Category Archives: Child Innocence

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.

VA Woman Parties, Baby Alone 15 Hours In Crib

.jpg photo of mother who did drugs for 15 hours without checking on baby in crib
Christan P. Haynes, 19

Waynesboro woman did drugs prior to baby being found dead

WAYNESBORO, VA  –  The case of a Waynesboro woman whose baby was found dead last year concluded Wednesday with a conviction.

Christian P. Haynes, 19, is facing the possibility of 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in Waynesboro Circuit Court to a felony charge of child abuse.

Zayden Haynes, just 7 months old, was found dead March 3, 2018, after his mother neglected to check on him for 15 hours, according to Waynesboro assistant prosecutor Elysse Stolpe.

The baby was placed in a crib with an adult blanket, an adult pillow and had a bottle propped up onto his mouth when Haynes last saw him the night before at 11 p.m., Stolpe said.

The next day at 11 a.m., Haynes heard the baby crying but opted to let him “cry it out, even though she hadn’t checked on him for about 12 hours,” according to Stolpe.

Three hours later, Haynes, 18 years old at the time, woke up shortly after 2 p.m. and posted a selfie online.  Five minutes after that a 911 call was placed when the baby was found unresponsive.

Stolpe said Haynes began smoking meth three days prior to the boy’s death, which kept her awake for days.  The prosecutor said Haynes was tired and “coming down off that high” when she failed to properly care for her child.

A search of Haynes’ residence revealed there was methamphetamine and marijuana in the home.  A smoking device was found near the child’s crib and another one was discovered next to his playpen in another room, Stolpe said.  Haynes also admitted to sometimes smoking meth inside a closet in the baby’s room.

Stolpe said a drug screen done at the home by an Augusta County Child Protective Services employee showed Haynes had meth and marijuana in her system.

“This underscores that drugs aren’t just a victimless crime,” Stolpe said.  “A child is dead because his mother was too busy getting high and then sleeping it off.”

Stolpe said the Waynesboro Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office considered a more serious homicide charge, but said an autopsy was inconclusive in determining if the baby suffocated to death.  “Sudden unexplained infant death associated with unsafe bedding” was listed as the cause of death, according to Stolpe.

Following her guilty plea, Haynes, who has no prior criminal record, was allowed to remain free on bond.

She will be sentenced July 3.

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.

A Child’s Sanctuary Until Born

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
IT IS MURDER!!!!

AG Paxton Defends State Ban on Barbaric Abortion Procedure at the 5th Circuit

AUSTIN, TX  –  A legal team from Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office today urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to overturn a lower court ruling blocking part of Senate Bill 8, a law enacted by the Texas Legislature, which prohibits ghastly dismemberment abortions.

Abortion by dismemberment, which is performed in the second trimester, kills fetuses by using forceps to tear them apart limb by limb while they are still alive, causing the unborn child to bleed to death in their mother’s womb.  The law does not prohibit other second-trimester abortions.

“My office’s legal team exposed the horrific truth of dismemberment abortions, a gruesome, inhumane, and barbaric procedure that completely disregards respect for human life,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “During today’s arguments, we demonstrated that Senate Bill 8 is constitutional, and I’m optimistic that the 5th Circuit will uphold Texas’ lawful authority to protect unborn children from this abhorrent procedure.”

Although the U.S. Supreme Court previously held that states may pass laws to protect and foster respect for unborn life by banning inhumane abortion procedures, the U.S. District Court in Austin ruled against Senate Bill 8 the day before it was to take effect.

The Texas law was put on weeklong trial in November 2017 and the district court ruled in favor of abortion providers who challenged Senate Bill 8.  Attorney General Paxton immediately filed a notice of appeal to the 5th Circuit.  A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit heard today’s oral arguments.

View Attorney General Paxton’s brief defending Senate Bill 8 here:
http://bit.ly/2EWQmaJ

IL Mother Charged With Attempted Murder

.jpg photo of woman accused of attempted murder of her child
Celeste T. Christian, 21, was charged with attempted murder after trying to drown her 3-year-old son.

Chicago mom tried to drown son, 3, days
after posting online that he had died: police

CHICAGO, IL  –  Authorities in Chicago this week said a South Side mother falsely wrote on social media that her 3-year-old son had died, then tried to drown him in a bathtub days later.

Celeste T. Christian, 21, was charged with attempted murder as her son remained hospitalized in critical condition, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The child was being treated at University of Chicago Medical Center for asphyxiation and water in his lungs.  Police said someone had held the toddler underwater.

Christian told police the child had wet himself after the father dropped him off, and gave him a bath.  She claimed she left her son by himself for five to 10 minutes to check on her 2-year-old daughter.

She heard splashing and ran back to the bathroom to find the boy limp in the water, with foam coming out his nose and mouth, and called 911.

An hour before the child arrived at the hospital, a doctor received a call from an organ and tissue donor asking if the boy was there yet, police said.  The donor did not reveal who told them the toddler would be there.

When police interviewed the child’s father, he told them Christian had earlier announced on social media that their son had died and wanted to make funeral plans, the paper reported.

Christian was arrested and held without bail at Cook County Jail.