Cheryl Sullenger

Prosecution reconstructs abortion room in court for Gosnell murder trial

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
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PHILADELPHIA, March 21, 2013 (Operation Rescue)  – A macabre drama is unfolding in a Philadelphia courtroom as testimony is now underway in one of the most horrific serial killer cases in U.S. history. On trial for eight counts of murder and a host of other criminal charges is late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is accused of birthing viable late-term babies alive, then snipping their spinal cords with scissors amidst appallingly squalid conditions.

Since Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart ruled that prosecutors could not take the jury to see the squalor that has been preserved at Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion clinic, prosecutors have set up a replica of one of Gosnell’s procedure rooms complete with rusty, aging obstetrical equipment.

It was in the midst of that abortion room mock-up that the first employee to testify tearfully explained to the jury how she cut the backs of the necks of at least ten live newborn babies then murdered them by snipping their spinal cords.

Adrienne Moton, 35, was a medical assistant who has been charged with the reduced crime of third degree murder in exchange for her testimony against Gosnell. She told the court that she moved in with Gosnell and his third wife, Pearl, while still in high school due to “family problems” and eventually ended up working at his clinic, earning ten dollars an hour under the table. At the clinic, without proper training, she would administer drugs, perform ultrasounds, assist with abortion procedures, and dispose of the aborted baby remains.

Baby A

Moton also testified that she took photos of one particularly large baby, referred to by prosecutors as “Baby A,” with her cell phone that was estimated to be about 30-weeks gestation. Gosnell later joked that the baby was so large he could have walked to the bus stop.

News reports indicated that one female juror covered her mouth in horror as the photo of Baby A was displayed on the screen in the courtroom.

Baby’s mother testifies

After Moton’s emotional testimony, the mother of that baby, Shayquana Abrams, 21, of Chester, took the stand. She said that Gosnell began her abortion in Delaware then had her report to his Pennsylvania clinic to finish what he told her was a 24-week abortion, even though she was closer to 30 weeks into her pregnancy. Her aunt paid Gosnell $2,750 in cash for the abortion. Abrams said she was so drugged that she has no memory of the actual abortion, which took place when she was only 17. Afterwards, her health began to deteriorate.

She suffered severe pain, heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and the inability to walk, and was hospitalized for two weeks with a blood clot to the heart and a grapefruit-sized abscess on her right side. She still suffers ill effects of the abortion today, including fatigue, stress, headaches, and other health issues.

“Ms. Abram’s story is indicative of experiences of women seeking abortions all over the country. They are given shoddy abortions with the help of unqualified workers and are not always told the truth about the gestational age of their pre-born babies,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “Then when they suffer complications, these women are on their own. Unfortunately, we have heard this story all too many times. Such substandard practices are epidemic at abortion clinics across America. We shudder to think of the abuses that continue at abortion clinics that just have not yet been caught.”

Defense plays race card

The defense is disputing that that any of the abortions took place beyond the 24 week limit in Pennsylvania or that any of the babies were born alive. Gosnell’s attorney, Jack McMahon, attempted to convince jurors that the babies were injected with digoxin, a drug that causes the pre-born baby to go into cardiac arrest.

However, the Grand Jury report indicated that the medical examiner found no indication that the fetuses had been injected with Digoxin and the drug did not show up in the toxicology screens.

“Gosnell was not skillful enough to successfully administer digoxin, late-term babies continued to be born alive, and he continued to kill them by slitting their necks,” stated the report.

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Also deeply disturbing is the defense’s primary arguments that the prosecution is “elitist and racist” and amounts to “a prosecutorial lynching” because Gosnell is Black and operated an urban abortion clinic that served poor women. This desperate attempt to manufacture racial motives for the prosecution rings hollow in light of the fact that the District Attorney, Seth Williams, who brought the charges against Gosnell, is also Black.

A squalid defense

McMahon showed a particular insensitivity to women who were subjected to substandard abortions on rusty, bloodstained tables at Gosnell’s nasty mill where venereal diseases were spread through the reuse of dirty surgical instruments and the stench of cat urine and decomposing baby remains permeated the air.

“If you want Mayo Clinic standards, then you go to the Mayo Clinic,” he told the jury during opening arguments.

“Apparently Mr. McMahon doesn’t think that poor urban women are deserving of anything better than the dangerous practices and filthy conditions supplied by Gosnell,” said Newman. “His statement about clinic standards is grossly offensive. Even veterinarian clinics have to comply with basic health standards. It is appalling to think that anyone could make the argument that the dogs are deserving of better safety standards than women seeking abortions, no matter how misguided those actions might be.”

Operation Rescue will provide regular updates on the Gosnell murder trial from its unique perspective and has plans to attend the trial the week of April 1st, during which we will publish first-hand accounts of the proceedings. Additional grisly testimony is expected from nearly all Gosnell’s eight employees who were arrested and charged with him over the course of the six to eight week trial.

“This is an historic moment where the inner workings of an abortion clinic are being laid bare before the world. While every abortion clinic may not duplicate the full scope of Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors,’ nearly every one shares at least some of the characteristics of this revolting abortion operation,” said Newman. “This is a rare opportunity to expose the public to the dirty practices that typify abortion in America today.”

Read the full Grand Jury Report
View photos of Gosnell’s victims
View the Gosnell gang’s mug shots and description of charges

This article originally appeared on Operation Rescue and is reprinted with permission.

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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

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Pope Francis eases forgiveness of abortion for Jubilee Year of Mercy

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By John-Henry Westen

ROME, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- In an announcement today, Pope Francis said that he is enacting an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy from December 8, 2015 through November 2016. As part of the Jubilee, the pope has allowed priests to forgive the sin of abortion, which St. John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae (paragraph 58) is “murder.”

The statement marks the most extensive remarks on abortion that Pope Francis has made during his pontificate. Rather than downplaying the seriousness of abortion, as some media contend, in the statement the pope encourages the millions of women who have aborted their children to go to confession and seek God’s forgiveness.

In the Catechism, the Church calls abortion a “criminal” practice, and imposes the penalty of excommunication on those who do it -- essentially, removing those who commit abortions from the Church. In the past, typically re-entry into the Church for those who have separated themselves from it by excommunication can only be undertaken by a bishop. However in much of North America priests have already been given standing permission by their bishops to forgive abortion.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput explained in an email sent to LifeSiteNews today, “For many years now, parish priests have been given permission to absolve the sin of abortion here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.” The Philadelphia archbishop, who will play host to Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit later this month added, “But the practice has not been common in various other regions of the world.”

“This action in no way diminishes the moral gravity of abortion,” concluded Chaput. “What it does do is make access to sacramental forgiveness easier for anyone who seeks it with a truly penitent heart.”

The pope declared that all priests may forgive the sin of abortion for “those who have procured it and who with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.'"

The pope says in his letter that abortion is a “tragedy” wherein “extreme harm” takes place, and calls it “profoundly unjust.”  He admits however, as does the pro-life movement, that it is an “agonizing and painful decision” and many women “believe that they have no other option.”

In order to be forgiven by God of such a serious offence, the pope says the one who has procured the abortion must be made aware of the “gravity of the sin committed” and be truly repentant. They must come, says Francis, with a “contrite heart, seek forgiveness for” the abortion and hoping for “reconciliation with the Father.”

The full statement from the Pope on the matter of abortion follows:

One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe they they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured itand who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

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TLC stars Kody Brown and his four "wives"
Fr. Mark Hodges

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Surprise, surprise: New suit says gay ‘marriage’ ruling laid ground for legal polygamy

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – When "The Pill" was made available to the public in 1964, Christians warned it could lead to promiscuity and disassociation of sex with marriage and children.  They were ridiculed as religious fanatics.

When abortion was made legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy in 1973, Christians warned that it would not save women's lives, but would instead lead to devaluing all human life, especially children's lives. They were dismissed as moral-legislating hate-mongers.

When euthanasia was legalized in Oregon and other states, Christians warned that the non-terminally ill and eventually the mentally handicapped, or simply the unwanted, would be killed in the name of mercy. They were mocked as right-wing crazies.

When sodomy laws in Texas and elsewhere were stricken from the books in 2003, Christians warned that societal approval of that harmful practice would lead to an increase in disease and further perversion. They were ignored and vilified.

When DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) rules for the military were reversed, Christians warned that the epidemic of rapes in the armed services would increase, not decrease, and that combat readiness would continue to diminish. They were called bigots, their words "hate speech."

And so on. Recent history is rife with examples of conservatives warning against societal degradation being vilified as "slippery slope" straw man creators, who want only to legislate morality.

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That's how those who warned that the Supreme Court's same-sex "marriage" decision would lead to legalization of any and all kinds of "marriage," such as a man and several wives or vice versa.

And, as in every case cited above, what Christian conservatives warned is exactly what has now happened.

In a U.S. 10th Circuit court filing, reality TV polygamist Kody Brown and his wives point to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling on same-sex marriage to buttress their pro-polygamy case.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth, summarized to LifeSiteNews, "The left's chaotic cultural agenda knows no boundaries. Once 'marriage' could be redefined to accommodate sexual perversion, it would be impossible to stop other perversions from being recognized." 

The American Family Association's Ed Vitagliano told LifeSiteNews, "It has been clear for decades that sexual radicals in America have been targeting the God-ordained institution of marriage for destruction. Toss in a handful of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, beginning in 2003 (Lawrence v. Texas), and ending with this summer's debacle (Obergefell v. Hodges), and we are on the verge of seeing the secularists succeed." 

The AFA executive vice president concluded to LifeSiteNews, "We have no doubt that the polygamists will be next to step into the federal courts."

Indeed. Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn, have asked the court to uphold a judge's ruling striking down part of Utah's law against polygamy. To prove their case, they cite precedents involving same-sex marriage (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges), and a case that struck down a ban on sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas).

"From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence, to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to ... punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions," Brown's filing states. "This case is about the criminalization of consensual relations."

LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews that the move to legalize polygamy is no surprise. "Once the argument for homosexual so-called 'marriage' became 'Love Is Love,' it was only a matter of time before multiple-partner activists would start defending the 'right' to have THEIR [perversion of] 'love' legitimized by state-recognized 'marriage.'"

The Browns, who appear on the television show "Sister Wives," sued the state of Utah over its ban on polygamy, which Brown calls "plural relationships." They argue that the law violates their right to freely practice their religion and their right to equal protection under the law.

Specifically, Brown is challenging the state's assertion that polygamy is harmful to societies that condone it.

Brown argues that the state should not have "the right to impose criminal morality codes on citizens, compelling them to live their lives in accordance with the religious or social values of the majority of citizens."

LaBarbera concluded, "Social conservatives and Christians must work to overturn Obergefell, just like homosexual activists worked to overturn the Supreme Court's Bowers v. Hardwick decision in 1986 that allowed anti-sodomy laws. Otherwise, we are guaranteed to lose more and more freedoms as 'gay' power grows, using legalized 'marriage' as leverage."

Arguments in the Brown polygamy case could take place before the 10th Circuit Court in Denver before the end of the year.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, MD, on March 6, 2014. Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Sen. McConnell: GOP won’t push Obama on Planned Parenthood defunding

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Planned Parenthood won't lose its funding for at least 18 months, says America's top senator.

Speaking on WYMT TV, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, said, "The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood."

“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” he said. “Again, the president has the pen to sign it. If he doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, we voted on that already in the Senate, we’ll vote on it again, but I would remind all of your viewers the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it.”

McConnell's comments came despite pressure from Senators and Representatives alike, as well as pro-life groups, who want Republicans to make defunding a priority.

"If the president of the United States and Harry Reid think it's more important that Planned Parenthood get your tax dollars than to pay our troops, then they are shutting down the government,” Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan, R-OH, told CNN last week.

Jordan and others have pushed GOP leaders to attach defunding efforts to must-pass pieces of legislation, such as a highway bill earlier this summer and the upcoming Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government running. GOP leaders have generally opposed this strategy, which has created a schism within the party.

Conversely, Democrats have been largely united. Leaders and rank-and-file members in both parties have generally supported taxpayer funding of the abortion giant, despite the possibility of illegal abortions being done to illegally harvest fetal organs and other body parts.

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