Jury selection to begin in murder case of abortionist who snipped newborn's spinal cords
PHILADELPHIA, March 1, 2013, (Operation Rescue) – Jury selection is set to begin on Monday in the highly publicized capital murder case against Philadelphia late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, whose squalid “house of horrors” abortion clinic and callous, almost flippant attitude toward his macabre abortion practices shocked the nation.
“The Gosnell case is a watershed moment for the issue of abortion,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “The discovery of his horrific practices helped shed light on an abortion industry that has run amok without oversight or accountability for decades, and has prompted significant changes in abortion laws and attitudes toward enforcement in several states.”
In all, Gosnell faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants. Additional charges include conspiracy, drug delivery resulting in death, infanticide, corruption of minors, evidence tampering, theft by deception, abuse of a corpse, and corruption.
The case began in January 2010, when police raided Gosnell Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia, thinking that it was a “pill mill” -- possibly the city’s largest supplier of illegal Oxycontin. But once officers entered the clinic, they discovered it was something much worse.
The stench of cat urine permeated the air. Authorities found blood-stained furniture and blankets, piles of bags of medical waste, and other filthy conditions. But they also found something else: rows of jars containing the severed feet of what appeared to be late-term aborted babies, then the corpses of several aborted babies with suspicious cuts on the backs of their necks.
Authorities immediately closed the clinic then began a grand jury investigation into Gosnell’s appalling abortion operation. What they found is described in a scathing 281-page Grand Jury Report that is stated with such simple clarity that it is painful to read.
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Gosnell’s clinic had two functions. By day it supplied scripts to pretty much anyone who wandered in off the street. By night, it was a horrific late-term abortion operation that was conducted with the aid of unlicensed workers who drugged patients into stupors, spread venereal disease by reusing disposable equipment, perforated wombs and bowels, and killed at least two patients.
Gosnell would deliver late-term, viable babies alive then murder them by thrusting scissors into the backs of their neck and “snipping” their spinal cords.
Four other employees -- Steven Massof, Lynda Williams, Sherry West, and Adrienne Moton -- masqueraded as physicians even though they had little if any training and no medical license. They frequently conducted illegal abortions, including the grisly procedure Gosnell called “snipping” of newborns’ spinal cords.
In January 2011, police arrested Gosnell and eight of his employees, including his wife, Pearl, and charged them with hundreds of criminal counts. One by one, Gosnell’s associates began to enter guilty pleas to avoid trial. In exchange, some charges have been dropped or reduced. Most await sentencing that will depend on the outcome of Gosnell’s trial.
At least two, Williams and West, but perhaps others, are set to testify against Gosnell at his upcoming trial. They will be sentenced afterward and may receive possible leniency based on the quality of their testimony.
Gosnell, who has remained incarcerated since his arrest in January 2011, faces a possible death penalty for his crimes.
The Grand Jury Report had great impact on abortion policies. It exposed in no uncertain terms the political climate that created conditions where abortionists were never investigated and clinics were never inspected, no matter how egregious the allegations. It forced resignations of those who looked the other way, even in the face of complaints related to patient deaths.
This case has also influenced new legislation and clinic regulation, but more importantly, prompted stronger enforcement of abortion laws, not only in Pennsylvania, but also in Maryland, Delaware, and others.
Clinic inspections that followed in Pennsylvania revealed massive violations at clinics across the state. At least two abortion clinics closed rather than clean up.
In Delaware, two additional abortion clinics closed that had associations with Gosnell, who was using the clinics to begin late-term abortion processes that would be finished across state lines at his Philadelphia abortion clinic.
In Maryland, the Gosnell case, along with the discovery of a similar illegal, two-state abortion operation run by the notorious Steven Chase Brigham, helped prompt new clinic licensing regulations and accountability in a state where essentially no meaningful abortion laws existed.
“We are looking forward to the court testimony of Gosnell’s associates. We may have much more to learn from this horrific case,” said Newman.
“The frightening thing about all this is that we know Gosnell is not unique,” Newman continued. “We know other shoddy abortionists are out there running filthy operations that endanger the lives and health of women, such as the filthy abortion mill that was recently discovered and closed in Muskegon, Michigan. We know that abortionists are landing women in hospital emergency rooms at an alarming rate, and have the frantic 911 recordings to prove it. We also know that many times, babies are born alive after failed late-term abortions then secretly murdered. We have heard many reports of this dirty little secret – and worse.”
Across the U.S., there still remains far too much resistance to the enforcement and prosecution of abortionists who break the law. Because of that, shockingly unsafe conditions and below standard practices continue to be overlooked and ignored in most states. While the Gosnell case has brought the issue of abortion abuses to light with some positive impact, there is still a long way to go.
“The more conversation we have as a nation about the wide spread epidemic of abortion injuries, deaths, and other abuses, the closer we will come to the solution to these problems through the complete abolition of abortion,” said Newman.
This article originally appeared on Operation Rescue and is reprinted with permission.
Trump vows to push LGBT rights, hedges on pro-marriage litmus test
CONCORD, New Hampshire, February 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Does Donald Trump support the gay agenda or oppose it? On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, observers are still scratching their heads about where the GOP frontrunner actually stands.
Trump has repeatedly and consistently said he supports the natural definition of marriage, but can a President Trump be relied on to promote it resolutely and cogently? It is this question that has many marriage activists expressing concern about his increasingly likely hold on the GOP nomination.
In fact, the National Organization for Marriage has gone so far as to say that Trump has “abandoned” the pro-marriage cause.
Trump himself underscored the problem on the weekend when he told a New Hampshire television station that from the White House he would push “equality” for homosexuals even further forward.
A cable news reporter self-identifying as a lesbian asked him last Thursday after a rally in Exeter, "When President Trump is in office, can we look for more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians?"
“Well, you can and look - again, we're going to bring people together. That's your thing, and other people have their thing,” Trump told Sue O’Connell of New England Cable News. “We have to bring all people together. And if we don't, we're not gonna have a country anymore. It's gonna be a total mess.”
Following the comments, Trump appeared Sunday on ABC’s This Week program with George Stephanopoulos and would not commit to appointing Supreme Court justices who’d overturn Obergefell, though that would be his “preference.”
“We’re going to look at judges. They’ve got to be great judges. They’ve got to be conservative judges. We’re going to see how they stand depending on what their views are. But that would be my preference,” he told Stephanopoulos. “I would prefer that they stand against, but we’ll see what happens. It depends on the judge.”
Trump’s comments follow his statements during a Fox News Sunday interview last week, when he said, “If I'm elected, I would be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things, but they've got a long way to go.”
“[Marriage] should be a states rights issue,” Trump continued. “I can see changes coming down the line, frankly.”
When asked by Fox if he “might try to appoint justices to overrule the decision on same-sex marriage,” Trump replied, “I would strongly consider that, yes.”
The real estate mogul criticized the Supreme Court for the Obergefell decision imposing homosexual “marriage” on all 50 states last June, but then later in August, Trump voiced support to NBC News for banning companies from firing employees on the basis of sexual orientation. “I don't think it should be a reason” to fire workers, he said at the time on Meet the Press.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and a number influential evangelicals have endorsed Senator Ted Cruz in the race for president. The Texas senator has not only committed to appointing pro-marriage justices, but says the president and the states can rightly defy the “fundamentally illegitimate” ruling just as President Lincoln defied the Dred Scott decision.
NOM has also been highly critical of Trump, saying he has “abandoned” their cause. The organization said in its January 27 blog post just prior to the Iowa Caucus that “Donald Trump does not support a constitutional amendment to restore marriage to our laws. Worse, he has publicly abandoned the fight for marriage. When the US Supreme Court issued their illegitimate ruling redefining marriage, Trump promptly threw in the towel with these comments on MSNBC: ‘You have to go with it. The decision's been made, and that is the law of the land.’”
NOM had said the week before that Trump “has made no commitments to fight for marriage, or the rights of supporters of marriage to not be discriminated against and punished for refusing to go along with the lie that is same-sex 'marriage.'”
New Hampshire voters have been tracked as showing support for homosexual “marriage,” as a poll last February showed 52 percent of Republican NH primary voters saying opposing gay “marriage” is unacceptable.
The latest CNN/WMUR tracking poll shows that overall 33 percent of likely Republican primary voters support Trump, giving him a growing 17-point lead over the nearest GOP contender. RealClearPolitics polling average in the state puts him at 31.0 percent support, with Marco Rubio second at 14.7, John Kasich third at 13.2, and Ted Cruz fourth at 12.7.
The unravelling of Chris Christie
February 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- I'm a member of the clergy and for the past eight years have lobbied the powerful in Trenton, covering the administrations of both Governors Jon Corzine and Chris Christie. I did much of my work on behalf of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, associated with Tony Perkins' Family Research Council. I am currently the President of the Center for Garden State Families.
Those of us who are engaged in the fight to secure the right to believe, speak, and practice the Christian faith in America were all heartened by the election of a Pro-Life Governor in 2009. Not only did Chris Christie run as an open Pro-Lifer, but he adopted a position in support of natural marriage in the course of the campaign. And when legislative Democrats attempted to pass same-sex marriage in the lame duck session, so they could have outgoing Governor Corzine sign it into law, Chris Christie rallied opposition and stopped it. Those were the early, hopeful days; but as Governor, Chris Christie has presented himself in an inconsistent, even scatterbrained way, often making decisions that go against earlier stated beliefs.
One of his first decisions was to make a liberal Democrat the state's Attorney General. Once approved by the Senate, and she was, the Attorney General could not be fired by the Governor, as was the case with other cabinet officers. This gave a liberal Democrat enormous power and she used it to join up with liberal Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in filing a brief against Christians in a case called Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Just one day after being sworn in, the newly appointed state Attorney General took the most aggressive legal posture available to defend former Governor Corzine’s one-gun-a-month handgun rationing law, moving to dismiss an NRA lawsuit to overturn the law, and later vigorously opposing the NRA’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the case. Because of this appointment, New Jersey did not join in the lawsuits to overturn ObamaCare.
Governor Christie appointed a radical "sexologist" to run the NJ Department of Children & Families. This appointee would later resign when it emerged that she had held the top job in an organization that had supported a study advocating the normalization of some forms of adult-child sex.
His judicial appointments were also confusing. While claiming to oppose same-sex marriage, Governor Christie nominated an openly gay Republican to the state Supreme Court who supported it. Even Democrats wouldn't support this plainly unqualified appointment, and he never served. The Governor supported the advancement of a liberal Democrat to the job of Chief Justice, while refusing to support the re-appointment of a Republican and the Court's most conservative member. He also appointed a controversial defense attorney who had defended a number of Islamic extremists who had violated immigration law.
In 2013, many of those in the Christian community opposed legislation that banned young people from receiving counseling and therapy to lead them away from homosexuality. As an ex-gay myself, I could have personally attested to the benefits of such counseling, much of which is no different than what is found in contemporary twelve-step programs. However, the Christian community opposing the ban was not afforded the opportunity to meet with the Governor. Only the homosexual community with its pro-ban agenda was given that benefit.
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I don't blame the Governor for this, but I do blame his staff. As President Ronald Reagan said, "personnel is policy," and Governor Christie's choices in personnel have not advanced the policies he campaigned on, and often it was the direct opposite.
New Jersey ended up being just the second state in the country that only allows young people to receive counseling that advocates homosexuality, but bans by law counseling that advocates heterosexuality. When he signed it into law, Governor Christie embraced the made-up "science" of the propagandists, when he cited un-specified "research" that "sexual orientation is determined at birth." This is the so-called "gay-gene" trope that has baffled those engaged in the Science of Genetics because it has never been discovered.
As a candidate for Governor, Chris Christie talked the talk and raised the expectations of Christians in New Jersey. As Governor, and especially in his appointments, Christie undermined our confidence in his leadership. Christians should ask tough questions before extending our faith in him again.
Pro-life investigator hits back with new footage after judge blocks release of abortion sting videos
SAN FRANCISCO, February 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A new video from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) shows two National Abortion Federation (NAF) employees saying that abortion clinics would be interested in kickbacks from profits on fetal tissue and body part sales.
The video comes three days after a San Francisco imposed an injunction sought by NAF against CMP videos that one of the abortion group's attorneys said meant that "NAF's members can sleep a little easier tonight."
CMP accused the pro-abortion organization of hiding behind the court.
According to U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick, however, NAF "made...a showing" that release of CMP videos would harm rights to privacy, freedom of association, and liberty of NAF members.
"Critical to my decision are that the defendants agreed to injunctive relief if they breached the agreements and that, after the release of defendants’ first set of Human Capital Project videos and related information in July 2015, there has been a documented, dramatic increase in the volume and extent of threats to and harassment of NAF and its members," wrote Orrick.
Additionally, the judge found that CMP's videos “thus far have not been pieces of journalistic integrity, but misleadingly edited videos and unfounded assertions," and that nobody from the abortion industry “admitted to engaging in, agreed to engage in, or expressed interest in engaging in potentially illegal sale of fetal tissue for profit" in the CMP videos.
However, in a new video released today that is unrelated to the injunction, a NAF employee told undercover journalists that kickbacks "definitely [sound] like something some [of] our members would be really interested in," with another chiming in that money from private purchasers to abortion clinics were "a win-win" for clinics.
The undercover investigators, who had purported to be part of a biotechnology company with an interest in fetal parts, were offered the chance to be at a NAF conference. “We have an exhibit hall and then we also have the general conference. But I mean, this is a very great way to talk to our members. We have a group purchasing program through our membership,” the journalists were told. “So it seems like this would be a really great option to be able to offer our members, as well.”
This is the second ruling against CMP in recent weeks, and the second by Orrick since July. The San Francisco judge issued a restraining order against CMP related to NAF's 2014 and 2015 meetings in San Francisco and Baltimore that Friday's ruling extended.
The other recent ruling came in the form of an indictment of CMP's David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Merritt and Daleiden turned themselves into Houston authorities for booking and processing last week. After being released on bail, Daleiden spoke at a LifeSiteNews/Christian Defense Coalition press conference after which more than 100,000 petition signatures backing Daleiden were dropped off to the Harris County, Texas District Attorney's office.
According to Orrick, who says he reviewed the more than 500 hours of recordings from CMP, "It should be said that the majority of the recordings lack much public interest, and despite the misleading contentions of defendants, there is little that is new in the remainder of the recordings. Weighed against that public interest are NAF’s and its members’ legitimate interests in their rights to privacy, security, and association by maintaining the confidentiality of their presentations and conversations at NAF Annual Meetings. The balance is strongly in NAF’s favor.”
NAF did not respond to a request for comment about the allegations by Orrick and a NAF spokesperson that CMP's videos have caused threats and other security concerns against NAF members.