Abortion Center Staffer Charged in Florida Case Involving Botched Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
March 4, 2009
Miami, FL (LifeNews.com) — An abortion center staffer has finally been charged in a botched abortion case that has drawn national attention. The incident involves the birth of a baby who was born alive on the second day of a two-day abortion procedure, killed, and then hidden from investigating authorities.
The abortion practitioner in the case, Pierre Renelique, saw the Board of Medicine revoke his medical license last month.
Now, unlicensed abortion center staffer Belkis Gonzalez was arrested on Tuesday and jailed on two felony counts related to the death of a baby, named Shanice, who was born alive after the botched abortion in the 2006 case.
According to the arrest warrant, Gonzalez was charged with the unlicensed practice of a health care profession resulting in serious bodily injury, a second degree felony, and with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, a third degree felony.
If convicted of the charges, Gonzalez faces a minimum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Operation Rescue president Tory Newman, who obtained a copy of the arrest warrant, tells LifeNews.com that Gonzalez is held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami on a $50,000 bond.
"For two and a half years we have worked to expose Gonzalez’s actions that resulted in the death of Baby Shanice and bring her to justice. Today, we are gratified that Ms. Gonzalez is finally behind bars where she belongs," he said.
"This victory belongs to all who called and wrote asking for justice to be done. There is little doubt this would have been swept under the rug and forgotten if not for the public pressure that was brought to bear," Newman continued.
The charges came after OR and other pro-life groups joined the Florida House of Representatives in asking Florida State Attorney Katherine Rundle to pursue charges in connection with the botched abortion.
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.
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.
Williams has filed a civil lawsuit in the case.
* Photo courtesy Operation Rescue.
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