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.

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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.

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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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