The last three days I have been helping friends of mine shoot a short film about a baby born alive at an abortion clinic. Here is the true story. A woman who was scheduled to have her 22-week-along pregnancy ended at a Florida abortion clinic instead delivered the baby alive in a restroom and says her pleading for help from medical staff went unheeded, even when an employee saw that the tiny boy was moving.
The mother, Angele, who asked that her last name not be used, is now considering legal action against the facility. She is being represented by Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit pro-life and religious-liberty legal organization.
“I counseled with a pretty and petite younger black woman who has a small son,” Angele wrote of her first visit. “Her name began with an L. I do not remember her full name. She explained the process of laminaria insertion. I asked her other questions such as, will they inject saline or urea into the amniotic sac? I was concerned that it would hurt the baby as it generally (from what I’ve read) burns the skin and lungs. I expressed my concerns that he not suffer or feel anything.”
The purpose of inserting laminaria is to dilate the cervix overnight in preparation for the abortion. Angele explained she chose the “labor and delivery process” for her abortion “as opposed to partial birth or having to dismember the child to retrieve him from the uterus/birth canal.”
Angele, who is in her 30s, says she was given Valium “to relax me for the laminaria insertion.”
“The injection burned a lot as it went in. … The discomfort was distracting. I still felt the ‘lams’ as they were being inserted. Dr. Perper told me to relax my muscles and noted that my cervix was slightly soft. I asked him what that meant and he said it was good.”
Digoxin is a drug injected into an unborn baby to cause his or her heart to stop in preparation for what amounts to a stillborn birth. Angele says despite having asked for it, she did not receive the digoxin injection, which she surmises caused the baby to be born alive.
Referring to the digoxin injection, Angele told WND:
“They didn’t do it.”
She says she overheard staff talking about “dig-ing” her – injecting the digoxin – but, after taking a sonogram initially and then quickly taking the machine to another room, the staff, she says, failed to return it to her room. A sonogram machine is used to guide the needle into the unborn baby’s heart.
“I wanted it to be as humane and painless as possible for my son,” she said, choking back tears. “They told me they would guide a needle directly into his heart and it would put him to sleep, and he wouldn’t feel anything.”
“My friend and I took a taxi back to our hotel. We rested up a bit, changed and walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner. That night, all night off and on I could feel the baby still moving. I told my friend this worried me. I remember thinking it must take time to slow down and stop his heart. I was still a little ‘out of it’ from the medicine and just figured I must have been mistaken about how the digoxin was supposed to work. He was still moving when I went to sleep. I was concerned and started to call the after-hours line, but again second-guessed myself.”
“I waited outside, cramping and crying, for the clinic to open,” Angele explained. “My contractions were close. I had been having them for hours. I knocked repeatedly at the door. There was a burgundy truck in the parking lot. Ten to 15 minutes later, Debbie opened the door and let me in.
“I was directed to ‘the room.’ I had been there for a moment the day before and thought it to be a waiting room for family or driving companions. It had a leather sofa and a fabric sofa, both with a white blanket stretched across the seat cushions, a small television and a few magazines.”
However, noted Angele,
“It was not a waiting area – it was the ‘delivery room.’ It was, of course, very cold.”
“My contractions became stronger and more frequent very rapidly. I called for [staff member] Violene, thinking it was time to be moved into another room and wanting to know if I could have anything for pain. She said that medication would stop the contractions and for me to stay right there and again, she would be back. I told her it was almost time; I could just tell, and she told me I was not at all ready. She left. I began to bleed.”
After going to the bathroom, Angele says, “I came back to the sofa, (they both really smelled awful), wrapped up in the wet and sour-smelling blanket, then decided it was better without it. I rocked back and forth on my hands and knees, trying to hold the heating pad to my stomach to both relieve the pain and try to stay warm. I was looking down and saw little smears and spots of dried blood on the floor and an old cotton ball with blood on it by the fabric-covered sofa across from me. Noticing how dirty it was and how no one was in the room or even nearby in the hallway began to make me nervous and uncomfortable. I went right back to the powder room and began to try to push a lot. I thought it might help since I was told I was not nearly ready to deliver.”
“In one agonizing push, I felt and heard something come out. Then immediately another push. I was weak. I just held my head in my hands for a moment. Then I decided to stand up. I looked. There was my baby, the whitish cord and what I thought surely must be the placenta.
“I started sobbing and lay down in the floor. I stared and stared at my son. I was horrified that I had just had him in a commode.”
“His right leg moved. He curled up a bit like he was cold; I screamed for Violene! No one came. I managed to get to the doorway, pants down, blood everywhere and yelled again. I went back to my baby. I heard her say she’d be right there.”
“I showed her Rowan, told her he was alive and moving and to call 911! She took a quick look, said he’s not moving now and she’d be back to take care of things while walking out. I called her again. I was touching Rowan softly and he moved again. I called her back. Rowan jumped, I think startled by the loud sound of my calling for help. I showed her that he was moving and alive. I begged her to hurry and call 911, now!”
“She said for me to lie down and she would get her supervisor. No one came.”
“I continued to try to caress and comfort my son by rubbing his back, tummy and chest. I stroked his precious little head and kept telling him I loved him and we would be OK. I was afraid to move him because I did not want to do anything that might end up hurting him. I pushed my pinky into his little hand and his fingers curled around me. Still no one was coming. I was terrified but trying not to let him know I was scared. I kept telling him what a beautiful son he was and that we were going to be safe soon.”
“I left Rowan for two seconds, grabbed the phone, jumped back into the bathroom to be with him, calling my girlfriend ‘Sharon’ at the same time,” she wrote. “I told her Rowan was alive and no one was helping us to please call an ambulance to the clinic immediately and hung up.
“I stayed beside Rowan talking to him, telling him how strong he was being and how proud I was of him. I told him God must really want us to be together for him to make it through everything he had just been through and that Mommy was so sorry but so happy to have a chance to love him. I told him he was a strong little miracle and that I couldn’t wait for him to meet his brother and sister. I just kept touching him, trying to warm him with my hands and talking to him so he would not feel any more afraid than he already must.
“Then Rowan stopped moving.”
“He was perfect, slightly pale and a little translucent. His eyebrows were pale but wide and well-defined. You could see little hairs on his face and head. He had the tiniest little fingernails and toenails. I noticed they already had a little bit of growth. His mouth was lovely. He was this perfectly formed one pound, one ounce human being. He was beautiful. He had been so strong.
“I wrapped him in [a] blue pad instead of one of the wet blankets. I just kept kissing him and telling him I loved him so much. I told him I was sorry I couldn’t get anyone to help us and I was so sorry for ever coming here.”
“Oddly, she came back within two or three minutes,” Angele wrote. “She was more irritated and insistent than before. I was irritated that she was rushing me and that she did not seem to be in such a hurry when Rowan was alive. Where was she when Violene was supposedly going to get her and we needed her help? She asked again to take him. I flatly refused her. I could tell she was angry. I did not care. I told her that I expected her to leave me alone so I could finish praying with Rowan and that we needed privacy.”
“I was staring at my son, crying softly and noticing the dried blood on the walls. I felt so bad. I felt so helpless. I had been so wrong to come here and yet I felt so lucky to have my son born alive. I wanted to fix and change everything once I saw his precious little face and body. All we needed was someone to get us to safety. I felt so awful that the only thing I could do was tell him we were going to be OK and that would be together forever, that we were strong and a good team.
“I wondered if babies went immediately to heaven. Are they immediately given wisdom, perspective and understanding? Could Rowan see that I loved him? Could he see that I wanted him with me and that I tried to help him stay with me? Could he see everything that happened while he was here?”
“The police asked if I would like them to take Rowan to the funeral home,” she wrote. “I told them that I had made previous arrangements for him to be picked up by the funeral director.”
“I know you’re thinking, ‘How can a Christian possible make that decision?’ – but I think it happens a lot more often than you think.”