Cheryl Sullenger

Jury shown graphic photos of babies Gosnell ‘aborted’

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
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Philadelphia, PA, April 3, 2013 (OperationRescue.org) – Photos of the bodies of several aborted babies were shown to the jury Tuesday, each with a gaping wound in the back of their necks, as testimony continued in the Kermit Gosnell murder case.

The babies were all intact and had the appearance of being partially mummified or dried. The brownish-black skin had shrunk as it dried, revealing the upper spinal column that authorities say was pierced with scissors in order to snip the spinal cords of newborn babies born alive during abortions by Gosnell.

Photos of the remains of Karnamaya Mongar, the woman who allegedly died as a result of an overdose by Gosnell’s untrained, unqualified staff, were not shown to the jury due to an objection by Gosnell’s defense attorney Jack McMahon.

Also shown were photos of babies’ feet in jars, one of which had been severed just below the hip and included the entire leg. A photo of a two-inch foot severed above the ankle was shown next to a ruler.

During the display, Gosnell sat attentive but emotionless, sometimes making notes.

Other photos taken by a Crime Scene Investigator John Taggart showed the cramped and cluttered maze of rooms at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society ‘House of Horrors” abortion clinic. The three story structure has metal poles on the top floor holding up the leaky, decaying roof. The witness indicated that he believes the structure will soon collapse.

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Abortion Millionaire

Pictures were also presented to the jury showing Gosnell’s two large homes, his boat and private boat dock, and his newer model F150 extended cab pickup truck. While his possessions were being displayed, Gosnell smiled broadly and nodded in acknowledgement. It is estimated that Gosnell made millions aborting babies while women at his clinic were subjected to the reuse of disposable instruments and other dangerously shoddy practices.

However, a photo of his gaudy deep purple bedroom at his Philadelphia home was revealing. In it belongings were strewn about and piled everywhere, and appeared much as one would expect a hoarder’s house to look, and resembled the general junky appearance of his abortion clinic rooms.

O’Keefe and Monet

Gosnell had two abortion rooms where he gave poor women abortions that were small, cramped, cluttered, and dirty. They were called the Monet Room and the O’Keefe Room after the cheap painting reproductions that hung in each. Taggart had gathered furniture and objects from the clinic and brought them to the courtroom. Each piece of equipment was identified, including a box of cloudy yellowish plastic disposable cannulas that had been repeatedly reused.

A crash cart was present in court that was discovered under a bed in Gosnell’s house. There was no crash cart found inside his clinic.

A cannula is the sharp plastic tube that attaches to the suction machine which enters the womb to suction out an early-term baby. It is also used to suction out the amniotic fluid in later abortions and to clean out the remaining tissue after the abortion is completed.

Garbage Disposal Mysteries

Taggart testified that last Friday he returned to the clinic and retrieved one final item which was also in court. It was a large garbage disposal that was under the sink in the wash room that was between the O’Keefe and Monet abortion rooms where jars containing the severed feet sat on a shelf. When asked why the garbage disposal was brought to court, Gosnell’s attorney objected, prompting one of several sidebar discussions out of hearing of the jury. Judge Jeffery P. Minehart, who is presiding over the murder trial sustained the objection and Taggart was not allowed to tell the jury the significance of the garbage disposal.

However, the only the two pro-life supporters observing the trial, Day Gardner and this reporter, knew the answer. I had seen it before in the abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas, that Operation Rescue bought and closed then renovated into a usable pro-life office. Aborted baby remains were likely ground up in the disposal then flushed down the sink.

Several members of the jury rose and leaned over to get a better look at the ancient and filthy equipment and furnishings as they were identified by Taggart.

Earlier in the day Dr. Karen Feisullin, a practicing ObGyn at a major metropolitan hospital testified that another piece of equipment in the courtroom, the ultrasound machine, was so old that she had never seen one like it. She put on latex gloves before picking up the abdominal and vaginal transducers, which were discolored and filthy. Feisullin testified that she was not even sure where the monitor screen was on the ancient device.

How Abortions are Done

Feisullin’s testimony was for the purpose of describing how abortions are done. She serves as an Obgyn at Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia and testified that she does 2-4 second trimester abortions per week, 95% of which are for fetal anomalies.

Feisullin described the abortion process in graphic detail, referring to several charts with a pointer to help the jury understand the dilation of the cervix and the dismemberment of the child in the womb during an Dilation and Evacuation abortion, used in the second trimester.

She also testified about the process of fetal injection used in later abortions that kills the baby prior to the removal of the remains.

Falsified Ultrasounds

Perhaps the most damaging part to Gosnell of Feisullin’s testimony was her discussion of ultrasound images found in three abortion charts. Each record contained two to three sonogram images showing babies that would have been between 24 weeks six days and 30 weeks gestation. The upper limit for abortions under the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act is 23 weeks 6 days.

She also testified that the ultrasound photos were of such poor quality that she could not see the anatomical landmarks needed to ensure that the measurements of the babies’ heads were accurate. In one case, the measurement of the baby’s head, which determines gestational age, was done in the wrong place making it completely incorrect.

In each case, Gosnell had written in his own hand that each baby was 24 weeks six days, no matter how big the heads measured. This was an indication that he did not have an accurate view of the legal abortion limit in Pennsylvania.

Dispute over Partial Birth Abortion

Also in dispute was a diagram of the Partial Birth Abortion process. Partial birth abortions were federally banned after the Supreme Court upheld the law in 2007. McMahon insisted that the process shown in the diagram was still legal while Feisullin testified that it was not. She said she would not use that procedure because it was illegal. McMahon strenuously objected, prompting another sidebar.

Gosnell was ushered in and out of the courtroom by Sheriffs Deputies. He has remained incarcerated since his arrest in January, 2011. Upon entering the courtroom for the first time in the morning, Gosnell glanced around the sparsely occupied courtroom and smiled widely at the two pro-life women seated in the gallery. It was my impression from his courtroom demeanor that he did not fully accept that his actions were wrong.

Eileen O’Neill

Also on trial with Gosnell is his former staff member Eileen O’Neill, wearing an ill-fitting bright purple shirt. She was seated next to her own attorney who rarely spoke. O’Neill is not charged with murder, but faces several other serious charges, including Theft by Deception for masquerading as a licensed physician, corruption, racketeering, and conspiracy. She is the only one of eight former employees not to have taken a plea agreement prior to Gosnell’s trial. Other Gosnell employees are expected to testify against him in exchange for more lenient sentences, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Testimony is set to continue Tuesday morning. The trial is expected to last for a total of six to eight weeks. If convicted of the charges that he murdered eight newborns and one patient, Gosnell faces the possibility of the death penalty.

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Reprinted with permission from OperationRescue.org

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

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If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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