Law Firm for Victim in Florida Botched Abortion Case Wants More Charges Filed
by Steven Ertelt
March 5, 2009
Miami, FL (LifeNews.com) — An abortion center staffer has been charged with minor violations in connections with a gruesome botched abortion case, but the pro-life law firm that is representing the mother of the baby killed after her birth wants murder charges filed as well. The case involves unlicensed abortion center staffer Belkis Gonzalez.
She 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.
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.
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.
But Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, tells LifeNews.com that those charges should just be the beginning of the level of accountability Gonzalez should face.
"While we most certainly welcome the bringing of criminal charges against Ms. Gonzalez, whose abortion business represents nothing less than a serious public health hazard, we must express our grave disappointment, indeed our outrage, that no homicide charges have been brought on account of the wrongful death of this little girl," Brejcha said.
He said the evidence in the case makes it clear that a person was killed shortly after her birth and that someone should be held accountable.
"Not only the coroner’s report, but also eyewitness testimony, prove that this infant was born alive then brutally killed," he explained. "That constitutes homicide under the law of Florida and treating it as anything less than that ignores fundamental legal principles and offends simple human decency."
"We demand that Dade County’s law enforcers add a homicide charge, or at least an attempted homicide charge, without any more delay," he added.
The pro-life law firm has been involved in the investigation of and follow-up to the case and filed a civil lawsuit that Sycloria Williams, the mother of the baby, is behind. Gonzalez is named as a defendant in that case.
In the botched abortion incident, which took place in 2006, 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 abortion practitioner in the case, Pierre Renelique, saw the Board of Medicine revoke his medical license last month. The Florida medical board found him guilty of medical malpractice and wrongly delegating a medical responsibility meant for physicians to unlicensed personnel.
Miami lawyer Tom Pennekamp is the local attorney in the case.
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