Belkis Gonzalez in her mug shot.
MIAMI, FL March 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com)– Two felony charges were dropped last week against unlicensed abortion clinic worker Belkis Gonzalez, who was accused of taking a baby born alive after an incomplete abortion and stuffing her in a bag.
Doctors who had been scheduled to testify against Gonzalez have changed their opinions, leaving prosecutors without a case.
“Everyone wants to use common sense. There was no common sense involved in this case,” said Ed Griffith, spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, this morning, according to Operation Rescue. “We went strictly on the letter of the law. The physicians backed away from the position that she was practicing medicine. We had no prosecutable case.”
Gonzalez was charged in March, 2009, with the unlicensed practice of medicine and evidence tampering related to the death of Baby Shanice Denise Osbourne in 2006. Osbourne was born alive, moving and gasping for breath at 22 weeks gestation after abortionist Pierre Renelique failed to show up to complete the abortion.
Gonzalez allegedly cut the baby’s umbilical cord, shoved her into a biohazard bag, then tossed her body on the roof of the clinic to hide her from authorities. A tip led to police finally recovering the body.
The case prompted outrage from the pro-life community and drew a strong response from the Florida legislature; 44 members of the Florida House signed a letter urging Florida State Attorney Katherine Rundle to criminally charge those responsible for Shanice’s death. Nevertheless, it took nearly three years for prosecutors to finally charge Gonzalez, and that was only after public pressure was brought to bear.
“We spoke with both the Hialeah police and the prosecutor’s office in this case numerous times,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue, who has been closely following the case, today. “The police indicated to us that they wanted Gonzalez charged with a homicide, but prosecutors dragged their feet every inch of the way.”
Renelique, the abortionist involved in the case, had his Florida medical license revoked over the incident. Shanice’s mother, Sycloria Williams, has since expressed remorse for the attempted abortion and has filed a civil suit against those responsible.
“There is no fundamental difference between what Gonzalez did to Baby Shanice and what Kermit Gosnell did to babies at his ‘house of horrors’ in Philadelphia,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The lack of common sense lies with the prosecutor’s office, not with the law.”
Sullenger said that there is “little doubt” that Florida prosecutors did not pursue the case aggressively. “When abortion is involved, it can be very difficult to get justice because of a political climate that seeks to protect abortionists at any cost. That is beginning to change, but this case illustrates that there is still a long way to go.”