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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Dr. Miriam Grossman speaks to large audience in Mississauga, Ontario Steve Jalsevac/LifeSite
Lianne Laurence

VIDEO: How DO you to talk to kids about sex? US sex-ed critic gives practical tips

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

MISSISSAUGA, ON, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Talking to their children about sex is “anxiety provoking to say the least,” for parents, says American sex-ed expert, Dr. Miriam Grossman.

“Some people just can’t even do it, and that’s okay,” the New York-based psychiatrist told the crowd of 1,000 who packed a Mississauga conference hall August 18 to hear her critique of the Ontario Liberal government’s controversial sex-ed curriculum.

After Grossman explained how the Liberal sex-ed curriculum is dangerously flawed and ideologically driven, she used the question-and-answer session to give parents much appreciated and sometimes humorous practical advice on how to teach their children about “the birds and the bees.”

“If you feel you can’t do it, maybe there’s someone else in the family or in the constellation of people that you know you can trust that could do it,” said Grossman, author of “You’re teaching my child WHAT?” and an internationally sought-after speaker on sex education.

A child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with 12 years’ clinical experience treating students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) clinic, Grossman said explaining sexuality and procreation to children is “a process,” that “shouldn’t ideally happen all at once. A child is not a miniature adult, and absorbs…new information differently than adults do.”

And parents need to be sure just what their child wants to know.

To illustrate this, Grossman referred to her earlier story about a father who gave his son every detail on human procreation after the boy asked him, “Dad, where do I come from?”

After the father finished, his son replied, “Well, that’s funny, because Johnny told me that he came from Montreal.”

“Try to find out what your child is really getting at, and, don’t give it all at once,” Grossman said. “You start with a little bit at a time…and you know, there’s so many variables here, and people have their own traditions and their own ways of explaining things, and something that might be right for my family might not be right for your family.”

She also advised that, when confronted with a four, five, six or seven-year-old asking about a pregnant woman, or where babies come, a parent can ask, “What a good question that is. What do you think?”

And parents can also legitimately put off the discussion when appropriate, telling the child, “That’s really not something you need to know about right now.”

“Wow, what a novel idea: Telling a child that they could wait until they’re older to discuss that subject,” Grossman said, adding that parents wouldn’t brook a six- or even fifteen-year-old child asking how much money they made or had in the bank. “Excuse me? Not every subject has to be an open book.”

However, the time will come when a child needs to know “about how her body’s going to change, about reproduction, about how a new life is created.”

That time, Grossman advised, is puberty, or “as puberty is beginning,” and this is especially so for girls, who, if unprepared for the surprise onset of menstruation “might think [they’re] dying.”

“The actual nitty-gritty about the birds and the bees and intercourse” can “be told in bits and pieces, or it can be told all at once, if you feel it’s necessary,” she said, adding that it’s beneficial if the parent acknowledges his or her awkwardness, because the child will think: “This must be such an important subject that my mother or my father is sitting there squirming, but he’s doing it anyway. I’m really loved.”

“And the children need to understand that as you grow up, you change a lot, not only physically but emotionally,” Grossman said, “and what may seem odd or disgusting when you’re ten years old, or whatever age, it becomes something very special and beautiful when you’re older and you’ll understand it later. You don’t have to understand it now.”


Know your child and guard your home

But as an essential foundation for this discussion, parents must both know their children and guard their home from the encroachments of a culture that Grossman described as “very, very sexualized” and “really horrible.”

“Children need parents who are loving but are also firm and authoritative,” she asserted.  “They don’t need best friends. They need us to guide them, to know what they’re doing, to be on top of what they’re doing.

So parents need to be aware of whom their child is “hanging around with, and what kind of movies are they watching…what’s going on with your child.”

“You need to know that anyway, even if it’s not about sex education,” she pointed out. “Try and know your child. Every child is different.”

And Grossman emphasized that it is “extremely important to be careful about what your child is exposed to in the home, in terms of television and Internet, obviously.”

Children need to understand that “just like you have garbage you take out of the house, you put it in the garbage bin, it’s dirty, it smells…there are other things that also don’t belong in the house.”

And children learn quickly what is, and is not, permissible inside the home, Grossman said. “Me, I keep kosher…If I go into a store, my kids know from a very young age, we don’t eat that.”

So they are used to the idea of “the world outside and the inside world, of inside your home, and inside your heart as well.”

Parents can also convey this by telling their children that “the world is an upside-down place, and sometimes the most special, holy subjects are…just thrown in the gutter. And that’s a bad thing. In our family, in our tradition, we don’t do that.”

“Sexuality is one of the subjects that in this upside-down world, it is sometimes just in the gutter,” she said. “And so I want you to tell your child to come to me when you have questions, I will give you the straight story about it.”

Grossman herself is “not even sure,” as she stated in her seminar, that sex education should be in the schools: “I believe sex education should be at home for those parents that want to do it.”

She also noted that parents “can make mistakes. We all make lots of mistakes but it’s okay, you can always come back and do it differently,” adding that this is “another wonderful message for your child. You know what, it’s okay to make mistakes, you can always go back and try and fix it.”

Grossman urged parents to visit her Facebook page, website and blog. “I have so much information you can get there that you’ll find useful,” and added that she will be publishing books for children, and has posted her critique of New York City’s sex-ed curriculum, which is similar to Ontario’s.

The parental backlash to that sex-ed curriculum, set to roll out in the province’s publicly funded schools this September, has been “amazing” Grossman noted.

Grossman’s seminar was sponsored by Mississauga-based HOWA Voice of Change along with the Canadian Families Alliance, an umbrella group representing more than 25 associations and 200,000 Ontarians opposed to the curriculum. The report on her devastating critique of the sex-ed curriculum can be found here, and the video here.

Ontario readers may find information and sign up for a September 2 province-wide protests at MPPs offices here. So far, there are protests planned for 92 of Ontario’s 107 constituencies. The parents’ movement seeking removal of the curriculum is urging all concerned citizens to join this special effort to influence individual Ontario legislators.

See related reports:

Ontario’s dangerous sex-ed is indoctrination not science says U.S. psychiatrist to large audience

Videos: US psychiatrist tells parents “stand firm” against dangerous sex-ed

See the LifeSiteNews feature page on the Ontario sex-ed curriculum containing nearly 100 LifeSite articles related to the issue

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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Did the pope just endorse a gay children’s book? Of course not, says Vatican

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

ROME, August 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- While mainstream media is gushing with news today that Pope Francis allegedly praised a children’s book that promotes gender theory, the Vatican is decrying what they called the "manipulation" of a cordial letter from an official in the Secretariat of State to suggest that the Vatican is promoting teachings contrary to the Gospel.

Italian children’s author Francesca Pardi was reported by The Guardian to have submitted a parcel of children’s books promoting the acceptance of homosexuality and gender theory to Pope Francis in June after Venice’s mayor Luigi Brugnaro publicly banned the author’s newest book, Piccolo Uovo (Little Egg), from children’s schools. The book was criticized by pro-family leaders for promoting non-natural family structures of two men and two women.

In a letter accompanying the books, Pardi wrote: “Many parishes across the country are in this period sullying our name and telling falsehoods about our work which deeply offends us. We have respect for Catholics. ... A lot of Catholics give back the same respect, why can’t we have the whole hierarchy of the church behind us?”

The Guardian is reporting that Pardi has now “found an unlikely supporter in Pope Francis,” who through his staff has responded to the author and is presented as “praising her work.” It quotes the following from a July 9 letter to Pardi from the Vatican.

“His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values,” wrote Peter B. Wells, a senior official at the Vatican Secretariat of State, in a the letter The Guardian is reporting it has seen.  

While the letter gently calls the author to use her talents to spread “genuine human and Christian values,” The Guardian takes it as the pope’s endorsement of gender theory.

“Pope Francis sends letter praising gay children's book,” the paper’s headline states. “Italian book that explores different family types including same sex was banned by mayor of Venice, but pontiff becomes unlikely supporter,” reads the subtitle.

In a press release that Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi sent to LifeSiteNews on Friday, the vice speaker of the Vatican, Ciro Benedettini, made clear that the friendly reply letter to the author in no way approves of attitudes or positions that are contrary to Catholic teaching and the Gospels.

The Vatican's statement also says that in the original letter from the secretariat of state Wells merely "acknowledged receipt" of the materials sent by Pardi, and also made clear that the letter was private and not meant for publication. 

"In no way does a letter from the Secretary of State intend to endorse behaviors and teachings not in keeping with the Gospel," says the statement, decrying the "manipulation" of the letter.

Benedettini said the blessing of the pope at the end of the letter was meant to be for the author herself, and not to affirm positions concerning gender theory that are contrary to the Church's teaching. Using the letter to this end is erroneous, he said.

Pope Francis has strongly condemned the notion of “gender theory” on numerous occasions, saying that it is an “error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion.”

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Lisa Bourne

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Poll suggests most US Catholics wrongly believe Pope Francis backs gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

August 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A considerable majority of U.S. Catholics are in conflict with Church teaching on abortion and marriage, a new study says, and a startling number of those also believe Pope Francis backs homosexual “marriage.”

Despite Church teachings, Catholics in America also closely parallel the general populace in their support for abortion and homosexual “marriage,” falling short in the Biblical call to be “in the world but not of the world.”

The findings suggest what many Catholics have said is a climate of confusion in the midst of the Francis pontificate. Concerns over that confusion prompted a coalition of pro-family groups to respond with an international petition effort asking the pope to reaffirm Church teaching, drawing more than a half-million signatures.

The survey, conducted by Public Religions Research Institute, found that 60 percent of all U.S. Catholics favor legalized homosexual “marriage,” compared to 55 percent of all Americans. Likewise, 51 percent of Catholics think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, with 53 percent of the general population holding this view.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman, mirroring Christ and the Church respectively as bridegroom and bride.

The Church also teaches that life begins at conception, that each human life possesses dignity as a child of God and is to be afforded protection, making abortion an intrinsic evil.

Catholics, accounting for 22 percent of adults in the U.S. population, have a favorable view of Pope Francis, the study said, but they are very confused about his take on homosexual “marriage.”

Of the Catholics who back homosexual “marriage,” 49-percent also think the leader of the Catholic Church backs it along with them. Fifteen percent of those Catholics who oppose homosexual “marriage” also mistakenly believe Pope Francis supports it.

Pope Francis has made numerous statements in support of life, marriage and family, but the confusion remains.

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"After Ireland and the U.S. Supreme Court both approved same-sex 'marriage,' a strong reaffirmation of Church teaching could save the sacred institution of marriage, strengthen the family and dispel the lies of the homosexual revolution," TFP Student Action Director John Ritchie stated.  "Young Catholics -- even non-Catholics -- look to the Church as a beacon of morality and stability in our Godless culture, but some of our shepherds have issued confusing statements."

TFP Student Action is a part of the lay Catholic organization American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, and is part of the alliance behind the Filial Appeal, the petition asking the Holy Father to reinforce Catholic teaching at the Vatican’s upcoming Synod on the Family in October.

Ritchie explained how the confusion was aiding the Church’s enemies, and warned of the potential consequences.

"This prayerful petition asks Pope Francis to clear up the moral confusion that's been spreading against Natural and Divine Law," he said. "If the enemies of the family continue to chip away at holy matrimony, the future of the family and civilization itself will be in even more serious peril."

At press time more than 500,000 signature had been gathered for the appeal, including five cardinals, 117 bishops and hundreds of well-known civic leaders.

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