Jury shown graphic photos of babies Gosnell ‘aborted’
Philadelphia, PA, April 3, 2013 (OperationRescue.org) – Photos of the bodies of several aborted babies were shown to the jury Tuesday, each with a gaping wound in the back of their necks, as testimony continued in the Kermit Gosnell murder case.
The babies were all intact and had the appearance of being partially mummified or dried. The brownish-black skin had shrunk as it dried, revealing the upper spinal column that authorities say was pierced with scissors in order to snip the spinal cords of newborn babies born alive during abortions by Gosnell.
Photos of the remains of Karnamaya Mongar, the woman who allegedly died as a result of an overdose by Gosnell’s untrained, unqualified staff, were not shown to the jury due to an objection by Gosnell’s defense attorney Jack McMahon.
Also shown were photos of babies’ feet in jars, one of which had been severed just below the hip and included the entire leg. A photo of a two-inch foot severed above the ankle was shown next to a ruler.
During the display, Gosnell sat attentive but emotionless, sometimes making notes.
Other photos taken by a Crime Scene Investigator John Taggart showed the cramped and cluttered maze of rooms at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society ‘House of Horrors” abortion clinic. The three story structure has metal poles on the top floor holding up the leaky, decaying roof. The witness indicated that he believes the structure will soon collapse.
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Pictures were also presented to the jury showing Gosnell’s two large homes, his boat and private boat dock, and his newer model F150 extended cab pickup truck. While his possessions were being displayed, Gosnell smiled broadly and nodded in acknowledgement. It is estimated that Gosnell made millions aborting babies while women at his clinic were subjected to the reuse of disposable instruments and other dangerously shoddy practices.
However, a photo of his gaudy deep purple bedroom at his Philadelphia home was revealing. In it belongings were strewn about and piled everywhere, and appeared much as one would expect a hoarder’s house to look, and resembled the general junky appearance of his abortion clinic rooms.
O’Keefe and Monet
Gosnell had two abortion rooms where he gave poor women abortions that were small, cramped, cluttered, and dirty. They were called the Monet Room and the O’Keefe Room after the cheap painting reproductions that hung in each. Taggart had gathered furniture and objects from the clinic and brought them to the courtroom. Each piece of equipment was identified, including a box of cloudy yellowish plastic disposable cannulas that had been repeatedly reused.
A crash cart was present in court that was discovered under a bed in Gosnell’s house. There was no crash cart found inside his clinic.
A cannula is the sharp plastic tube that attaches to the suction machine which enters the womb to suction out an early-term baby. It is also used to suction out the amniotic fluid in later abortions and to clean out the remaining tissue after the abortion is completed.
Garbage Disposal Mysteries
Taggart testified that last Friday he returned to the clinic and retrieved one final item which was also in court. It was a large garbage disposal that was under the sink in the wash room that was between the O’Keefe and Monet abortion rooms where jars containing the severed feet sat on a shelf. When asked why the garbage disposal was brought to court, Gosnell’s attorney objected, prompting one of several sidebar discussions out of hearing of the jury. Judge Jeffery P. Minehart, who is presiding over the murder trial sustained the objection and Taggart was not allowed to tell the jury the significance of the garbage disposal.
However, the only the two pro-life supporters observing the trial, Day Gardner and this reporter, knew the answer. I had seen it before in the abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas, that Operation Rescue bought and closed then renovated into a usable pro-life office. Aborted baby remains were likely ground up in the disposal then flushed down the sink.
Several members of the jury rose and leaned over to get a better look at the ancient and filthy equipment and furnishings as they were identified by Taggart.
Earlier in the day Dr. Karen Feisullin, a practicing ObGyn at a major metropolitan hospital testified that another piece of equipment in the courtroom, the ultrasound machine, was so old that she had never seen one like it. She put on latex gloves before picking up the abdominal and vaginal transducers, which were discolored and filthy. Feisullin testified that she was not even sure where the monitor screen was on the ancient device.
How Abortions are Done
Feisullin’s testimony was for the purpose of describing how abortions are done. She serves as an Obgyn at Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia and testified that she does 2-4 second trimester abortions per week, 95% of which are for fetal anomalies.
Feisullin described the abortion process in graphic detail, referring to several charts with a pointer to help the jury understand the dilation of the cervix and the dismemberment of the child in the womb during an Dilation and Evacuation abortion, used in the second trimester.
She also testified about the process of fetal injection used in later abortions that kills the baby prior to the removal of the remains.
Perhaps the most damaging part to Gosnell of Feisullin’s testimony was her discussion of ultrasound images found in three abortion charts. Each record contained two to three sonogram images showing babies that would have been between 24 weeks six days and 30 weeks gestation. The upper limit for abortions under the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act is 23 weeks 6 days.
She also testified that the ultrasound photos were of such poor quality that she could not see the anatomical landmarks needed to ensure that the measurements of the babies’ heads were accurate. In one case, the measurement of the baby’s head, which determines gestational age, was done in the wrong place making it completely incorrect.
In each case, Gosnell had written in his own hand that each baby was 24 weeks six days, no matter how big the heads measured. This was an indication that he did not have an accurate view of the legal abortion limit in Pennsylvania.
Dispute over Partial Birth Abortion
Also in dispute was a diagram of the Partial Birth Abortion process. Partial birth abortions were federally banned after the Supreme Court upheld the law in 2007. McMahon insisted that the process shown in the diagram was still legal while Feisullin testified that it was not. She said she would not use that procedure because it was illegal. McMahon strenuously objected, prompting another sidebar.
Gosnell was ushered in and out of the courtroom by Sheriffs Deputies. He has remained incarcerated since his arrest in January, 2011. Upon entering the courtroom for the first time in the morning, Gosnell glanced around the sparsely occupied courtroom and smiled widely at the two pro-life women seated in the gallery. It was my impression from his courtroom demeanor that he did not fully accept that his actions were wrong.
Also on trial with Gosnell is his former staff member Eileen O’Neill, wearing an ill-fitting bright purple shirt. She was seated next to her own attorney who rarely spoke. O’Neill is not charged with murder, but faces several other serious charges, including Theft by Deception for masquerading as a licensed physician, corruption, racketeering, and conspiracy. She is the only one of eight former employees not to have taken a plea agreement prior to Gosnell’s trial. Other Gosnell employees are expected to testify against him in exchange for more lenient sentences, perhaps as early as Wednesday.
Testimony is set to continue Tuesday morning. The trial is expected to last for a total of six to eight weeks. If convicted of the charges that he murdered eight newborns and one patient, Gosnell faces the possibility of the death penalty.
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Reprinted with permission from OperationRescue.org.
Planned Parenthood closes Iowa abortion facility because of low business
DUBUQUE, Iowa, May 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood closed an Iowa abortion facility on Friday, noting low business that left the facility unsustainable from a financial standpoint.
Although Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced in January that it planned to close the Dubuque, Iowa, office, pro-life sidewalk counselors were overjoyed on Friday to read the sign in the window that read: “Our office is closed, effective April 28, 2016.”
The office did not perform surgical abortions but did provide medication abortions to the community of about 58,000.
“Rejoice with us for the lives of unborn children saved!” Iowa Right to Life said in a statement after the closure.
As with numerous other closures, Planned Parenthood, which styles itself a provider of “care no matter what,” emphasized it was closing its doors to preserve its bottom line.
“After assessing the shifting health care landscape, changing demographics, and the challenges of operating in areas with low patient volumes, we made the tough decision to close the Dubuque Health Center,” the group said in an announcement. “This change allows us to expand hours and see more patients in Cedar Rapids, where there is unmet demand due to lack of clinician hours.”
“While we regret making this change, we know it is a necessary step in order to continue our mission to provide, promote and protect reproductive and sexual health through health services, education and advocacy. Patients have been notified, and if they wish, they can receive a broader array of services at our health center in Cedar Rapids, where we have expanded hours to accommodate more patient,” Planned Parenthood said.
American Life League’s vice president, Jim Sedlak, remembers speaking to the county right to life group nine years ago.
“I told them at the time that they needed to protest outside Planned Parenthood at least once a week,” he said. “They told me they would do better than that. Over the last eight years, these dedicated pro-lifers were outside Planned Parenthood every hour it was open. And now...it’s closed for good.”
That aligns with advice that David Bereit, the founder of 40 Days for Life, once told young people who wanted to know how to end abortion.
Be loving and compassionate, he said.
“Your peaceful, loving presence out there flies in the face of all the stereotypes they want to throw onto us,” he added. “When you show them love instead of condemnation, when you show them peace and joy instead of anger and judgment, that will begin to break down the walls.”
Iowa Right to Life credited just such tactics with closing an office in Red Oak that performed webcam abortions. “Planned Parenthood shut down in Red Oak in large part because of the constant, prayerful presence outside their clinic,” the group said.
Upon hearing of the latest abortion facility shuttering, the Dubuque County Right to Life said that Planned Parenthood isn't the only group that will move its base of operations. “We will probably put our efforts in Cedar Rapids and will continue to spread the pro-life message,” said Executive Director Marian Bourek.
Ted Cruz confronted by mom who supports aborting disabled babies…just like hers
MARION, Indiana, May 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Senator Ted Cruz was met on the campaign trail by a mother who strongly opposed a state pro-life law that would have protected children with birth conditions – like her own.
Andrea DeBruler, a 41-year-old nurse, confronted the presidential hopeful in the city of Marion as Cruz campaigned with Gov. Mike Pence.
DeBruler first asked Cruz, then Pence, about House Bill 1337, which bans abortions performed due to the child's race, sex, or disability, such as Down syndome.
DeBruler held up a picture of her daughter, Jania, who was born with cerebral palsy. “This was a choice,” she said.
She asked Sen. Cruz if he supported the bill, which made Indiana the second state in the nation to ban abortion for Down syndrome, after North Dakota.
“I'm not Governor Pence,” he replied. “But I'll tell you this: I believe in protecting human life.”
Pence, who endorsed Cruz in today's make-or-break Indiana primary, listened to her objections.
“I'm not here as a Republican, I'm not here as a Democrat. I'm here as a woman, a woman with choices, choices that you guys should not make,” DeBruler said.
After hearing that she felt many families lacked sufficient resources to care for children, especially in an area like Marion, Gov. Pence offered to connect her with social services.
“God bless her,” he said, looking at Jania's picture, “and God bless you.”
Though it may be unusual to encounter a woman arguing for the right to abort her own child, the governor handled it calmly. Pence had specifically reflected on “precious moments” he spent with “families of children with disabilities, especially those raising children with Down syndrome” when he signed the bill into law in March.
"We are truly thankful for the passage of this historic legislation by the Indiana House and applaud the new civil rights protections this bill creates for unborn children, as well as the new provisions this bill establishes for the humane final disposition of aborted babies," Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said at the time.
DeBruler told the UK media outlet The Independent that H.B. 1337 “means you can no longer have an abortion based on deformity. I’m against this law, because I think it should be a woman’s choice” to abort for any reason.
Congressional Democrats made similar statements during hearings last month for Rep. Trent Franks' federal Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), with Congressman John Conyers saying the bill is “patently unconstitutional,” because a woman has the right to abort a child before viability for any reason.
Both leading contenders for the Democratic nomination expressed their displeasure with the law, which protects unborn children from racial or sexual discrimination, as well as discrimination on the basis of an inborn trait like mental capacity.
When Gov. Pence signed the law, Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted:
The decision to have an abortion is for a woman to make, not the Governor of Indiana. https://t.co/1VOroXS2br— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 24, 2016
Hillary Clinton later said, “I commend the women of this state, young and old, for standing up against this governor and this legislature.”
DeBruler told The Independent, despite her comment about not being a Democrat or a Republican, she is in fact a Democrat and will vote for Hillary Clinton in today's primary.
The moral challenge to Cardinal Wuerl in pending Notre Dame outrage
May 3, 2016 (CatholicCulture) -- In 2009, when the University of Notre Dame invited President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address, dozens of American bishops lodged loud public protests. Yet this year, as Notre Dame prepares to confer an even greater honor on Vice President Joe Biden (together with former House Speaker John Boehner), the silence from the hierarchy is deafening.
Back in 2009, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston said that Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama was “very disappointing,”, while then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan termed it a “big mistake.” The late Bishop John D’Arcy, then leader of the Indiana diocese in which the university is located, spoke of “the terrible breach which has taken place between Notre Dame and the Church.” For the first time in his 25 years of service to the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, Bishop D’Arcy declined to attend the Notre Dame commencement exercises; instead he addressed a protest rally organized by pro-life students, faculty, alumni, and staff.
These prelates and others explained their dismay by referring to the statement “Catholics in Political Life,” released in 2004 by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. In that document, the bishops reflected on the need to maintain a consistent public witness in defense of human life, and therefore to distance themselves from public officials who support legal abortion. The statement set forth a clear policy that Catholic institutions should not give public honors to “pro-choice” politicians:
The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.
By giving President Obama an honorary degree and offering him an opportunity to speak at graduation, Notre Dame clearly violated that policy. University officials could offer only garbled partial defenses, claiming that they were honoring Obama not because he supports unrestricted abortion, but because he is President of the United States.
This year the university cannot offer even that lame defense of the decision to award the Laetare Medal to Vice President Biden. Unlike Obama, Biden is a Catholic, and by granting him this award the university is explicitly saying that the Vice President has “illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.” In other words, Notre Dame is honoring Vice President Biden as a Catholic political leader despite his unwavering support for abortion and same-sex marriage.
Give credit to Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the current leader of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, for raising a lonely voice of protest. “I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any ‘pro-choice’ public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service,” Bishop Rhoades said. But if any other bishops have joined him in that rebuke to Notre Dame, I must have missed their public announcements.
Some observers, of liberal political sympathies, have argued that it is wrong to honor John Boehner, too, because the former Speaker disagreed with the US bishops’ stand on immigration. This is a tired old argument, conflating disagreement with the bishops on a prudential political decision with defiance of Church teaching on a fundamental moral principle. But it is noteworthy that Notre Dame officials saw fit to make a joint award, no doubt in a cynical effort to dodge political criticism by choosing one honoree from each side of the political spectrum.
“We live in a toxic political environment where poisonous invective and partisan gamesmanship pass for political leadership,” said Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, in announcing the Laetare Award recipients. (Notice the pre-emptive suggestion that those who criticize the school’s choices may be engaged in “poisonous invective.”) He went on to make a tortured argument that although Notre Dame is honoring two politicians, it is not honoring them for what they have done in their political careers:
In recognizing both men, Notre Dame is not endorsing the policy positions of either, but celebrating two lives dedicated to keeping our democratic institutions working for the common good through dialogue focused on the issues and responsible compromise.
By now we all know the familiar dodges. The politician claims to oppose abortion personally, but to feel a delicate reticence about imposing his views on others. He says that we must be willing to compromise (even on life-and-death decisions). He insists that he is not “pro-abortion” but “pro-choice.”
That last bubble of rhetoric was unceremoniously burst by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, when he celebrated Mass at Georgetown after Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richard had delivered a lecture there. “The word ‘choice’ is a smokescreen,” he said, “behind which those killing unborn children take refuge. Every chance you get, blow that smoke away!”
Now Cardinal Wuerl himself has a chance to “blow that smoke away.” As things stand, he is scheduled to celebrate Mass at the Notre Dame commencement, and to receive an honorary degree. He could pull out; he could absent himself from the ceremonies, to ensure that he does not become part of an event that pays homage to a “pro-choice” Catholic politician.
And there is a precedent. Back in 2009, the Harvard legal scholar (and former US ambassador to the Holy See) Mary Ann Glendon was chosen to receive the Laetare Award. But when she learned that President Obama would be speaking, she announced her decision to decline the award. Clearly annoyed that her presence might be used to quiet the critics of the honor for Obama, Ambassador Glendon wrote that she did not want to be used as a counterweight, nor did she see the Notre Dame commencement as an appropriate venue for a genteel debate about legal abortion:
A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
Could Cardinal Wuerl do this year what Ambassador Glendon did in 2009? Even at this late date, his withdrawal would send a powerful message of support for the right to life: an unmistakable rebuke to politicians who hide behind the smokescreen that the cardinal himself identified. To be sure, if he did withdraw, the cardinal would be caught in an avalanche of public criticism; he would suffer for his public witness. But there is a reason why cardinals wear red.
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