Kirsten Andersen

North Carolina abortion clinic shut down by state as ‘imminent danger’ to public health

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen
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CHARLOTTE, NC, May 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – A Charlotte, North Carolina abortion clinic has been shut down following an investigation that revealed abortionists were incorrectly administering abortion drugs to their clients.

Workers at the “A Preferred Women’s Health Center” were found to have given injectable methotrexate orally to abortion-seeking women, in violation of FDA and manufacturer guidelines. 

Methotrexate is a powerfully toxic anti-cancer drug that is sometimes used off-label to begin the chemical abortion process because it causes the placenta to detach from the uterine wall in pregnant patients.  The drug comes in injectable and tablet form. 

The abortion center used the injectable form, but according to state documents obtained by LifeSiteNews, instead of using the medication as directed, nurses at the clinic used syringes to squirt the medication into cups for oral administration, causing the dosages to be unpredictable and dangerous.  The wrong dose of methotrexate can cause severe complications, such as incomplete abortion, heavy bleeding, liver damage and even death.  At least one woman at the clinic was forced to undergo surgery after a botched methotrexate abortion, according to the state report.

State investigators also found that the abortion center had shoddy follow-up practices, repeatedly failing to examine women to ensure that no fetal body parts or other pregnancy-related tissue were left inside their wombs after abortions.  Failure to ensure removal of all fetal remains can result in infection, sepsis and death for post-abortive women. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services hand-delivered a letter to the abortion center on May 10 ordering them to shut down the facility by 5 pm the same day. 

The letter explained that the health agency had determined that the abortion facility presented “an imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the clients and that emergency action is required to protect the clients.” 

This is the second time in six months that “A Preferred Women’s Health Center” has been the subject of a state investigation.  In December, the clinic was cited by the department of health for safety violations including unsafe storage of hazardous materials, emergency medications being expired, and failure to properly sterilize instruments including vaginal speculums, which investigators said were stored in a plastic bin that “contained debris” while “the drawer liner was soiled.”

The abortion center was also the source of racial controversy last year when abortionist Ashutosh “Ron” Virmani confronted pro-life activists in front of the clinic and told them that anyone who opposes abortion should “adopt one of those ugly black babies” and get them “off the taxpayers’ money.”  Video of the confrontation was posted to the Internet by Operation Save America and went viral, embarrassing the clinic.

Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America, who has been organizing prayer vigils and literature drops at Charlotte-area abortion centers for years, held a press conference in front of the now-closed clinic today in which he thanked local churches for their faithful prayers and pro-life activism, which he believes led to the clinic’s closure. 

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In a phone interview with LifeSiteNews, Benham said that he sees a sea change coming in the way Americans view abortion.  In the wake of the capital murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist who severed the necks of babies who survived sloppy abortion procedures, and in the aftermath of a number of high-profile clinic closures, Benham believes more Americans are starting to realize that gruesome stories of unsafe, unsanitary clinics are more the rule than the exception in the U.S. abortion industry.

“Abortionists [today] are the back-alley abortionists of yesteryear,” said Benham. “They’ve just crawled out from underneath that rock because [abortion is] legal now.  If the health department would inspect every clinic and hold them to the same standard as even a veterinary clinic, they’d all be shut down.”  Benham argues that the 1973 Roe v Wade decision gave a fundamentally criminal industry legitimacy in the eyes of the law, and says safety violations, drug violations, and disregard for the law are endemic to the industry.

Added Benham, “This is a filthy, disgusting business.  It’s not that Gosnell is an anomaly or an aberration.  It’s endemic to the industry itself.”

Benham called on people of faith to be strong in prayer and protest against the abortion industry, and credited local churches’ prayer and activism for the closure of the Charlotte clinic.  He said that abortion will last for as long as people of faith allow it to continue in their own communities.

“The problem … isn’t up in the Beltway or up in Washington, D.C.  It isn’t there that the battles are going to be won.  They’ll be won in the streets and they’ll be won as gentle Christian warriors – moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, little boys and little girls – bring the Gospel right to the gates of Hell.”  

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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