Prosecutor in Florida Won’t Budge on Filing Charges in Botched Abortion Case
by Steven Ertelt
February 23, 2009
Miami, FL (LifeNews.com) — Florida State Attorney Katherine Rundle continues to irk pro-life advocates by failing to file charges in a botched abortion case that has drawn national attention. Rundle responded on Monday to calls form the Florida legislature and two pro-life groups to move ahead with charges.
The incident involves the birth of a baby who was born alive on the second day of a two-day abortion procedure. The abortion practitioner in the case, Pierre Renelique, saw the Board of Medicine revoke his medical license earlier this month.
As LifeNews.com reported, the Florida House of Representatives issued Rundle a letter calling for criminal charges to be filed in the case.
The Christian Defense Coalition held a press conference on Friday asking for charges to be filed and Operation Rescue echoed that call.
Rundle issued a statement today indicating no decision has been made on the filing of criminal charges against Renelique and others involved the intentional killing of a baby who was supposed to have become an abortion victim but was born alive at a Hialeah abortion business.
"While we understand the emotional perception that this is an ‘easy matter’ nothing could be further from the truth," Rundle said. "The legal and ethical requirements that we be able to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt dictate that we thoroughly complete our investigation before we come to a legal decision in this matter."
Operation Rescue spokeswoman Cheryl Sullenger told LifeNews.com she is disappointed that Rundle won’t move forward and, instead, attacked pro-life advocates who have been pressing for justice for baby Shanice.
"Rundle’s statement implying we are ’emotional’ is insulting to those of us who have fought for justice for Baby Shanice Denise Osbourne for over two and a half years," she said.
"If Rundle won’t do her job and bring these killers to justice, it is time to go over her head to the State Attorney General’s office," she added. "Maybe a little emotion from the State Attorney’s office might help her understand the need for justice in this tragic murder of a defenseless baby."
Sullenger said the evidence she’s seen makes it clear charges are warranted.
"We have seen the results of two autopsy reports that indicate that Baby Shanice had air in her lungs and was born alive, and that the actions of Relelique and his unlicensed workers caused the baby’s death," she told LifeNews.com.
Sullenger said her group is now calling on Attorney General Bill McCollum to intervene in the case.
"We urge those who, like us, are concerned about the value of each human life, to contact McCollum and ask that he assign a prosecutor that will hold Shanice’s killers accountable for her death," she said.
In the botched abortion incident, which took place in 2006, Sycloria Williams went to the GYN Diagnostic Center abortion facility in Hialeah, outside Miami, for an abortion.
She had laminaria inserted and went back the next day for the abortion and gave birth instead to a baby named Shanice. Renelique did not show up for a scheduled abortion, causing Shanice to be born alive.
Unlicensed abortion worker Belkis Gonzalez cut the umbilical cord and placed the baby in a biohazard bag and threw her out with the trash, even though she was breathing at the time. Gonzalez later stashed the baby’s body on the abortion clinic roof to hide it from authorities.
The Florida medical board found Renelique guilty of medical malpractice and wrongly delegating a medical responsibility meant for physicians to unlicensed personnel.
In a letter dated February 17, House Speaker Ray Sansom told Rundle, "The undersigned Members of the Florida Legislature from both sides of the debate on this issue strongly urge you to take appropriate action against the individuals involved in these morally reprehensible acts."
Williams has filed a civil lawsuit in the case.
ACTION: Contact Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum at 866-966-7226 or [email protected] and ask him to prosecute the death of Shanice.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.