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Friday, April 15, 2005

'Bizarre' Caesarean kidnappings increase
By Richard Willing, USA TODAY

The pregnant woman was covered with blood, and Steve Hensley, the police chief in Fort Mitchell, Ky., could scarcely believe her tale.
Sarah Brady, 26, said she had been lured to an apartment in Fort Mitchell that was outfitted with surgical tools and a nursery. There, a woman who had promised to hand over a mis-addressed baby present attacked Brady in an attempt to extract her unborn child by Caesarean section.

Instead, Brady, who was nine months pregnant, fought back and fatally stabbed her assailant, unemployed nanny Katie Smith, 22. Police say Smith had fooled her family into thinking she was pregnant by wearing padded maternity clothes and had planned to steal Brady's fetus � and presumably kill Brady � as the final act in a gruesome ruse.

"It's the most bizarre case I've seen in 22 years" of police work, Hensley says of the attack, which occurred Feb 10.

The incident came two months after a similar attack in Missouri in which the mother was killed and her baby survived. Such attacks on pregnant women are rare, but they have become increasingly common across the nation in recent years: The attack on Brady was the third such assault on an expectant mother since December 2003 and the ninth since 1987, according to statistics compiled by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va.

Seven of the nine pregnant women who were attacked died; seven of the nine babies survived. (Brady's attorneys in Covington, Ky., did not immediately return phone calls; the Associated Press has reported that she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, McKaila Grace Hatton, on Feb. 16.)

Caesarean kidnappings represent a small fraction of the 232 infant abductions by non-family members since 1983, according to the center. But such kidnappings � along with those of infants from public places such as shopping malls � have increased as thefts of newborns from hospitals have declined, says Cathy Nahirny, a supervisor at the center.

She says improvements in security at hospital maternity wards have led to forms of kidnapping that reflect the desperation and the creativity of those determined to steal children.

Although "it's assumed that (the perpetrators) must be delusional," Nahirny says, "they (also) are very organized and quite rational. They follow a predictable pattern."

The assailants in all nine cases were women, but they had help from two men in one instance and from another woman in another.

The Kentucky case had several elements in common with earlier Caesarean kidnappings.

Smith, who was not married, carried around an ultrasound picture of someone else's unborn twins and told family members that she had given birth previously but that the babies had died. Hensley says he's found no evidence Smith ever gave birth.

Smith apparently selected Brady as her victim by scanning an online baby registry. Smith then lured the expectant mother to her apartment by claiming that a baby present meant for Brady mistakenly had been delivered there.

Earlier Caesarean kidnappings followed a similar pattern.

Last December, 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett of Skidmore, Mo., was killed and her 8-month-old fetus was removed, allegedly by Lisa Montgomery.

Montgomery, 37, of Melvern, Kan., had posed as an expectant mother before the crime and then showed the baby boy off as her own to neighbors and family members, including her unsuspecting husband, the FBI says. She had won her victim's confidence by posing in e-mails as a fellow dog fancier, according to the FBI. Montgomery is scheduled to stand trial in the murder in April 2006.

Previous kidnappings by Caesarean have occurred in Oklahoma in 2003, Ohio in 2000, California in 1998, Alabama in 1996, Illinois in 1995, Texas in 1992 and New Mexico in 1987.

In the New Mexico case, Darci Pierce, a 19-year-old married woman, abducted a pregnant woman from outside a clinic in Albuquerque, choked her into unconsciousness, then used car keys to cut into the woman and deliver a baby girl. Pierce was caught when she sought a birth certificate at a local hospital and an exam showed she had not recently delivered.

It was the first recorded case of what a July 2002 study in the Journal of Forensic Sciences would call "newborn kidnapping by Caesarean section." Ann Burgess, a professor of nursing at Boston College and the study's lead author, says the women behind such attacks have a "childbearing fantasy" but are "cold, calculating and extremely self-centered."

Pierce was found guilty but mentally ill and was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison.

Of the six other alleged assailants besides Pierce, Smith and Montgomery, two received prison terms, two committed suicide, one was placed on probation and another was found incompetent to stand trial.

Since 1983, there have been 116 thefts of infants younger than 6 months by non-family members from hospitals or birthing centers, according to statistics by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The center trains police and social services workers to prevent child abductions.

Such abductions from hospitals have declined since 1991, when 11 of the 17 abductions that year were from hospitals. In 2003 and 2004, a total of 12 abductions were recorded by the center. Three were from hospitals.
A need passed along by Pastor Don Flynn,
Riverside Community Church, Nutley, NJ


Dear Friends in Christ:

Greetings from your brothers and sisters in Christ at Riverside Community Church in Nutley, NJ! I hope you are remaining encouraged in Him and walking in His joy.

We have been given a great opportunity at our church to invest in the lives of two young couples from the seminary in Nyack, NY during this next year. But, we have an URGENT need: housing. Because finances are currently very tight at the church, we are extremely limited in our ability to provide financial compensation for them but if we could provide housing in the North Jersey area for one year, that would be a huge boost. Could you help me pass the word regarding the possibility of someone having a housing opportunity that would fit this situation? For example, there are times when an elderly person would benefit by having a seminary couple live with them to help provide company and minimal care. Sometimes a family needs a housesitter for an extended period of time for whatever reason. And sometimes the Lord will tug on the hearts of His people to open their homes and have a young couple live with them, and see it as an investment in the future of His kingdom. Might that be someone you know? Anyone with leads can contact me directly and we can bounce around ideas.

If nothing opens up and we need to go the traditional route, each couple would be looking for a 1 (but preferably 2) BR apartment. But I don�t need to remind you that these are very expensive in this area and seminary students are usually living on rations. (I remember this well.) The greater their expenses, the more they will need to find outside employment, and the less hours they would be available for ministry. It can be very tricky. So, we need some miracles��fast. Please pray. And let�s believe the Lord for great things.

Thanks for considering this. Shalom,
Pastor Don Flynn Don@rccmetrocma.org (973) 667-6718

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Meet Judge Greer's pastor

This is a must read. Joseph Farah has hit the nail on the head. Thank God for men like Pastor William Rice of the Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater, Florida.

Joseph Farah / Between the Lines WorldNetDaily Exclusive Commentary
Posted: March 29, 2005 1:00 a.m. Eastern � 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

I am convinced God uses trials like the Terri Schiavo case to test men.

Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer was tested � and found wanting.

He had seven years to consider this case and got it wrong every time.

I don't know Greer personally, but I know many people like him. They go to church on Sunday and then between Monday and Friday lead lives with no seeming connection to what they hear preached in the pulpit, what they read in the Bible, what they claim to believe of the Christian faith.

This may be the biggest single problem we have in America today � this disconnect between the spiritual lives of Christians and how they practice their faith in the world.

Greer, until recently, was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater , Fla. He left at the urging of Pastor William Rice, who counseled him wisely: "You must know that in all likelihood it is this case which will define your career and this case that you will remember in the waning days of life. I hope you can find a way to side with the angels and become an answer to the prayers of thousands."

Rice has my highest regard for that decision. Too many pastors in this country don't require obedience to God as a prerequisite for church membership. They seem to believe in a kind of "cheap" grace that comes with regular attendance or tithing rather than a Christian walk. They seem to have no minimal standards for fellowship and communion with the saints.

There are few heroes in the Terri Schiavo scandal. Her parents and siblings qualify. Terri herself qualifies. Those who braved arrest to bring her cups of water qualify. And, in my book, so does Rev. William Rice.

Do you want to know why the church doesn't have influence and impact in our increasingly secular world today?

Because there are too many so-called Christians like Judge George Greer and not enough like Pastor William Rice.

Greer's friends have attacked the church and defended the judge, saying he was interpreting the law to the best of his ability. However, if that is true, then Greer, as a Christian, had a duty to obey God's laws rather than man's laws. That would require him to leave the bench if he truly saw a conflict. Instead, Greer opted to leave his church � and, presumably, his weak faith.

"Like evangelicals across the world, we are horrified at the thought that a handicapped woman could be, in effect, starved to death before a watching world," Rice wrote. Admitting he was not a legal or medical expert, Rice asserted: "I know right from wrong. I know what God thinks about human life. I know there is only one way to describe the prospect of starving a woman to death because she cannot feed herself. It is wrong."

Rice continued: "Morality and truth must serve as our guide. Terri Schiavo is not on life support. She is not dying. Good evidence exists to suggest that she is responsive. All she receives is food and water, the same as you and me. Are we to conclude that she is less than human because she cannot feed herself? Can a month-old child feed himself? Is an elderly patient stricken with some debilitating disease and unable to feed herself suddenly less human? Do we now use an IQ test to determine if someone possesses the right to live? Isn't that God's choice? Only God can give life, and only He should take it away."

"Tread carefully if you think this is simply about a dying woman being allowed to die peacefully," Rice wrote. "Remember when we were told that Roe v. Wade was simply about helping women who had been raped or whose lives were imminently threatened? Today, few abortions fall into that category, but millions of human lives have been sacrificed upon the altar of selfishness. And the slide down the slippery slope continues."

In case Greer was still confused, his pastor gave him more to think about.

"This case seems complex, but it is as simple as four words: 'Thou shalt not kill.' If you need a compass for this complex case, you'll find it there," he wrote. "As we all know, the Sixth Commandment means it is wrong to murder � to take the life of an innocent person without just cause. If I were the nurse in that hospice center and the directive were given to me to discontinue feeding a living human being and watch as he or she starved to death, I couldn't do it. I'd rather get fired, resign or do something else."

Christians can go on blaming others for the problems we face in this country. Or we can go into the churches and start cleaning up the messes we have in our own houses of worship. It's time to take back the churches. It's time to renew the idea of standards. It's time to make church membership mean something again.

Judge George Greer did the wrong thing. Pastor William Rice did the right thing. If we had more pastors like Rice, we'd have fewer judges like Greer.

*COPYRIGHT NOTICE** In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Inviting all Gateway supporters!

Download a registration form

Registraion Form for Golf Outing

Attention Gateway Supporters!
One of our supporters asks for prayer!

Folks,

Please pray for Kevin, my son.


Yesterday (4/9/05), morning he laid in bed with tears in his eyes. While kidding him about waking up, Kevin said that his side was hurting. What came to mind was the possibility of appendicitis. Never having seen him this way, I called the emergency number of our doctor. His partner called back and, after explaining Kevin's symptoms, he advised that I treat and observe Kevin with the purpose of having an office visit on Monday morning. That afternoon, Kevin experienced more pain and the doctor was called again. His recommendation was that I take Kevin to the Emergency Room at Lapeer Regional Hospital.

We were at the Emergency Room for several hours. There was blood work taken and waitng for the results. It was determined that Kevin's temperature was elevated at 101 degress. The doctor recommended that a CAT scan be done because the blood work indicated that there were abnormal enzymes indicating that the problem was the liver, not appendicitis. Kevin, due to the taste of the solution needed for a scan, became oppositional and refused cooperating. A sonogram was done and he was referred to Hurley Hospital in Flint because they had a pediatric unit. He was given an ambulance ride to Hurley arriving there at 1:00 AM Sunday morning. I arrived there witin an hour and stayed with him overnight. The cause, or should I say, diagnosis is still unknown and Kevin is still in the hospital.

Please pray for Kevin's healing, including wisdom for the doctors' diagnosing his ailment. I will keep you updated on his progress.For further information contact: KMBurdick@juno.com

Monday, April 11, 2005

..from our Associate Director, Joan Vitale.. this request

Prayer for Marisol, Fernando and their children, who have been greatly
under attack by the enemy, especially since both of them are standing up for
the unborn volunteering with us at Gateway. . . No weapon formed against them will prosper.

Friday, April 1, 2005

New York, NY (LifeNews.com) -- CBS News is coming under fire for prewriting and posting to its news web site a story claiming Terri Schiavo had died. The article, penned by Christine Lagorio, claims Terri's estranged husband Michael was with her when she died and was posted on the CBS News web page on Monday, according to radio talk show host Glenn Beck, who discovered it. "Surrounded by stuffed animals and medical equipment in her small hospice room in Pinellas Park, Fla., Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo died TK," the story says.

Lagorio wrote that after her death Terri "appeared made up and dressed" and claimed that Terri's estranged husband Michael "was at the bedside of his wife Terri when she died." CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius told LifeNews.com that the story was "a draft that was stored on the web site" but not intended to be accessible to the public. Genelius said the news story was accidentally saved a portion of the web site accessible to search engines and she told LifeNews.com that CBS News "removed the story as soon as the error was discovered, and we sincerely regret any confusion that may have resulted." Lori Kehoe, who monitors end of life issues for the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com she was amazed at the development.

"The fact that many have probably written the framework of press releases for Terri's death highlights the nature of this monstrosity -- the intent is not to relieve any of the burden from Terri but rather to make sure she dies -- and they wait with bated breath," Kehoe said. "CBS should be ashamed but everyone else should simply take note -- mainstream media is again creating the news instead of reporting it," Kehoe told LifeNews.com.

See below:
Terri's brother, Robert Schindler Jr., called on parents everywhere to cherish every moment with their child "as a precious gift from God."

In a message to his sister Terri, Robert Schindler Jr., said, "As a member of our family unable to speak for yourself, you spoke loudly. As a member of our family unable to stand under your own power, you stood with a grace and a dignity that made your family proud."

Robert Jr., said Terri's plight emboldened the pro-life movement and highlighted the struggles of disabled people everywhere.

"Terri, your life and legacy will continue to live on as the nation is now awakened to the plight of thousands of people with disabilities that were previously unnoticed. Your family intends to stand up for the other Terris around this nation, and we will do all that we can to change the law so others won't face the same fate that has befallen you," he said.

"God's plan for Terri is unfolding before our eyes. Our prayer at this time is that our nation will remember the plight of persons with disabilities and commit within our hearts to defend their lives and their dignity for many generations to come," Robert Jr., concluded.
"Following the example of the Lord Jesus, our family abhors any violence or any threats of violence. Threatening words dishonor our family, our faith and our sister Terri," she said. Terri's sister, Suzanne Vitadamo


DECLARATION OF SUZANNE VITADAMO
STATE OF FLORIDA )
COUNTY OF PINELLAS )

I, SUZANNE VITADAMO, sister of the Petitioner in the above-styled case, hereby declare under penalty of perjury:

I visited with Terri at various times during the day on March 18, 2005, the day her feeding tube was removed.

Terri was in good spirits that morning. My husband, Michael Vitadamo and Terri's aunt, Claudia Tamarro, were in the room with myself and Attorney Barbara Weller when Terri attempted to speak to Mrs. Weller. A female Pinellas Park police office were standing at the door of Terri's room.

Terri was sitting up in her lounge chair and Mrs. Weller and I were sitting on her bed. My aunt was standing at the found of Terri's chair.

Mrs. Weller stood up and learned over Terri. She took her arms in her hands. Mrs. Weller begged Terri to try to say, "I want to live." Terri's eyes opened wide, she looked at Mrs. Weller with great concentration and said, "Ahhhhhhh." Then, with great effort, she screamed, "Waaaaaaaa" so loudly that Michael Vitadamo and the female police officer who were then standing together outside Terri's door, clearly heard her. Terri had a look of anguish on her face and she seemed to be struggling hard, but was she could not complete the sentence. Terri began to cry and Mrs. Weller and I began to stroke Terri's face and hair to comfort her.

Mrs. Weller and I continued to visit and talk with Terri, along with other family members who came and went in the room.

FURTHER YOUR DECLARANT SAYETH NOT.

I hereby declare, under penalty of perjury, that the foregoing is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief. Executed this 22nd day of March, 2005, at Seminole, Florida.

SUZANNE VITADAMO
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 25th day of March, 2005.
"This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve."

'I never thought I'd see the day when a U.S. judge stopped feeding a living American so that they took 14 days to die,' Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Thursday.

CBS Story p2

CBS website Monday March 28, 2005 .. Terri died on March 31st!

Tom DeLay, House Speaker