NRL News
Page 23
March 2009
Volume 36
Issue 3

Death of Baby Born Alive after Abortion Leads to
Criminal Charges, License Revocation

By Liz Townsend

Florida authorities have filed criminal charges against the co-owner of an abortion clinic, and revoked the medical license of an abortionist, in connection with the death of baby Shanice Denise Osbourne in July 2006.

According to eyewitnesses, Shanice Osbourne was born alive in a Hialeah, Florida abortion clinic while her 18-year-old mother awaited the arrival of the abortionist, who was late. 

On March 3, police arrested clinic owner Belkis Gonzalez on felony charges of “tampering with evidence and practicing healthcare without a license that resulted in injury,” according to the Herald. Gonzales “is accused of cutting Shanice’s umbilical cord on July 20, 2006, after the surprise [live] birth inside the clinic, and sweeping the baby into a medical waste bag,” the Herald reported. “Then, Hialeah police said, she hid the body from detectives for one week.”

In addition, the Florida Board of Medicine revoked the license of abortionist Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique February 6, upholding Department of Health allegations that he “falsified medical records, inappropriately delegated tasks to unlicensed personnel and committed malpractice,” according to CNN.

The health department identified six specific instances of misconduct that resulted in the conclusion that Renelique had committed medical malpractice. In summary, “Dr. Renelique’s failure to practice medicine with that level of care, skill and treatment that is recognized as being acceptable, as well as his willingness to falsify medical records, poses a serious and immediate danger to the public,” the health department wrote.

The baby’s mother, Sycloria Williams, has also sued Renelique, Gonzalez, the clinic, and its staff, seeking damages. She alleges in her suit that “she witnessed the murder of her daughter” and said she “sustained severe emotional distress, shock and psychic trauma which have resulted in discernible bodily injury.”

The tragedy began after Renelique gave the 18-year-old Williams drugs June 19 to begin aborting her unborn baby, according to the AP. Renelique reportedly was going to complete the abortion—kill the baby in utero—at the A GYN abortion clinic in Hialeah the next day.

However, the abortionist did not arrive at the clinic when scheduled, and Williams went into labor, according to the AP. Renelique was still not present when Williams “felt a large pain” and delivered a baby girl, according to the suit. “The staff began screaming and pandemonium ensued,” the suit alleges. “Sycloria watched in horror and shock as her baby writhed with her chest rising and falling as she breathed.”

The police affidavit describes the actions of the abortion mill staff after Baby Shanice was born, referring to Williams as the Complainant. “A woman the Complainant later identified as Ms. Belkis Gonzalez came into the room, cut the umbilical cord, swept the infant into a trash can with a red bag along with the gauze used during the procedure, and took the bag out of the room,” the affidavit states.

Williams’s suit claims that clinic staff “did not call 911 or seek any medical or neonatal assistance of any kind for either the mother or the baby at any time.” Renelique arrived at the clinic about an hour later and gave Williams a shot to put her to sleep. “She awoke after the procedure and was sent home still in complete shock,” the suit alleges.

Williams “was awake for all that horror,” her attorney Tom Pennekamp Jr. told Florida Catholic. “To see your baby gasping for air and just scooped into a bag like that is horrifying.”

The events came to light through a series of anonymous tips. Police first searched the clinic on the morning of July 22, and “all of the red biohazard bags were opened and searched, but positively none of the bags contained the remains of an infant,” the affidavit states. “A complete room-by-room search of the entire premises, except for its dropped ceiling, proved negative for an infant.”

Both Gonzalez and Renelique concealed their role in the baby’s death, both in the medical records and in statements to police. As police searched the abortion mill, Gonzalez told investigators that Renelique had performed an abortion with forceps and suction. She “denied that the infant came out alive and crying,” the affidavit alleges. “She stated she was unable to tell the gender of the infant because it came out in pieces. She denied cutting the umbilical cord and throwing the infant into a bag.”

In Williams’s medical records, Renelique concocted an elaborate story about his alleged involvement in the abortion, including details about the abortion technique used and medication given. “In fact,” the health department complaint matter-of-factly states, “Respondent prepared a false medical record when he knew what had actually happened.”

Police received another tip July 28 that the baby’s body was back in the clinic. “When officers searched the Hialeah clinic a second time, they saw the same two medical waste boxes that they had thoroughly searched on 22 July 2006,” the affidavit states. “This time, one of the medical waste boxes contained biohazard bags with the remains of an infant, and the Complainant’s placenta and an umbilical cord remnant.”

Publicity from the discovery of Shanice’s body led to charges in 2007 against Gonzalez and clinic co-owner Siomara Senises and other clinic employees for other cases in which they performed abortions and dispensed medicine without licenses at the A GYN abortion mills in Miramar and Hialeah, according to the Miami Herald.. Gonzalez and Senises both pled no contest to the charges in December 2007 and September 2008, respectively, and received probation, according to Williams’s complaint. However, the complaint alleges, Gonzalez and Senises continue to operate abortion clinics in Florida with ownership under Gonzalez’s daughter’s name.

“Virtually everyone who handled Sycloria and Shanice didn’t have a medical license,” Pennekamp told Florida Catholic. “I can’t even find a name for people who do this kind of thing. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time nor the last time something like this has happened.”