Sarah Terzo

‘I stared and stared at my son’: mom screamed for abortion workers to call 911 after baby born alive

Sarah Terzo
By Sarah Terzo
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May 7, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - In previous articles, Live Action has covered cases where babies born alive after abortions were denied medical care and allowed to die, or, in some cases, were killed by direct action. The recent trial of Kermit Gosnell shows that these incidents continue to occur. The sheer number of cases we know about leads one to wonder how often babies are born alive, but no one outside the abortion clinic ever knows.

In April of 2005, a pregnant woman named “Angele,” decided to abort her 22 week old unborn baby. She was in her 30s, divorced, and already had two children. She did not want a third child.  She chose Orlando Women’s Center, also called EPOC Clinic operated by Dr. James Pendergraft. The abortion clinic’s website advertises “3 minute pain-free abortions.” The Orlando Women’s Center has published newspaper ads offering abortions up to 28 weeks.

Angele had named her baby Rowan. She chose a method of abortion that she hoped would cause the child a minimum of suffering - an injection of digoxin in the heart to kill him, rather than dismemberment by D&E.

The abortionist first had to insert laminaria, small sticks that expand inside the woman and dilate the cervix, making the abortion procedure easier. Before the insertion of laminaria, Angele was given a sedative. In her own words:

“The injection burned a lot as it went in. … The discomfort was distracting. I still felt the ‘lams’ as they were being inserted. Dr. Perper told me to relax my muscles and noted that my cervix was slightly soft. I asked him what that meant and he said it was good.”

Angele says the clinic workers discussed injecting the digoxin, but they never did. She described the doctor Harry Perper, MD, as “a very fast moving, hyperactive type of person.”

When Angele went back to the hotel, she continued to feel her baby kick. This confused her because she had been led to believe that the baby would be dead. At one point, in the middle of the night, while the baby was still kicking, she considered calling the clinic’s after-hours line, but decided not to.

The next morning, Angele took the pills meant to cause her body to expel her baby. She arrived at the clinic around 9 am. She was ushered into a room and told that her doctor would not be in the clinic until 2pm, and that if she delivered before then, without him present, she would have to stay and be examined by him. Angele was given a blanket and a heating pad, and left alone to go through labor.

The contractions began. At one point, the pain became intense and she asked clinic worker “Violene” if she could be given anything to ease the pain. She also told Violene that she thought she was about to deliver. Violene told her she was not ready, and left her again. In Angele’s own words:

“I came back to the sofa, (they both really smelled awful), wrapped up in the wet and sour-smelling blanket, then decided it was better without it. I rocked back and forth on my hands and knees, trying to hold the heating pad to my stomach to both relieve the pain and try to stay warm. I was looking down and saw little smears and spots of dried blood on the floor and an old cotton ball with blood on it by the fabric-covered sofa across from me. Noticing how dirty it was and how no one was in the room or even nearby in the hallway began to make me nervous and uncomfortable. I went right back to the powder room and began to try to push a lot. I thought it might help since I was told I was not nearly ready to deliver.”

“In one agonizing push, I felt and heard something come out. Then immediately another push. I was weak. I just held my head in my hands for a moment. Then I decided to stand up. I looked. There was my baby, the whitish cord and what I thought surely must be the placenta. “I started sobbing and lay down in the floor. I stared and stared at my son. I was horrified that I had just had him in a commode.” “His right leg moved. He curled up a bit like he was cold; I screamed for Violene! No one came. I managed to get to the doorway, pants down, blood everywhere and yelled again. I went back to my baby. I heard her say she’d be right there.

“I showed her Rowan, told her he was alive and moving and to call 911! She took a quick look, said he’s not moving now and she’d be back to take care of things while walking out. I called her again. I was touching Rowan softly and he moved again. I called her back. Rowan jumped, I think startled by the loud sound of my calling for help. I showed her that he was moving and alive. I begged her to hurry and call 911, now!”

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The clinic worker took one look at the moving baby and told Angele that she would get her supervisor. But the minutes ticked by, and no one came. It became clear to Angele that Violene was not going to summon help. She grabbed her phone and quickly dialed her friend, pleading with her to call 911 and send paramedics to save her baby. Listen to the call here. 

Angele continued to be left alone with her son, who she said reacted to her voice. All she could do was try and comfort him:

“I stayed beside Rowan talking to him, telling him how strong he was being and how proud I was of him. I told him God must really want us to be together for him to make it through everything he had just been through and that Mommy was so sorry but so happy to have a chance to love him. I told him he was a strong little miracle and that I couldn’t wait for him to meet his brother and sister. I just kept touching him, trying to warm him with my hands and talking to him so he would not feel any more afraid than he already must.”

Finally, the baby stopped moving as Angele waited for help.

She cradled the dead baby and began to pray, filled with remorse for choosing to undergo the abortion. A staff member came and demanded that she give her the baby. Angele refused, and continued to hold on to Rowan. The clinic workers left her alone briefly but returned to pressure her to give up the body of the child.

Meanwhile, the police (not the paramedics) showed up at the clinic. It was later found out that the paramedics had come, but a clinic worker, thought to be Violene, told them that a patient had merely “passed some tissue” and that “the physician had the situation under control.”(1) She convinced them not to enter the clinic. (The physician was not in the clinic at all when Violene told them this)

When Violene came back after talking to the police, Angele said:

“I spoke to her telling her how little I appreciated them telling the police my child was not alive. I stared hard at her and said, ‘Violene you saw him moving. That is when you were supposedly going to get your manager and “take care of it.” You stayed away until Rowan died. I don’t care what you say, you and I both know he was very much alive. We know the truth.’ She said nothing and turned away.

Although the doctor had never arrived and Angele had been told she had to be examined by him, the clinic workers seemed to want nothing more than to get her (and her friend, who had arrived) out of the clinic. They gave her a bag with medicine in it and ushered them both out the door.

Angele wanted an autopsy to be performed to prove Rowan was born alive. The local coroner refused to do it. Eventually, an autopsy was performed by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan C. Garavaglia.  The medical examiner was unable to determine whether Rowan had been born alive, because she did not find air in his lungs. However, she also found that, as Angele had said, the baby had most likely never been injected with Dixogin (there were no needle marks anywhere on the baby’s body, which would have been left had the injection occurred.) Dr. Garavaglia stated that it was “probable” that Rowan’s heart had been beating and that, therefore, he had been born alive. Without air in the lungs, however, it could not be officially proven. You can see Rowan’s autopsy report here. 

No action was ever taken against the clinic for Rowan’s death.

Angele later wrote a letter to Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman in which she said in part:

“Thank you very much for your kindness. It is amazing the out pour of kind words and support I am receiving after Rowan’s death.

I wish that I had such a network and support before, I would still be pregnant. …I hope that women will see my humiliation and remorse and seek forgiveness if they are post abortive.

I want to do everything in my power to see that this does not happen to other babies or mothers.

I want women in crisis pregnancies to see that whether they are of 6 weeks or 28 weeks gestation, that abortion will haunt them for the rest of their lives. I would like for them to know that no matter how little you want the pregnancy itself, you will want, love and cherish your child. Those 9 months of crisis are the toughest. If you make it through that, the rewards come 1000 fold!…. It is very shameful to step forward and admit publicly that I have been so wrong as to “choose” to take the life of my child. On the other hand if it will accomplish any or all of the above, then it is my duty, isn’t it? That is so long as I protect the children I have here first and foremost. I know God wants me to put them first, just as I should have with Rowan.”

1. Lynn Vincent“Death By Drowning” World 6/18/05

Note: This is part 6 of a series about how babies are born alive during abortion procedures:

Part I: ‘This baby is alive!’: the heartbreaking story of Baby Hope

P
art II: ‘That’s not a baby. That’s an abortion!’: clinic workers describe babies born alive

Part III: ‘This is so hard. Oh, God, it’s so hard!’: nurses tell of aborted babies born alive

P
art IV: ‘Hey, he’s trying to live, help him!’: Pro-choice pastor saw ‘aborted’ baby born alive

Part V: Baby born alive was tossed into a bag and thrown on the roof of the abortion clinic

Sarah Terzo is a pro-life author and creator of the clinicquotes.com website. She is a member of Secular Pro-Life and Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. This article reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org.

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Lisa Bourne

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

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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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