Kirsten Andersen

Planned Parenthood knew about conditions at ‘nightmare’ clinic, but did nothing: former employees

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen
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WILMINGTON, DE, July 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – Three former employees at the now-infamous Planned Parenthood facility in Wilmington, Delaware, told lawmakers in the state Senate today that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) knew about the unsafe conditions at the facility, and did nothing.

The Wilmington clinic was briefly closed earlier this year after two of the women, nurses Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, went to the media telling a tale of a dangerous “meat-market” style of performing abortions, and describing the clinic as a “nightmare.”

At today's hearing, the three former employees testified that PPFA first became aware of the dangerous conditions at the Wilmington clinic during an internal audit, but chose not to report their findings to the authorities.  Nor did PPFA insist that Wilmington bring up its standards of care.  According to Tuesday’s testimony, the national leadership simply rubberstamped the clinic’s accreditation, despite mounting evidence that women’s lives were being endangered there.

“As these hearings have progressed, we have learned that Planned Parenthood of Delaware has often operated with a startling disregard of cleanliness and patient safety,” said Ellen Barosse, founder of the Delaware pro-life group A Rose and A Prayer, whose group organized Tuesday’s hearing.

“The questions now are: If the national Planned Parenthood Federation repeatedly accredited its Delaware affiliate, knowing the conditions there, how many more facilities that endanger women have they accredited across the country?  And why didn’t it take strong action here?  It shouldn’t be left to brave nurses to campaign for basic standards of sanitation and appropriate health care.”

In April, state investigators found numerous health code violations at the facility and cited abortionist Timothy Liveright with ten separate “acts of incompetence and negligence,” including oversedation, performing unnecessary suction procedures, failing to properly administer oxygen, and failing to “act with due competence and diligence,” resulting in patients requiring emergency hospital visits.  At the time, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s son, called the abortionist “a clear and immediate danger to the public.” 

Liveright later surrendered his medical license, but called the charges against him, including the perforation of a patient’s uterus, “nit-picky,” and “a tempest in a teapot.”  He blamed Planned Parenthood for the clinic’s troubles. “They've allowed this circus to continue,” he said. “It's partly because they never listened to [the whistle-blowers] to begin with.”

Nurses Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich also testified before the Senate in May about conditions in the clinic. At that time Mitchell-Werbich described how abortionist Liveright “would be in such a hurry to get the patients in and out himself that he would bring patients back into unclean procedure rooms where the examination table would still have bloody drainage and body fluids from the previous patients.”  On one memorable occasion, she said, the abortionist “left sedated patients in the middle of an abortion procedure waiting for hours in order to handle a mechanical issue with his private airplane.” 

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The nurses also claim the facility’s owners failed to inform as many as 200 women of their positive tests for sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and failed to notify 87 women of the results of their colposcopies. 

Additionally, the three women accuse Planned Parenthood of denying the lifesaving drug Rhogam to low-income, Rh-negative pregnant women who need it to protect against an increased risk of stillbirth with future pregnancies.

Vasikonis, who describes herself as “rabidly pro-abortion,” told the lawmakers in May that she was disillusioned by Planned Parenthood’s abuse of the women in their care. 

“It would take me all afternoon to describe all the deficiencies I found at Planned Parenthood of Delaware during the 10 months I worked there,” she told the State Senate. “What I found was that the culture of Planned Parenthood of Delaware was focused on maximizing profits and the bottom line, not quality health care for women.”

Tuesday’s hearing was promoted by the Susan B. Anthony List, which said in a statement that the purpose of the hearing was to shine a light on the abortion industry’s brutality toward not just babies, but women.

“The consequences of championing abortion masked as health care for women will prove tragic in state after state,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

The group said that the Wilmington case proves that despite its billion-dollar budget and massive international influence, Planned Parenthood is no better than the rest of the industry when it comes to ignoring the safety and dignity of the women in its care.

“America’s Abortion Giant – the standard-bearer – cannot claim that Kermit Gosnell, Douglas Karpen, and a host of other abortion clinic horrors nationwide are isolated incidents while their own employees expose them for complete disregard for the health and well-being of women,” the group said.  “We won’t let the media ignore Planned Parenthood’s complete failure to stand up for the dignity and safety of women.”


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

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s 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 hurch 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. 


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Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that 'it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.' Shutterstock
Steve Weatherbe

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Pope Francis: steps must be taken to halt ‘unjust aggressor’ in Iraq

Steve Weatherbe
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Pope Francis and his emissary to Iraq’s persecuted non-Muslim minorities, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, have both called on the United Nations to act in concert to protect Iraqis Christian and Yazidi minorities from the radical Islamic forces of ISIS.

Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that “it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.”

He added, however, that “halt” does not mean to “bomb” and lamented “how many times with the excuse of halting the unjust aggressor…have powerful nations taken possession of peoples and waged a war of conquest!”

He also cautioned that no single nation could determine the right measures. Any intervention must be multilateral and preferably by the United Nations, he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Foloni, who is visiting Iraq on behalf of Pope Francis, issued a joint statement this week with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and the Iraqi bishops that urged the international community to “liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result.”

The statement also urged efforts to “assure that there is international protection for these villages and so to encourage these families to go back to their homes and to continue to live a normal life in security and peace.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, was also asked by Vatican Radio earlier this month about the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

“This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,” the archbishop said. 

Although Pope Francis’ own remarks about an intervention in the war-torn country were carefully guarded, Catholic commentator Robert Spencer, author of such bestselling exposes of Islam as “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion,” told LifeSiteNews he believes the pope was clearly calling for an “armed intervention, though a very limited one.”  

“Only a fool would think there is another way to stop an ‘unjust aggressor,’” he said.

Spencer expressed concerns that both Francis and Pope John Paul II before him have both referred to Islam a “religion of peace,” which Spencer says is “completely false.” However, he suggested that Francis’ remarks calling for action in Iraq are a sign of a more realistic attitude towards Islam.   

On this, Spencer would likely have the support of Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, who issued a letter last week warning the West in stark terms about the encroaching threat of Islam.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer,” Nona warned. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.

“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles,” he said

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”


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'Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,' said Dawkins. 'They are aborted.' Shutterstock
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Richard Dawkins: it’s ‘immoral’ NOT to abort babies with Down syndrome

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By Dustin Siggins

In a bizarre rant on Twitter earlier today, atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that choosing not to abort a child with Down Syndrome would be "immoral."

The conversation started when Dawkins tweeted that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area." The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases.

A Twitter user then asked Dawkins if "994 human beings with Down's Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012" was "civilised."

Dawkins replied "yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings."

Later, Dawkins said that "the question is not ‘is it 'human'?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’"

In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that he or she "honestly [doesn't] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma."

Dawkins advised the writer to "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."

Later, however, he said that people on the autism spectrum "have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."

When Dawkins received some blowback from Twitter followers, he replied: "Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses. They are aborted."

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. 

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 said they were "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. 

A number of Dawkins' statements in the Twitter thread about fetal development are at odds with scientific realities. For example, it is well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli -- such as a mother's stress levels -- months before being born. 

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