It's one of those, "Should I complain?" moments. After all, they are covering the story, which must stick in their craws. But I still have bones to pick, starting with the headline:
Fla. doctor investigated in badly botched abortion
I've never seen the AP cover a mother's death as a "badly botched abortion". It's just an abortion. An ordinary abortion. But if the baby survives, it's not just botched -- it's badly botched. Like the worst possible thing that can happen, far worse than any other unintended outcome -- the mother needing a colostomy, or a teenage girl ending up with a hysterectomy, or the mother dying -- is a live birth. I guess I can see their point -- with anything else that goes wrong, the aim of the abortion -- a dead baby -- was still achieved. But if that's their measure, this one wasn't so badly botched, since the baby did end up dead.
They're pretty factual after that, though it wasn't Sycloria's pregnancy Renelique was being paid to terminate. It was her baby. After all, the termination of the pregnancy was a success. But then:
What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.
Yeah, I suppose some people were shocked, and that the shocked people were on both sides. But to be shocked, what took place has to come as somewhat of a surprise. Raise your hand if you were the least bit surprised that:
1. An unlicensed clinic owner was tending to a patient in an abortion facility because there was no doctor present.
2. A baby, born alive in an abortion facility, was put in a biohazard bag.
3. The live baby was then disposed of.
Is any part of that particularly surprising to anybody here? It's all very dismaying, yes, but about as surprising and shocking as frat pledges getting drunk at a toga party.
The only shocking component to the entire sordid situation is that the AP is covering it.
Now to other aspects of the situation:
"It really disturbed me," said Joanne Sterner, president of the Broward County chapter of the National Organization for Women, after reviewing the administrative complaint against Renelique. "I know that there are clinics out there like this. And I hope that we can keep (women) from going to these types of clinics."
Not "We need to close these types of clinics." Just hope that women don't stumble into them. Is this attitude familiar? Oh, yeah! That was in Florida, too! Remember these words:
"In my gut, I am completely aghast at what goes on at that place [Dadeland]. But I staunchly oppose anything that would correct this situation in law."
That was Janis Compton-Carr, National Abortion Federation member and co-founder of FLAC -- the Florida Abortion Council. FLAC was founded block state efforts to close seedy abortion mills.
Now, here is where I have to give the AP kudos, not merely credit:
At 23 weeks, an otherwise healthy fetus would have a slim but legitimate chance of survival. Quadruplets born at 23 weeks last year at The Nebraska Medical Center survived.
An autopsy determined Williams' baby — she named her Shanice — had filled her lungs with air, meaning she had been born alive, according to the Department of Health. The cause of death was listed as extreme prematurity.
So not only did they cover the story, but they included information the reader would need in order to understand why it would be appropriate to charge Gonzales with murder in Shaniece's death.