Florida reps call for murder charges after baby survives abortion

HIALEAH, Fla. — Several members of the Florida House Republican Caucus are calling on the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office to hold the appropriate individuals accountable for the death of Shanice Williams, who survived an abortion and was put in a trash bag to die.

"Administrative action against the physician by the Department of Health is not enough," said House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach. "Anything less than murder charges being filed is unacceptable."

Sycloria Williams, then 18, went into a Florida abortion clinic to abort her 23-week-old preborn baby, but instead she gave birth to a living, breathing girl. A staffer placed the baby in a trash bag to die, according to news reports.

The Thomas More Society has filed suit against the clinic and doctor on behalf of the dead infant. The suit names 13 defendants, including abortion clinic owner, Belkis Gonzalez, abortion doctor Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacques Renelique and their conglomerate of four South Florida abortion clinics.

The suit alleges unlicensed and unauthorized medical practice, botched abortions, evasive tactics, false medical records and the killing, hiding and disposing of the baby.

The Florida Board of Medicine has found Renelique guilty of medical malpractice and revoked his medical license. According to officials Renelique was scheduled to perform the abortion but didn't arrive in time.

According to the child's mother, she learned she was pregnant early in July 2006 when she went to the hospital complaining of abdominal pain and bleeding. She decided to terminate the pregnancy, and visited the Miramar Women's Center in Miramar, Fla., where she was referred to abortion practioner Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique, who inserted laminaria sticks to dilate the cervix and prescribed additional medication to be taken that night in preparation for the procedure the next morning at a Hialeah clinic.

While waiting hours for Renelique to arrive, Williams was told by staff members to "keep your legs together and sit down." According to her attorney no one called 911 or tried to get medical help. Eventually she gave birth on the recliner.

Immobilized by shock, Williams watched Gonzalez run into the room, cut the umbilical cord with a pair of orange-handled shears, stuff the baby and afterbirth into a red biohazard bag and throw the bag into a garbage can. Shortly thereafter, the doctor arrived at the clinic and sedated Williams, who remained in total confusion and shock. The doctor's medical records failed to indicate that Williams had delivered a live baby that was killed by the clinic.

Notified at least three times about the live birth by anonymous callers, police discovered the child's decomposing body in a cardboard box in a closet at the clinic. A previous search of the clinic yielded no evidence of the child.

Although an autopsy confirmed the child was born alive, the examiner blamed the death on "extreme prematurity," ignoring eyewitness testimony that the baby had been murdered. The Thomas More Society took an interest in the case when a local law school professor was quoted in The Miami Herald to the effect that if the baby wasn't "viable," then it "couldn't be a case of homicide."

"That opinion is dead wrong," said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society. "A disabled or dying patient may not be 'viable' in the sense of being able to live very long or without help, but if you kill them, it's murder. This was a case of infanticide, and we're not going to let it go ignored or unpunished."