Category Archives: StopChildAbuse

Two To Ten Years For Murdering A Born Alive?

.jpg photo of three women born after an abortion procedure
Three women born after an abortion procedure attended the TX House vote.

Texas House approves bill penalizing
doctors who fail to care for infants born
after abortions

I hope no one reading this is easily deceived, contrary to what Democratic Rep. Donna Howard (who has a background as a nurse) says here, far too many members of the medical community takes it upon themselves to pick and choose who will live and who will die, and quiet obviously the oath these people once took has faded into a Hypocrite’s Oath.
Robert StrongBow

AUSTIN, TX  –  After a tense moment, Texas House members gave preliminary approval to legislation imposing a six-figure fine and possible prison time on any physician who fails to care for an infant born alive after an abortion.

The bill, from Rep. Jeff Leach of Plano, prevailed Tuesday evening after Austin Democratic Rep. Donna Howard stressed that there’s no record of post-abortion births in Texas and infanticide is already illegal.

Members divided mostly along party lines, by 93-1, to advance the “Born Alive” act, which also would impose prison time in cases of gross negligence.

But 12 Democrats, including Dallas Rep. John Turner and others mostly from Catholic-rich South Texas, joined all but two Republicans in voting for the measure. GOP Rep. Sarah Davis of Houston, filling in at the time for House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, was marked “PC,” presiding chair.  Bonnen didn’t vote, as is common practice by a speaker.

Houston Democrat Harold Dutton cast the “no” vote while 50 Democrats voted “present, not voting” at the urging of Howard, who criticized the “blatantly false, inflammatory and dangerous” proposal as a political box to be checked on legislative scorecards kept by influential GOP groups.  They included Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas, who was earlier part of a brief March boycott of the Leach-led committee hearing on the proposal.

Turner said after the vote that he didn’t view the bill as being about reproductive rights.  It “addresses an extremely rare circumstance,” he said.  Turner said while running for office last fall that he would not vote for any legislation that would further restrict abortion access.

Texas is one of 26 states with laws requiring physicians to provide medical care and treatment to born-alive infants at any stage of development, according to Americans United for Life.  But Leach told colleagues his measure adds a vital enforcement element.

Leach said enforcement “teeth” still are needed.

“It’s a good strong law,” he said.  “But I don’t believe that it goes far enough.”
Leach said House members had an opportunity to unite across party lines “and as much as the issue of abortion has historically divided this country, this state and even this body at times, to me there should be no debate on this issue.”

Howard, the sole Democrat to engage with Leach before the vote, responded that Leach’s proposal didn’t merit debate.

She said the proposal is likely to further stigmatize women’s health decisions while imposing more trauma for families faced with the tragedy of a fetus with severe abnormalities.

“To debate this bill or to try to amend it would legitimize its false narrative,” Howard said.  “The misinformation perpetuated by this bill is dangerous and is the exact type of rhetoric that leads to threats against providers.  We refuse to waste the limited time that we have here to take care of the people’s business by entertaining malicious and purely political attacks against women and doctor.”

Noting her background as a nurse, Howard told the House: “I am insulted. I am insulted by the implication that I or any other nurse or doctor … would not do any and every thing in our power to provide care to any medically stressed human being.”  She added that no legislator, “not one,” supports infanticide.

Leach said he wouldn’t try to refute Howard’s individual critiques.

“This legislation is about protecting innocent life, a baby who is born alive,” he said before calling for the vote.

Passage likely

Passage of a “Born Alive” proposal into law — among three abortion-related priorities declared by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — seems likely under GOP Gov. Greg Abbott.  A Senate-approved version differs only in its penalties.

Nationally, anti-abortion advocates have noted mild momentum for such measures. Bills have gained ground but not yet passed into law this year in Missouri, Montana and North Carolina partly in reaction to events in New York and Virginia–states mentioned by Leach–and a stymied Republican move in Congress.

Well before Tuesday’s vote, nearly every one of the House’s 83 Republicans had signed on to Leach’s legislation.  Sitting out: Rep. Tom Craddick of Midland, the former House speaker, who said he rarely co-sponsors bills, and Davis, who has advocated for abortion rights.  Speaker Bonnen also wasn’t a co-sponsor though his brother, Friendswood Rep. Greg Bonnen, was among four joint authors.

Under the House plan, the state attorney general could sue a physician who fails to treat a live infant to recover a fine of at least $100,000.  Leach’s bill also permits a third-degree felony charge, potentially leading to imprisonment for two years to 10 years, if a doctor shows “gross negligence.”  The Senate-passed “Born Alive” measure calls for the same fine and a third-degree felony charge without requiring a determination of gross negligence.  Neither proposal would penalize patients.

No Texas infants born alive?

According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, there were no reports of infants born alive in the state after abortion procedures from 2013 through 2016, the latest year of available figures.  Over the four years, more than 219,000 abortions were provided in the state, the agency says.

However, government-collected figures suggest that 25 babies were born alive during abortion procedures in 2017 in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List.

Established Texas laws

Lawmakers in 1979 revised state law to give a child born alive after an abortion or premature birth the rights of a child born after a normal gestation.  Later, the 1995 Legislature, under Gov. George W. Bush’s signature, gave rights to any person born alive.  As president, Bush in 2002 signed into law a measure similarly stating: “A living human child born alive after an abortion or premature birth is entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are granted by the laws of this state to any other child born alive after the normal gestation period.”

Before the House action, Drucilla Tigner, a strategist for the Texas ACLU, told a House panel chaired by Leach that his “Born Alive” measure isn’t needed because state and federal laws already outlaw murder, protecting people regardless of age. Lawmakers passing the legislation, Tigner said in an email, “would at best be redundant and at worst it will distort public perception of safe, legal abortion care and unfairly target those who provide it in order to restrict access.”

Among objectors, Austin physician Karen Swenson, speaking on behalf of the Texas chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said in written testimony that the idea “that physicians deliver, and then kill or neglect treating, a viable fetus is unfounded and dangerous misinformation.”

Leach and other committee members also heard testimony by three women who each said she was born after an abortion procedure — one of whom said she was born during the botched abortion.  Leach introduced one of them to House members.  Claire Culwell of Pflugerville was in the House gallery.

A national spark

In January, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed into law a proposal described by abortion rights advocates as aligning state law with what federal courts have permitted since the Supreme Court legalized a woman’s right to choose an abortion in 1973.  The revised law permits an abortion at any stage of pregnancy if there is an absence of fetal viability.  Previously, women in New York could only get abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if their lives were threatened, the fact-checking PolitiFact project reported.

In Virginia, legislators took testimony on a proposal to remove abortion-related restrictions, including a requirement that three physicians sign off on an abortion in the third trimester.  Elizabeth Nash of the non-partisan Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, said in an email that the Virginia bill would newly have enabled a single physician to determine an abortion is necessary to protect the woman’s life or if there’s a severe health condition.

Nash wrote: “The New York bill was really about changing their law to match up with U.S. Supreme Court decisions.  And the Virginia law was about getting care to patients in pretty serious situations a little faster since you wouldn’t have to track down two other physicians.  The political firestorm around these efforts is a far cry from the actual measures, and it’s really about manufacturing outrage over abortion generally,” Nash commented.

Meantime, conservatives in the U.S. Senate in February tried to pass legislation threatening prison for doctors failing to save infants born alive after abortion procedures.  Democrats blocked the measure, the Associated Press then reported.

TX Boyfriend Charged With Felony Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Brownwood Texas man charged with felony child abuse
Evan Williford, 21, is charged with 1st Degree Injury to a Child.

Mother’s boyfriend facing child abuse
charges for critically injuring Brownwood
infant

BROWNWOOD, TX  –  A Brownwood man accused critically injuring his girlfriend’s infant son is now facing felony child abuse charges.

Evan Williford, 21, is charged with 1st Degree Injury to a Child in connection to the serious bodily injury a 7-month-old.

Emergency crews found the infant suffering from undisclosed injuries at an apartment on the 300 block of Bluffview Road around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.

He was initially transported to a local hospital then flown via medical helicopter to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Ft. Worth to continue receiving treatment.

His current condition is not known at this time, and the extent of his injuries has not been released.

Williford was arrested at the scene of the crime for unrelated drug charges.

The child abuse charge was added during an investigation headed by the Texas Rangers, Child Protective Services, and the Brownwood Police Department.

The investigation is still ongoing.

Our Heroes Should Be Focused On Job

.jpg photo of America, home of the Free and the Brave graphic
America, home of the Free and the Brave

Army Secretary apologizes to military
families living in dangerous housing
conditions

The Pentagon  –  Secretary of the Army Mark Esper on Friday apologized to thousands of families living in dangerous conditions in military housing, which has long been maintained not by the military but by private contractors.

Families like that of Jana Wanner, who testified before Congress Wednesday.

“Mold was growing out of the wall of our shower,” Wanner said.  “They told us, and this is a direct quote, let the mold just fall out.”

Other major problems:  lead in the water, asbestos, leaking ceilings, roaches, mice and rats.

“I am infuriated by what I’m hearing today,” said Sen. Martha McSally.  “This is disgusting.”

Esper said he wants to renegotiate contracts with property management companies to give tenants more power, including “a clear bill of rights for our families — for our soldiers and our families.”

“So they know what they can do what their rights are that they can bring to the chain of command if they feel that the contractors are not meeting their needs,” Esper said.

One change would hit those companies right where it hurts.

“If a family isn’t getting the service they want then I think they should have the ability to withhold their basic allowance for housing payments,” Esper said.

Sgt. Major of the Army Daniel Dailey worries contractors’ neglect could affect recruiting and mission success.  If soldiers are worried about how their family is surviving in the U.S. with mold and rats, how can they do their job overseas?

“We need our soldiers focused on doing their job fighting and winning our nation’s wars,” Dailey said.

Wanner, whose family lives at Fort Meade in Maryland, is encouraged by the new focus on military housing conditions but worries if it will last.

“I don’t want the steam to be lost and I want to keep moving forward and I want that change made and I want families to be heard,” Wanner said.

Just four years ago, the Pentagon investigated military family housing and found “pervasive health and safety hazards” — but the conditions continued to fester.  CBS News asked Esper if that might happen again, and he said no.  This time, he vowed, “we’re going to get it right.”

Military Families Testify About Housing Conditions

Military families testify about ‘slum-like’
conditions in some private housing facilities

Feb. 13, 2019 – 3:48 – Shepard Smith, Fox News

Survey:  Conditions at Private Military Housing Facilities are not unique to specific companies.

Some military families find mold, lead paint, rats and roaches in privatized base housing.

The Families testified that some private based housing done by contractors, is full of lead, mold, rats and roaches.

That’s according to a survey by a non-profit Family advisory network.

A Family in Maryland that participated in that survey say a rainstorm caused flooding and that exposed Lead paint that made them sick.

They reached out to the Housing Company, Corvias.

A spokesman said Providing housing for our armed service members is a privilege and Corvias is making change necessary to meet the “gold standard” level of service both we and our residents expect.

Military Families haven’t gotten gold level service.

Some Military Families are testifying about their experiences; national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon.

MILITARY HOUSING SURVEY

More than half (55.53%) of respondents had a negative or very negative experience with privatized military housing.

Military Family Advisory Network

From Bad To Prison Time

.jpg photo of mother accused of Child Abuse
Lindsey Michelle Smith, 38

Police: Mom charged with abuse tried to
have child kidnapped

RALEIGH, NC  –  A North Carolina woman already charged with child abuse is accused of trying to convince someone to abduct her daughter from her foster home and hide her in Florida until she turns 18.

The News & Observer reports 47-year-old Russell Jay Smith and 38-year-old Lindsey Michelle Smith were charged earlier this year with child abuse for inflicting “serious mental injury” on their pre-teen daughter for more than two years.

.jpg photo of father accused of Child Abuse
Russell Jay Smith, 47

They were accused of putting her through “extreme isolation,” forcing her to remain standing for hours, forbidding her from speaking to her siblings and failing to provide her with adequate education.

Lindsey Smith is now charged with soliciting someone to commit a felony and felony obstruction of justice.  She’s been ordered held without bail.

The report didn’t include comment from her.