MIAMI (BP)--A shocking case of a botched late-term abortion in Florida is gaining national attention and could, pro-life leaders say, help change public attitudes about abortion and when life begins.
The case has resulted in the revoking of the abortion doctor's medical license and should, many say, lead to the filing of murder charges because the baby could have survived if given medical attention.
"We're trying to make sure we don't tolerate infanticide here. The baby was gasping for air."
-- Attorney Tom Brejcha
The controversy began when then-18-year-old Sycloria Williams in July 2006 learned she was pregnant -- 23 weeks along -- and opted for an abortion. She went to a Miami abortion clinic, where the doctor, Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique, inserted laminaria sticks to dilate her cervix and gave her a prescription of Cytotec to take later that night to begin inducing labor. She was told to come back the next day to a different clinic just outside of Miami.
Williams arrived at that clinic the next day, but Renelique didn't show up, at least not on time. After waiting about two hours for the doctor to arrive, Williams began feeling nauseated and was placed in a patient waiting room, given a robe and told to lie down. At 2 o'clock that day -- and with Renelique still not at the clinic and no one in the room -- Williams felt an immense pain and delivered a baby girl. The staff began screaming "and pandemonium ensued," and Williams "watched in horror and shock as her baby writhed with her chest rising and falling as she breathed," a civil lawsuit filed in January on Williams' behalf states.
With the baby trying to breath, a staff member, Belkis Gonzalez, who has no medical license, came in the room and used orange shears to cut the umbilical cord, the suit states. She then "scooped up the baby," the placenta and afterbirth, placed everything in a red plastic biohazard bag, sealed it and tossed it into a trash can. Renelique later arrived and told her the "hard part was over," the suit states. He gave her an IV and a shot, cleaned her up and sent her home, the suit says. Read More