Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Semika Shaw and Why the Gosnell Story Must be Told

On April 29, 2004, Mark Greenwald, a prosecuting attorney for the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine filed a one-paragraph "Prosecution Evaluation" in a matter referred to the Board concerning Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who for decades had operated a filthy, dangerous abortion clinic in Philadelphia:

Brief Factual Summary: The file was opened as a result of a Medical Malpractice Payment Report. The underlying malpractice case involved the death of a 22 year old female following the termination of her 5th pregnancy. Following a seemingly routine procedure on 3/1/02, the patient was taken to the ER at the University of Pennsylvania with complaints of pain and heavy bleeding. The patient underwent surgery but the surgeon was unable to locate any perforation and the patient died from infection and sepsis. Although the incident is tragic, especially in light of the age of the patient, the risk was inherent with the procedure performed by Respondent [Gosnell] and administrative action against respondent’s license is not warranted.
RECOMMENDATION: Z-02, Prosecution not Warranted
The "22 year old female" in question was Semika Shaw. To get an idea of how slovenly the Medical Board's investigation was, please note that Semika underwent the fatal abortion in March of 2000. The Board didn't even get the year right when reviewing this death before blowing the entire matter off, just over four years after the fact. 

Had they bothered to actually investigate, what would the Board have learned? I'll let her cousin, Pennsylvania Representative Margo Davidson, explain what happened in their family the fateful day that Semika paid the ultimate price for entrusting herself to Kermit Gosnell:

The Grand Jury Report on Kermit Gosnell noted:
Before Department of State prosecutors decided not to investigate the 22-year-old patient’s death, they had been told of Gosnell’s many illegal practices. What makes these prosecutors’ inaction even more astonishing is that they did know more than the bare facts included in the Board attorney’s evaluation of the case. On the same day in 2004 that they decided not to do anything about Semika Shaw’s death, these same two prosecutors also closed the investigation into the complaint brought to the Department of State more than two years earlier by Marcella Stanley Choung. That was the complaint that had alerted the Board of Medicine – eight years before Karnamaya Mongar died – to almost all of the same violations revealed by this Grand Jury’s investigation.
In December of 2001, Ms. Choung had filed a detailed, written complaint about Gosnell to the Department of State. In march of 2002, she testified in a follow-up interview. As the Grand Jury Report noted:
She informed the department investigator that Gosnell was using unlicensed workers (including herself) to give IV anesthesia to patients when he was not at the clinic; that his facility was filthy; that two sick, flea-infested cats roamed freely in the procedure rooms, vomiting throughout; that Gosnell ate in the procedure rooms; that the autoclave used to sterilize instruments was broken; that he reused single-use curettes; that there were no licensed nurses at the facility when IV anesthesia was administered; that Gosnell allowed one patient to use her cousin’s insurance card to pay for an abortion; that Gosnell performed abortions on “underage children” against their will if their mothers asked him to; and that he performed other abortions without consent forms.

The "investigation" into Ms. Choung's report consisted of three phone calls. Nobody visited the clinic. Nobody interviewed the employees. Nobody contacted the patient who had given Ms. Choung permission to share her contact information with the state. All that came of it was a recommendation -- which was never followed up -- that the Department of Health should inspect the facility.

Nobody did until after a drug raid in February of 2010, a decade after Semika's death, several months after the death of Karnamaya Mongar, and after the murders of Baby Boy A and at least seven (perhaps hundreds of) other live-born infants, blew the lid off. It was only when the District Attorney of Philadelphia was alerted that anybody -- anybody -- took steps to finally shut down Kermit Gosnell's "house of horrors."

"In my gut, I am completely aghast at what goes on at that place. But I staunchly oppose anything that would correct this situation in law." -- Abortion Rights Activist Janis Compton-Carr
Gosnell was able to get away with what he did because of calculated decisions by abortion-rights activists to turn a blind eye. I've dubbed this phenomenon "the Compton-Carr Effect," after its most straightforward proponent: Janis Compton-Carr of the Florida Abortion Council. After the Miami Herald exposed a nasty abortion mill featuring many of the same kinds of deplorable conditions found at Gosnell's clinic -- dirty instruments, untrained staff, illegal peddling of narcotics -- Compton-Carr said, "In my gut, I am completely aghast at what goes on at that place. But I staunchly oppose anything that would correct this situation in law."

Fortunately, thanks to the internet and crowdfunding, we can bypass the abortion lobby's cheerleaders in Hollywood and the mainstream media. Filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, along with journalist Magdalena Segieda, are raising $2.1 million to produce a movie about the Kermit Gosnell debacle. So far over 15,000 people have made contributions, from $1 to $10,000, in order to see this important project come to fruition. As of this writing, they are just a bit shy of $1.5 million, just over 70% of the way there, with two weeks left to reach their goal. This is a fixed funding project -- meaning that if the entire $2.1 million is not funded, all of the money will have to be returned and the project will die on the vine.

I'm asking all of my readers to do what they can -- remember that even a $1 donation is a message to the abortion lobby's lapdogs -- that the truth can not be hidden any longer. And whether or not you can chip in financially -- and always be able to say with pride that you were part of dragging this dark story into the light -- you can still do two vital things: spread the word, and pray.

Go to GosnellMovie.com to learn more and to help make sure there are no more Kermit Gosnells, no more dead women, no more slaughtered infants.

For more about why it's vital that this movie be made, read:

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