it was a “pill mill” -- possibly the city’s largest supplier of illegal Oxycontin. But once officers entered the clinic, they discovered it was something much worse.

The stench of cat urine permeated the air. Authorities found blood-stained furniture and blankets, piles of bags of medical waste, and other filthy conditions. But they also found something else: rows of jars containing the severed feet of what appeared to be late-term aborted babies, then the corpses of several aborted babies with suspicious cuts on the backs of their necks.

Authorities immediately closed the clinic then began a grand jury investigation into Gosnell’s appalling abortion operation. What they found is described in a scathing 281-page Grand Jury Report that is stated with such simple clarity that it is painful to read.

Click "like" if you want to end abortion!

Gosnell’s clinic had two functions. By day it supplied scripts to pretty much anyone who wandered in off the street. By night, it was a horrific late-term abortion operation that was conducted with the aid of unlicensed workers who drugged patients into stupors, spread venereal disease by reusing disposable equipment, perforated wombs and bowels, and killed at least two patients.

Gosnell would deliver late-term, viable babies alive then murder them by thrusting scissors into the backs of their neck and “snipping” their spinal cords.

Four other employees -- Steven Massof, Lynda Williams, Sherry West, and Adrienne Moton -- masqueraded as physicians even though they had little if any training and no medical license. They frequently conducted illegal abortions, including the grisly procedure Gosnell called “snipping” of newborns’ spinal cords.

In January 2011, police arrested Gosnell and eight of his employees, including his wife, Pearl, and charged them with hundreds of criminal counts. One by one, Gosnell’s associates began to enter guilty pleas to avoid trial. In exchange, some charges have been dropped or reduced. Most await sentencing that will depend on the outcome of Gosnell’s trial.

At least two, Williams and West, but perhaps others, are set to testify against Gosnell at his upcoming trial. They will be sentenced afterward and may receive possible leniency based on the quality of their testimony.

Gosnell, who has remained incarcerated since his arrest in January 2011, faces a possible death penalty for his crimes.

The Grand Jury Report had great impact on abortion policies. It exposed in no uncertain terms the political climate that created conditions where abortionists were never investigated and clinics were never inspected, no matter how egregious the allegations. It forced resignations of those who looked the other way, even in the face of complaints related to patient deaths.

This case has also influenced new legislation and clinic regulation, but more importantly, prompted stronger enforcement of abortion laws, not only in Pennsylvania, but also in Maryland, Delaware, and others.

Clinic inspections that followed in Pennsylvania revealed massive violations at clinics across the state. At least two abortion clinics closed rather than clean up.

In Delaware, two additional abortion clinics closed that had associations with Gosnell, who was using the clinics to begin late-term abortion processes that would be finished across state lines at his Philadelphia abortion clinic.

In Maryland, the Gosnell case, along with the discovery of a similar illegal, two-state abortion operation run by the notorious Steven Chase Brigham, helped prompt new clinic licensing regulations and accountability in a state where essentially no meaningful abortion laws existed.

“We are looking forward to the court testimony of Gosnell’s associates. We may have much more to learn from this horrific case,” said Newman.

“The frightening thing about all this is that we know Gosnell is not unique,” Newman continued. “We know other shoddy abortionists are out there running filthy operations that endanger the lives and health of women, such as the filthy abortion mill that was recently discovered and closed in Muskegon, Michigan. We know that abortionists are landing women in hospital emergency rooms at an alarming rate, and have the frantic 911 recordings to prove it. We also know that many times, babies are born alive after failed late-term abortions then secretly murdered. We have heard many reports of this dirty little secret – and worse.”

Across the U.S., there still remains far too much resistance to the enforcement and prosecution of abortionists who break the law. Because of that, shockingly unsafe conditions and below standard practices continue to be overlooked and ignored in most states. While the Gosnell case has brought the issue of abortion abuses to light with some positive impact, there is still a long way to go.

“The more conversation we have as a nation about the wide spread epidemic of abortion injuries, deaths, and other abuses, the closer we will come to the solution to these problems through the complete abolition of abortion,” said Newman.

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


Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
LifeSiteNews staff

,

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.


Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
LifeSiteNews staff

,

Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

LifeSiteNews staff
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.”

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

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.


Advertisement
Featured Image
Tony Gosgnach / LifeSiteNews.com
Tony Gosgnach

,

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.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

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.


Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook