Ron Strom is commentary editor of WND, a post he took after serving as a news editor since 2000. Prior to coming on board with WND, Strom worked in politics in California. Married and the father of two homeschool graduates, he has served in leadership positions in his church, local nonprofit boards and in county government.More ↓Less ↑
A legal group representing a woman who says abortion-clinic employees refused to help her baby boy when he was born alive in a restroom has filed two complaints against the facility with Florida state regulatory agencies.
She claims on the first day she visited the clinic staff failed to inject the unborn baby with digoxin, a drug that stops his or her heart in preparation for what amounts to a stillborn birth.
After taking labor-inducing drugs the next morning, Angele arrived at the clinic and was left alone in a cold “delivery room.” Her labor increased greatly, she says, and she delivered the 22-week-along baby in the restroom.
Angele says she saw that her son was moving and cried for help, but that a staff member discounted her claim and refused to do anything to help the baby. According to his mother, the boy, whom she named Rowan, died about 11 minutes after birth.
“Amazingly, during this entire process, no physician was even present at the abortion clinic,” said a statement from Liberty Counsel, the pro-life law organization that is representing Angele.
Liberty Counsel says it has filed complaints with the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
The complaint filed Wednesday with the Department of Health is against Harry Perper, M.D., who performed the first-day procedures but was not present the second day, and against James Pendergraft, M.D., who owns and supervises the clinic.
Said Liberty Counsel: “Several violations of Florida laws are detailed in the complaint. Among the violations are the complete absence of a doctor during the abortion procedure, causing a death certificate to improperly state that Rowan was stillborn, and a complete lack of post-operative care. After the procedure, Angele was rushed out the door and received no follow-up care. Importantly, Angele did not receive a rhogam shot, which was medically necessary for her, given her blood type.”
The complaint filed with the Agency for Health Care Administration details the same violations of state law as the Department of Health complaint, but also focuses on the unsanitary conditions of the clinic. Angele says the room in the clinic had dried blood on the floor and the walls and a used, bloody cotton ball on the floor.
“We are hopeful that these complaints will lead to immediate change in the form of discipline against the doctors and revocation of the abortion license for the clinic,” said Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel. “But we are also hopeful that these complaints will serve as the catalyst for long-term change. Abortion clinics are the least regulated medical facilities in the state of Florida. That needs to change. It is a travesty that tattoo parlors are more heavily regulated than abortion clinics.
“These doctors need to be held accountable for their actions, and we intend to pursue these complaints to that end. Part of promoting a culture of life in America means holding abortion doctors and clinics accountable when they violate the law.”
The Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition has planned a press conference for this morning in front of the EPOC Clinic to protest what happened to Angele.
“It is barbarous to realize that this young child could have been saved if only clinic personnel had responded in a professional and timely manner,” Mahoney said in a statement. “This tragic death shows that abortion clinics across the country are not committed to ‘choice’ as they often state, for the mother wanted to save this child, but rather are dedicated to a culture of death that results in violence against children and the exploitation of women. We are calling for a full investigation into this horrific death and pray that action is taken that would prevent it from ever happening again.”
Said Troy Newman, director of pro-life group Operation Rescue: “Baby Rowan failed to receive compassion and justice in his short life here on earth. So together with his mother, Operation Rescue, will work passionately to ensure he receives the justice he clearly deserves. We are calling for the prosecution of all those involved in this horrible crime and are imploring officials to use all legal avenues available to them. This would include, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act passed by Congress.”
A week ago, the Bush administration said it would begin enforcing the 3-year-old Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which requires doctors to attempt to keep alive a baby that survives an abortion.