When we were in our early thirties and living in Maine, Rita gave birth to Angela in Portland. She was 2 pounds, 6 ounces at birth and 28 weeks in the womb. She spent the next seven weeks in the neonatal intensive care units of Maine Medical Centers in Portland and Lewiston. Angela now has two beautiful daughters of her own (Gianna and Elena), a great husband as well as a master’s degree in education. Since Rita’s own OB_GYN doctor lived ninety miles north and near where we lived, the second year resident who delivered her was Dr. Bruce Churchill. He carefully explained to us what to expect and that because of her early arrival, she most likely wouldn’t cry; that was the only thing he was wrong about. Angela was a fighter from the jump.
Dr. Churchill’s grace under pressure, skill and personal warmth will never be forgotten by us. He was named “Physician of the Year” by the Portland newspaper in 2000. At one point during those trying first few weeks, he offered us the second bedroom in his apartment because of the travel required by Rita’s successful effort to establish her nursing. She initially used a breast pump and delivered frozen milk in half ounce containers, which the nurses would feed to Angela a little at a time. When researching this post, we learned that Dr. Churchill was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) in 2006, but continues to practice at the Coastal Woman’s Healthcare Center in Scarborough. He and his wife, Cindy, lead the annual ALS march in Portland to raise research funds to fight his terminal disease. He was the varsity girl’s volleyball assistant coach at Greeley High School. The annual girls volleyball state championship tournament has been renamed “The Bruce Churchill Classic”. He specializes in adolescent care and menopause. His increasing disability forced him to stop delivering babies in 2008. Not many deserve the honorific, “Doctor” more than Bruce.
The other end of the spectrum fell in Kansas.
Kelly was fourteen and pregnant since she was thirteen. When her baby was twenty weeks developed, and after four days in a Wichita, Kansas motel during which time her cervix was incrementally dilated, her womb and amniotic fluid were injected with a saline or urea solution. The baby swallows the stuff; she suffers burned skin and is poisoned. A saline poisoned baby can take up to an hour to die. A baby at twenty weeks recognizes her mother’s voice, moves her mouth, grasps, blinks, has hair and fingernails; her gender is distinguishable with ultrasound, and she feels pain. Kelly was taken into a room with four or five other mothers and awaited the doctor’s order to bring her to a smaller room that served as the final solution. The nurses instructed her to sit on what resembled a toilet and push. Her dead baby fell into the toilet. The remains of the babies were burned in an incinerator, which emitted smoke not unlike the smoke produced at veterinarian clinics or Auschwitz. Link to interview with Kelly.
Dr. George Tiller owned one of the three abortion facilities nationwide that performed late term abortions into the final month of pregnancy, killing many babies as developed or more developed than our Angela. Until the procedure named as “partial birth abortion” was banned in 2003, Tiller did them. This “intact dilation and extraction” method involved turning the baby and delivering all but the baby’s head, then jamming a pair of surgical scissors into the baby’s head and opening them, finally inserting a vacuum catheter in the wound. The baby’s brain is sucked out, collapsing the skull. After this barbarity was proscribed, Tiller was left with two still legal procedures for late term abortions: the saline burn and poison method and the other D&E (Dilation and Extraction). The cervix is dilated and forceps are used to literally tear the baby limb from limb, twisting legs off like one would test a cooked chicken, crushing the skull, snapping the spine and pulling the baby out piece by piece. In most states, if someone is convicted of doing this to a live guinea pig, they will go to jail for up to five years.
Tiller’s clinic performed between 50,000 and 60,000 abortions during his career, which exceeds the total number of Americans killed in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. His father was also a physician and did illegal abortions before Roe v Wade, a mentor while young George was growing up starting a multigenerational thriving business. Tiller made millions and donated to many politicians through his ProKanDo PAC. ProKanDo was the largest PAC
in Kansas. One of the major beneficiaries was former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, now the Obama Secretary of Health and Human Services. She collected tens of thousands from Tiller over the years and profitably helped keep the law off his back.
Tiller managed to circumvent Kansas law for thirty years. He aborted the babies of many minors and did not report the sexual abuse or statutory rape as the law requires. Kansas law also states that two physicians must authorize late term abortions and both certify that the abortion would prevent a “permanent and irreversible injury to a major bodily function” to the mother, an occurrence that was used by Tiller in 414 cases in 2005 alone. When these were investigated by Dr. Paul McHugh, a psychiatrist contracted by the Kansas Attorney General, he found only one or two that may have actually qualified. Among the justifications were such things as delaying the mother’s education and missing a rock concert. Link to Obama record on life issues
The abortionist who helped to certify the abortions, Dr. Ann Kristen Neuhaus, had her license to practice medicine revoked in 2012 after a six year effort, when she was found to have participated in numerous illegal late term abortions while working with Tiller. She routinely used a computer multiple choice quiz for her psychological “evaluations”, and in some cases never met the patient. Tiller had announced his intention to voluntarily surrender his license and retire in 2009, when he was shot dead through the eye while in church. Which church is hard to imagine. His killer was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Tiller and Churchill. A tale of two doctors. Your call.