Cheryl Sullenger

2013 was banner year for discipline of abortion abusers

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
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December 18, 2013 (Operation Rescue) - This year was a banner year for abortion-related discipline. Several abortionists came to the attention of regulators due to complaints and publicity from Operation Rescue, which took their complaints to medical boards, health departments, and even to the Federal Election Commission and into court to shut down shoddy or illegal abortion businesses.

“We are especially excited when one of our complaints, or a situation that we helped uncover results in closed clinics and disciplined abortionists. That always means that innocent lives will be saved,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

The Eastern Seaboard has been most active during 2013 in disciplining abortionists who endanger women and break the law.

Maryland led the nation in abortion-related discipline with actions against the licenses of five abortion providers and the closure of at least three abortion clinics – all affiliated with the notorious New Jersey abortionist Steven Chase Brigham.

Brigham, who Operation Rescue has worked for years to expose, has also experienced trouble with regulators in his home state of New Jersey, where a complaint has been filed by the Attorney General’s office that is attempting to permanently revoke his last remaining medical license. Brigham is accused of illegally starting late-term abortions at his office in New Jersey, then transporting women to Maryland to complete the abortions, even though he has no medical license in that state. He also is accused of falsifying medical records to hide his abortion crimes and lying about his lack of malpractice insurance by providing a false certificate from a fraudulent insurance company in the Bahamas, which was previously closed for insurance fraud.

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, the state closed Integrity Family Health after pro-life complaints that this abortion clinic was affiliated with Brigham, who was ordered not to have any part in abortion businesses in that state. Operation Rescue lodged a formal complaint against Brigham’s Pennsylvania accomplice, Eric Kfir Yahav, with the Pennsylvania authorities requesting Board discipline.

Brigham’s associate, Nicola Riley, was also disciplined in Maryland and her home state of Utah in 2013. She helped Brigham run an illegal bi-state abortion business that resulted in at least 50 illegal late-term abortions, 30% of which were done on babies beyond 20 weeks. Two of the babies aborted at Brigham’s secret Maryland abortion clinic were 31 and 33 weeks.

Maryland revoked Riley’s medical license for gross negligence and “fraudulent and deceptive” behavior after she botched a late-term abortion that brought attention to their illicit late-term abortion scheme. Maryland also found that Riley lied about a felony criminal conviction in order to gain licensure in that state, a charge that was discovered and reported by Operation Rescue. Later, Utah reprimanded Riley for unprofessional conduct for failing to call an ambulance for the woman injured during an abortion in Maryland.

In action also related to Brigham’s shoddy abortion clinic operations, the licenses of three abortionists were suspended in Maryland after an inspection discovered that a woman, Maria Santiago, had died from a botched abortion at a Brigham-affiliated facility located in a residential condo complex. One of them, Michael Basco, faces possible license revocation.

Also in Maryland, Harold O. Alexander was ordered to stop all surgical abortions after it was discovered that he was using unqualified employees to administer sedation. This followed on the heels of a license suspension due in part to a complaint by Operation Rescue. Further investigation discovered that Alexander was illegally operating his Integrated OB/GYN Services abortion clinic without a license. Operation Rescue alerted authorities and that case is pending.

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In Birmingham, Alabama, Diane Derzis’ New Woman All Women abortion clinic was ordered to close after pro-life groups, including Operation Rescue, documented that the clinic was operating illegally in violation of a previous closure order. The documentation was turned over to the Alabama Department of Health, which sued to once again halt Derzis’ illegal abortion operation. In October, a judge denied the clinic’s motion to lift a previous closure order, shutting the clinic down for good. Life Legal Defense Foundation filed an Amici Curiae brief on behalf of Operation Rescue and CEC for Life that contributed to the ruling. This clinic had a history of botched abortions and 72-pages worth of health code violations.

Operation Rescue helped expose five medical emergencies that took place at a Wilmington, Delaware, Planned Parenthood and published a video taken by sidewalk counselor Rae Stabosz that showed her being attacked as she filmed one of those emergencies. That video when viral and was featured on Fox News before Youtube.com removed it. That publicity prompted two former nurses to come forward and blow the whistle on horrific conditions at the Wilmington and Dover Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. The abortionist, Timothy Liveright, who faced multiple negligence charges, entered into a consent agreement with the Delaware Board of Licensure and Discipline last month. The conditions of the agreement are set to be made public in January.

Robert L. Alexander, the Muskegon abortionist who was caught running a squalid, Gosnell-like abortion mill that was closed by the fire marshal late last year, now formally faces medical board discipline based on a complaint filed by Operation Rescue based on information provided by a confidential informant. Conditions at his abortion clinic were among the worst we have seen.

In Florida, James Pendergraft stood by earlier this year while the furnishings at his Orlando Women’s Center were hauled away to pay a multi-million dollar court judgment against him while his associate, abortionist Randall Whitney was fined $7,500 and reprimanded by the Florida Medical Board after slapping a patient during an abortion as the result of an Operation Rescue complaint. Pendergraft was able to reopen his abortion clinic but still faces mountains of legal troubles.

An unusual case of disciplinary action came as the result of a Federal Election Commission complaint filed by Operation Rescue against Julie Burkhart, who operates South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas. Burkart forked over $3,000 in fines from her Trust Women PAC, which Operation Rescue discovered was improperly funding Burkhart’s abortion operation. Burkhart remains under investigation for shoddy bookkeeping that shows over $37,000 in missing political action committee money.

In addition to the disciplinary actions taken this year, Operation Rescue staff members filed numerous complaints in 2013, which could lead to more clinic closures and disciplinary action in the future. One of the more high-profile cases that remain unresolved at this time includes an ongoing criminal investigation against Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen, who has been accused by former employees of murdering late-term babies born alive after illegal abortions. Operation Rescue worked with the women to obtain documentation of Karpen’s actions, including photographs taken on clinic workers’ cell phones of late-term aborted babies showing that their throats had been cut.

Operation Rescue works to research, document, report, and expose abortion abuses in order to save lives, spare women from exploitation at the hands of abortionists, and bring the abusers to justice. OR’s work also helps the public understand the truth behind the so-called “safe and legal” abortion trade that regularly maims women and kills babies — often illegally — in dangerous abortion mills across the nation.

“We have yet to find an abortionist that completely complies with the law. This makes the abortion industry very dangerous. When we can document abuses, we consider it a public service to report these shady abortionists to the authorities,” said Newman. “It’s gratifying to know that our work has helped save lives and has protected women from shoddy or abusive abortion practices. It’s an incentive to work even harder to end abortion altogether.”

Source documents of abortion abuses are maintained at AbortionDocs.org, a searchable database that includes every abortion clinic and known abortionist in America.

Reprinted ith permission from Operation Rescue

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Sofia Vazquez-Mellado

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11-year-old in Uruguay refuses to abort after rape

Sofia Vazquez-Mellado
By Sofia Vazquez-Mellado

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, May 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An 11-year-old girl in Uruguay is making headlines for refusing to abort after being raped by a 41-year-old relative. Pro-abortion organizations in the country are using the case to ask for a broadening in the law, which allows for abortion up until 12 weeks gestation, 14 weeks in cases of rape, and up to 9 months when the life or health of the mother are at risk or when the baby is “unviable.”

Local media report that the girl, who is 18 weeks pregnant, lived with her abuser for over a year prior to the pregnancy. Her mother is now asking authorities to make her abort, but according to the local newspaper La Diaria, a team of psychiatrists from Uruguay’s Child and Adolescent Institute (INAU) has said that “the girl’s position has been confirmed without a doubt: she wishes to be a mother.”

According to her relatives, the girl suffers from a mild mental incapacity, although she is not considered handicapped.

In a press conference, Susana Muñiz, president for the Association of State Health Services and former minister of health, said: “An 11-year-old girl obviously has a body not prepared to be pregnant, with a very small uterus.”

However, according to Monica Silva, head of the INAU’s Health Division, “There is no risk to the life of the girl nor that of the baby. We cannot force her to abort.”

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“Even if her mother wants it, it would be inhuman to force her to abort,” continued Silva. “The fact that there was a rape doesn’t allow me to force her to abort. This [aborting] may seem like a protection of her rights but it is against the girl’s will.”

Nevertheless, a press release “demanding” that the girl abort “immediately” was issued by several pro-abortion NGOs soon after, on May 12. “The hypocritical and bureaucratic system allows for her rights to be undermined without considering the cost this will bring to the girl,” it read.

“Who will take charge now to stop the undermining of her rights and protect her health and her life? How much longer do we need to wait before somebody decides responsibly on the interruption of that pregnancy?” it concluded.

In her interview, Silva also said the girl’s parents “never visited, with exception of one of the six siblings she has.”

 “The best that could happen would be to ensure that she has a ‘welcoming family,’ that would receive the girl with her baby,” continued Silva. “I doubt we can achieve that because it’s hard to find families who want this challenge.”

The girl remains under INAU’s care and her abuser has been imprisoned.

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Steve Weatherbe

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Christian jeweller made gay couples’ rings but still got targeted by gay lobby

Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

MOUNT PEARL, Newfoundland, May 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) –While North Americans are used to reading about Christian business people being fined and excoriated for refusing to cater to homosexual weddings, Newfoundland has added a novel twist: there a Christian jeweller has been punished financially and deluged with hate mail even though he did do business with a homosexual couple.

Nicole White and Pam Renouf liked the service they got from Esau Jardon of Today’s Jewellers in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, who took their deposit and proceeded to design and build them two engagement rings. They even recommended the store to friends.

But by the time one friend went there, the Mexican-born Jardon had put up a sign in his shop window marking Mother’s Day—and his strong, traditional Christian beliefs: “The Sanctity of Marriage IS UNDER ATTACK; Help Keep Marriage Between Man & Woman,” it read.

The friend went ballistic. Her picture of the sign went viral. The couple went back on their deal and back to the store, demanding their deposit. Today’s Jewellers’ Facebook page was so deluged with hundreds of hateful emails and many threats that Jardon and his brother, who is his business partner, have to shut it down.

LifeSiteNews asked White if Jardon had been punished enough. “Omigod, yes,” she responded. “Way, way too much.” But earlier she explained to a local newspaper why the couple cancelled their order. “The ring symbolizes love, and just knowing that that’s the sign that they have up there — every time I look at my ring, yes, I’ll think of us, clearly, but also everything we went through. So I don’t want my ring from there anymore. I just want my refund.”

At first, she reported, “They just said that that's their beliefs, and they think they can put up whatever they want. I just said it was very disrespectful, it's very unprofessional and I wanted a refund,” White said. “I have no issues with them believing in what they believe in. I think everyone's entitled to their own opinion. But I don't think they should put their personal beliefs inside their business.”

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Jardon, at first, was loath to return it, lest this be seen as an apology for his beliefs. Reached in Toronto, he told the St. John’s Telegram, “When I walk on Church Street in Toronto, where I am right now, and I see [LGBT rainbow flags], and I see a lot of signs and a lot of things on public property, I don't have a problem with them. I accept it. I chose to come to Canada... and we accept the whole package... I don't discriminate against that, nor do I come and tell them to take them down. For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it's in my own business.”

But what is sauce for the gander is not sauce for the geese, or for the LGBT community that crowded onto the bandwagon, or for the CBC which was all too ready to label the jeweller’s sign “homophobic.”

However, some have offered support and sympathy. Rod Dreher, blogging at The American Conservative, observed that only so-called sexual minorities expected this kind of treatment. “Is a fundamentalist Christian permitted to send her osso buco back to the kitchen if she discovers that homosexual hands cooked it? Of course not. Some delicate snowflakes are more delicate than others.”

Referring to recent decisions by courts and human rights tribunals against Christian vendors who refused to serve homosexuals, Dreher concluded on an ironic note. The pressure on Jardon to return the deposit marked “the next phase in the March of Progress. You must not only bake the cake, or arrange the flowers, or make the ring, you must hold the correct opinion when you do it.”

Jardon defends his right to his own opinion. “One of the reasons my family chose to move to Canada was the rights that it offered, the freedom of religion and freedom of speech, both of which at the time seemed to be very limited in Mexico,” he said.

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Canadians headed to the ballot box for the fall federal election should remember the right to life is 'the most basic thing in society,' the archbishop tells LifeSiteNews. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Exclusive: Clinging to Christ will help those struggling with sexual identity, says Montreal’s archbishop

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By Pete Baklinski

OTTAWA, May 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Montreal’s archbishop, Christian Lépine, weighed in on what the Catholic Church actually has to offer people struggling with the biological sex they were born with, telling LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview that it’s no mistake that God creates the human person as male or female and that every person must look for their identity within a “view of God.”

“The teachings of the Church as such, its most basic one, is that we’re made in the image of God. That's always the starting point. And when you lose track of that — that you're made in the image of God — then somehow you come to lose trust in who you are as a human being, and you know less of who you are, and you don't know anymore who you are, and you [find yourself] looking for your own identity outside of a view of God,” Lépine told LifeSiteNews last week one day prior to the annual National March for Life that drew an estimated 25,000 pro-life advocates.

Following the first book of the Bible, where it is stated that God created human beings as “male and female,” the Catholic Church has always taught, and continues to teach, that the male/female binary is God’s plan for mankind.

As the book of Genesis (1:27) states: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church stresses that recognizing and preserving the male/female sexual difference is necessary for a healthy society.

“Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out,” the Catechism states.

Lépine said that anytime questions about sexual identity arise for the faithful, “we must go back to the basics,” namely that “every human is created in the image of God, and of course, biblically, every human being exists as a woman or as a man.”

The archbishop’s words are foreign to mainstream notions of so-called ‘gender fluidity’ where male/female difference is construed as a social construct and ultimately as a personal choice.

Lépine acknowledged that some people suffer when it comes to accepting their own sexual identity as either a male or female based on biological characteristics.

“Sometimes people have sufferings about their own desires, or about their own sense of identity, or about the fact that masculinity and femininity exists, or about the fact that you as ‘human being’ [exist] as a male or female, as a man or as a woman.”

He called the male/female binary “a reality that is part of the [human] experience,” adding that it is also “taught in the Bible.”

Lépine stressed that the Church does not leave people “looking for a meaning in their lives and their own sense of identity” to struggle on their own, but offers them many helps and aids, including a clear anthropology on the nature of the human person.

“As Christians, we have the Bible to help people. We have Jesus Christ to help people. We have faith in God to help people. So, going back, [we must be] conscious that we are made in the image of God. And our own sexuality — what is the meaning of being a man or woman — is related to our vocation to love. And, every human being as such, made in the image of God — being a man or woman — is called to love.”

“So, how [are we] to help [such] people? You can talk about things theoretically, which is one thing. But also, we have to be conscious of people who live through situations where they're looking for their own identity and we need, I think, the Bible and faith to help them.”

Fluid notions of gender have been criticized by Pope Francis on at least three occasions, and prior to this, by Pope Benedict XVI.

“Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion," Pope Francis told young people during his voyage to Naples, Italy last March.

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In his 2012 Christmas greeting, Pope Benedict condemned gender theory as a “profound falsehood” since it denies the male and female sex as a “given element of nature.” According to Benedict, instead of acknowledging that God created people male and female, gender theory posits the existence of sexual social constructions that people can decide to conform to or not.

“The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

“When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being,” Benedict concluded. “The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears,” he said.

Earlier in the interview, Lépine spoke about the need to “promote relentlessly life and respect for life” in the face of the country’s top court setting the legal stage for allowing doctors to end the lives of their patients under the pretext of compassion and mercy.

“You don't take care of someone when you suppress the life of someone, because you're not solving a problem. You're suppressing the person. It doesn't work,” he said.

Referring to the upcoming federal election this fall, the archbishop called “life and the right-to-life and dignity of the person” an “important subject, because it's the most basic thing in society.” 

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