Cheryl Sullenger

‘House of Horrors’ filthy furnishings displayed in courtroom

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
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PHILADELPHIA, April 18, 2013 (Operation Rescue) - Two witnesses took the stand yesterday in the capital murder case of Kermit Gosnell, providing testimony from the perspectives of a patient and an employee of substandard conditions and illegal practices at Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” clinic at 3801 Lancaster.

Mary Kincade had been a patient at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society clinic for about 10 years and was last seen five-to-six years ago. She said she only saw Eileen O’Neill, whom other clinic workers referred to as “Doctor” even though she had no license to practice in Pennsylvania. Kincade was not an abortion patient, but saw O’Neill for yearly well female exams. Kincade never saw Gosnell at the clinic during any of her visits.

O’Neill is on trial with Gosnell on charges of theft by deception, conspiracy to commit theft, racketeering, conspiracy related to corruption, perjury, and false swearing.

Kincade thought O’Neill was a licensed physician and noted that certificates hung on the wall of her office, which led her to believe they allowed her to practice medicine.

There was a discrepancy in Kincade’s patient file concerning co-payments for office visits. Kincade testified that she remitted a co-pay of $30-40 each time she saw O’Neill. However, in her file, there was only one receipt for $40. The inference of this testimony was that there were irregularities in the billing and record-keeping practices at Gosnell’s clinic, although prosecutors did not fully detail their theory concerning what appeared to be evidence of financial malfeasance during today’s court proceedings.

Near Death Experience

The longest testimony of the day came from Latosha Lewis, 31, a medical assistant who worked for Gosnell for almost 10 years. Lewis was not arrested with Gosnell and his eight co-workers in January 2011. Instead, she was arrested and charged by the federal government related to apparent drug activities at Gosnell’s clinic. She made a plea agreement and faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison and a “hefty” fine. She will be sentenced sometime later and could receive leniency due to her cooperation with prosecutors.

Lewis testified about her training and how her duties at Women’s Medical Society grew until she was assisting with abortion procedures. She stopped doing so in 2007, because she overdosed a woman and was worried about whether she would ever come out of anesthesia. She also said she stopped administering Cytotec, a drug that caused powerful and often unpredictable contractions, around the same time.

“I saw women deliver too quickly and didn’t want to deal with that,” she explained.

Lewis testified that Gosnell was well aware of why she refused to continue to drug women. He reassigned her to work at the front desk.

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Reused Curettes Cause Spike in STDs

Lewis indicated that Gosnell’s equipment was outdated and never inspected, and that he often reused disposable curettes, which is the sharp-ended tube that enters the womb in abortion procedures and applies suction for the removal of the pre-born baby and other tissues and fluids.

Lewis testified that the curettes were washed, dried and placed in an antiseptic solution, then reused. The curettes are meant to be disposable and for single use only. She indicated that she noticed that women who had abortions using the reused curettes began returning to the clinic suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.

Earlier testimony indicated that plastic curettes are more porous than metal surgical instruments and simply cannot be adequately cleaned for reuse.

Mongar Suffered Illegal Abortion

Lewis was on duty when Karnamaya Mongar came for her abortion, and through the use of a relative as a translator, she helped fill out Mongar’s medical history forms and took her vitals.

Mongar’s original chart seized from Gosnell’s clinic was examined in court. Those who touched it were instructed to don purple latex gloves because the file was stained with blood and other bodily fluids and emitted an unpleasant odor.

There was no notation of Mongar’s weight on the chart, which is usually important information for women undergoing anesthesia. Lewis testified that the scale in the clinic had been broken for a month, and she had no way to weigh patients.

Lewis noted that Mongar started the clinic on the first day she arrived at the clinic, which violated a law that requires information be given 24 hours prior to an abortion. Nevertheless, Lewis inserted the form into Mongar’s chart and signed it affirming that the 24-hour waiting period had been observed. Lewis said she had already left work for the day and was not present when Mongar died.

Dangerously Shoddy Drug Records

Lewis testified that notations in the chart and in a narcotics log book kept at the clinic were unreliable, because other workers failed to consistently make proper entries. Therefore, no one really knew exactly what the patients were given or when.

Measuring Fetal Feet

In one of the more dramatic moments of the day, Prosecutor Ed Cameron brought Lewis to a square white rolling table that had been seized from Gosnell’s clinic and brought into the courtroom along with other pieces of outdated and filthy furniture and equipment. The metal legs of the table were rusted and dirty. Lewis agreed that Gosnell would pull out a flat shelf from the table and there he would measure fetal feet that were placed in glass trays, just as Cameron demonstrated for the jury.

Jars with severed feet in formaldehyde were discovered in Gosnell’s abortion clinic over a wash sink, where smaller abortion remains were washed down a drain and ground with a garbage disposal.

Phony Fetal Ages

Cameron then went through a tedious process of reviewing one patient file after another, confirming the amounts of drugs given as well as the size of the baby’s heads on the multiple ultrasound found in each chart along with the fetal ages recorded in the charts.

In general, ultrasound measurements showing the biparietal diameter, or BPD, which is the measurement across the baby’s head, varied from 53-75.8 mm. This measurement is used to determine fetal age. However, recorded in the charts almost uniformly was the fetal age of 24.5 weeks.

According to a chart found on the internet, 53 mm BPD equates roughly to 22 weeks gestation. A 75.8 mm BPD would represent 29-30 weeks gestation both ends of the spectrum were noted as representing fetal ages of 24.5 weeks in the charts.

Many charts had notations concerning the cost of the second trimester procedures. Prices ranged from $830-1,665. Many women who did not have the full amount were aided by an abortion fund that raises money to pay for portions of an abortion bill that patients cannot cover. However, more women signed promissory notes and were put on a payment plan for the balance. Lewis testified it was not unusual for women to disappear and never pay their balances.

The Defense Spin

Defense Attorney Jack McMahon also reviewed each of the files with Lewis. He noted that there were signed consent forms in most of that charts that included a 24 hour consent for abortion, a consent to be given Cytotec, and a consent form for the use of Digoxin, a heart medication that is injected into the pregnant woman’s abdomen for the purpose of bringing about “fetal demise” prior to the abortion.

Another Digoxin form in some of the charts contained a diagram of a pregnant abdomen with intersecting lines defining four quadrants were a notation was to be made to indicate the location of the Digoxin injection.

McMahon made much of the paperwork before the jury and emphasized how it showed that Gosnell did indeed obtain the necessary consent. Attention to the Digoxin forms was meant to bolster his argument that all the babies aborted at Gosnell’s clinic were already dead before being expelled from the womb.

Cameron Delivers Question of the Day

Cameron powerfully nullified McMahon’s argument by pointing out that each and every file contained information about abortions done at 24 weeks or later. The last day an abortion can legally be done in Pennsylvania is 23 weeks, 6 days.

“He got consent to do illegal abortions?” Cameron forcefully asked.

McMahon erupted, but Cameron had made his point.

The prosecution is expected to call two final witnesses on Thursday then rest its case. The defense is expected to begin its case on Monday.

Gosnell faces seven counts of first degree murder for severing the spinal cords of babies born alive during abortions.

He's also facing one count of third degree murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, who died of a drug overdose during an abortion by Gosnell.

In addition, Gosnell is charged with abuse of corpse, tampering with evidence, corruption, conspiracy, obstruction, racketeering, and solicitation for murder.

If convicted, Gosnell faces the death penalty.

This article originally appeared on Operation Rescue and is reprinted with permission.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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