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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The first pro-abortion Republican enters the 2016 presidential race

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By Ben Johnson

EXETER, NH, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The large and expanding field of would-be Republican presidential candidates grew by one today, as George Pataki became the first GOP presidential hopeful this election season to openly support abortion-on-demand.

The 69-year-old long-shot candidate also has a history of supporting homosexual legislative causes.

In the weeks leading up to his formal announcement, George Pataki took out TV ads asking Republicans to refrain from talking about abortion and gay “marriage,” branding them “distractions.”

“In 12 years [as governor], I don’t think I talked about that issue twice,” he once said of abortion.

On same-sex “marriage,” he says, “I think, leave it to the states. I don’t think it’s a role in Washington.”

However, Pataki has a long history of enacting the homosexual political agenda as governor of New York from 1994-2006. He signed a “hate crimes” law that added the words “gay” and “lesbian” to New York state law for the first time.

He signed the Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination Act (SONDA), which prohibits business owners from “discriminating” against homosexuals in housing or hiring, with an exemption only for religious institutions.

He also added sexual orientation to state civil rights laws, alongside such immutable characteristics as race and sex, in an apparent quid pro quo for a gay activist group's endorsement in his last run for governor. The New York Times reported that, under pressure from Pataki, the then-Senate Majority Leader “shifted his position on the bill as part of what is tacitly acknowledged, even by Senator [Joseph] Bruno's senior aides, to have been a deal to win an endorsement for Governor Pataki from the state's largest gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda.”

After the LGBT activist group endorsed Pataki in 2002, citing a long list of his service to the homosexual political cause, Pataki personally lobbied senators for the bill's passage, then signed it into law that December.

Coupled with his stance on gun control, environmentalism, and other issues, he stands well to the left of the Republican mainstream.

The three-term governor of New York, who belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, took his own advice by largely avoiding social issues today. The closest he came was his vow, “I'd repeal oppressive laws like ObamaCare and end Common Core.”

He added that he would “fire every current IRS employee abusing government power to discriminate on the basis of politics or religion. That is not America!”

Otherwise, Pataki's announcement speech hewed to stand pat Republican issues like reducing taxes, shrinking the number of federal employees, increasing military spending, and supporting entrepreneurship.

He began by thanking his supporters, in English and Spanish.

Smiling, his head pivoting between twin teleprompters, he said, “Let me tell you some of the things I'd do right away to get oppressive government off the backs of Americans.”

He would institute a lifetime ban on congressmen acting as lobbyists after they leave office. “If you ever served one day in Congress, you will never be a lobbyist,” he said. He favors forcing Congress to live under the laws it passes, so there will be “no special rules for the powerful.”

He cited his history of cutting taxes, reducing welfare rolls, and leaving his state with billions of dollars in surplus. “That's what our policies can do,” he said. “I know we can do the same thing for the United States.”

In recent weeks, he has called for a more interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. Today, he reminded his audience that he was governor of New York in 9/11. “I will not fear the lesson of September 11,” he said. “To protect us, first we must protect the border,” he said – an unexpected phrase, as Pataki supports amnesty for the at least 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

“We will stand with our ally, Israel, a democracy on the front lines of terror and barbarism,” he said.

Like former Sen. Rick Santorum, who announced he is running for president yesterday, Pataki agreed that “if necessary, American forces will be used to actually defeat and destroy ISIS on the ground” – although he promised not to become “the world's policeman.”

Some of his campaign promises drew skepticism, such as seeking to develop self-driving cars and to cure Alzheimer's disease and cancer within the next decade.

The speech's venue was chosen deliberately by Pataki, who considered entering the presidential race in 2000, 2008, and 2012. The town of Exeter, New Hampshire, claims to be the founding place of the Republican Party. (Ripon, Wisconsin, makes a similar claim.)

More importantly, the first-in-the-nation primary skews more libertarian on social issues than evangelical-dominated Iowa and South Carolina, so Pataki has essentially staked his candidacy on doing well in New Hampshire. Fellow pro-abortion Republican Rudy Giuliani made a similar bet in 2008, banking on a good showing among transplanted New Yorkers in the Florida primary. He left the race after finishing a distant third.

Short of a stunning upset in the Granite State, Pataki has little chance of breaking through the pack this year. A Fox News poll ranks him dead last among 16 announced and potential candidates. Holly Bailey of Yahoo! News said, “George Pataki would never say this, but you do have to wonder if he's sort of, maybe, gaming for vice president.”

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Pataki is not the first “pro-choice” Republican to run for president.  Giuliani (who supported partial birth abortion) and Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (another potential 2016 candidate, who supports abortion during the first trimester) ran in 2008. Twelve years earlier, both California Gov. Pete Wilson and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter supported abortion-on-demand. Arlen Specter later left the party and became a Democrat.

In 1988, General Alexander Haig opposed a human life amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So did Texas Gov. John Connally in 1980.

George H.W. Bush supported abortion and voted for Planned Parenthood funding early in his career but changed his position by the time he ran for president the second time, in 1988.

President Gerald Ford was the last Republican nominee to proclaim himself “pro-choice.” 

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Ireland ‘defied God’ by voting for gay ‘marriage’: Cardinal Burke

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OXFORD, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Cardinal Raymond Burke lamented how formerly Catholic Ireland has gone further than the pagans in the pre-Christian days of old and “defied God” by calling homosexual behavior “marriage” in the referendum last week.

“I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage,” he told the Newman Society, Oxford University’s Catholic organization, in an address Wednesday about the intellectual heritage of Pope Benedict XVI. The Tablet, Britain’s liberal Catholic newspaper, reported his remarks.

On Friday, 1.2 million Irish people voted to amend the country’s constitution to say: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” A little over 734,000 people voted against the proposal. 

Burke said that he could not understand “any nation redefining marriage.”

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The cardinal also emphasized the important role that parents play in protecting their children in a culture increasingly hostile to God’s laws. “The culture is thoroughly corrupted, if I may say so, and the children are being exposed to this, especially through the internet,” he said. One practical piece of advice that he offered families was to put computers in public areas to prevent children from “imbib[ing] this poison that’s out there.”

During the same Oxford visit, but during a homily at a Mass the day before, Burke called marriage between a man and woman a “fundamental truth” that has been “ignored, defied, and violated.”

Burke warned during the homily of the dangers of “various ideological currents” and of “human deception and trickery which strives to lead us into error.”

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Why young Christians can’t grasp our arguments against gay ‘marriage’

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May 28, 2015 (BreakPoint.org) -- For five years, Dr. Abigail Rine has been teaching a course on gender theory at George Fox University, an evangelical school in the Quaker tradition.

At the beginning of the semester, she tells her students that “they are guaranteed to read something they will find disagreeable, probably even offensive.”

Writing at FirstThings.com recently, she related how five years ago it was easy to find readings that challenged and even offended the evangelical college students “considering the secular bent of contemporary gender studies.”

But today, things are different. “Students now,” she says, “arrive in my class thoroughly versed in the language and categories of identity politics; they are reticent to disagree with anything for fear of seeming intolerant—except, of course, what they perceive to be intolerant.”

And what do they find “intolerant”? Well, in her class, an essay entitled “What is Marriage?” by Sherif Girgis, Robert George, and Ryan Anderson, which was the beginning of the book “What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense.”

In their article, Girgis, George, and Anderson defend what they call the conjugal view of marriage. “Marriage,” they write, “is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other … that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together.” They defend this view against what they call the “revisionist view” of marriage, which redefines marriage to include, among other things, same-sex couples.

“My students hate it,” Dr. Rine wrote. They “lambast the article.” “They also,” she adds, “seem unable to fully understand the argument.” And again, these are evangelical students at an evangelical school.

The only argument for conjugal marriage they’ve ever encountered has been the wooden proof-texting from the Bible. And besides, wrote Rine, “What the article names as a ‘revisionist’ idea of marriage—marriage as an emotional, romantic, sexual bond between two people—does not seem ‘new’ to my students at all, because this is the view of marriage they were raised with, albeit with a scriptural, heterosexual gloss.”

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As Rine points out “the redefinition of marriage began decades ago” when “the link between sexuality and procreation was severed in our cultural imagination.”

And if marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction,” then it seems mean-spirited to Rine’s students to argue that marriage by its very nature excludes same-sex couples.

And where do students get the idea that marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction”? Well, everywhere—television, church, school, their homes, in youth groups.

Rine writes, “As I consider my own upbringing and the various ‘sex talks’ I encountered in evangelical church settings over the past twenty years, I realize that the view of marital sex presented there was primarily revisionist.”

In other words, once you say, “I do,” you get “the gift” of sex which is presented as “a ‘gift’ largely due to its [erotic], unitive properties, rather than its intrinsic capacity to create life.” Even in the Church, children have become an optional add-on to married life rather than its primary purpose.

What can we do to win back our children, our churches, and the culture? In our recent book “Same Sex Marriage,” Sean McDowell and I lay out a game plan. We offer strategies for the short-term and the long-term, with the ultimate goal: re-shaping the cultural imagination towards what God intended marriage to be, starting with the church. Come to BreakPoint.org to pick up your copy.

As Chuck Colson once said in a BreakPoint commentary about marriage, “We Christians are very good at saying ‘No.’ But we’ve got to get better at saying ‘Yes’: showing how God’s plan for humanity is a blessing. That His ways, including faithful, life-giving marriage between one man and one woman, lead to human flourishing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Reprinted with permission from Break Point.

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