On July 17, 2006, 18-year old Sycloria Williams stood against the wall of an abortion clinic waiting room gasping in horror at the sight of her baby. "She wasn't moving much, Williams later testified. “Twitching, gasping for air. She wasn't crying, just hissing, hissing sounds only."
Sycloria Williams was 23 weeks pregnant when she went to a Miami area abortion clinic. Williams was given “medication” (probably RU-486) and laminaria sticks were inserted into her cervix. She was then sent home and told to come back the next day.
For those who may not know, an RU-486 abortion occurs in two stages. On the initial visit, the woman is given the RU-486 pills which kill the unborn child. But this normally takes several hours. So the woman is usually sent home and told to return the next day. Upon returning, labor is induced and the dead child is delivered.
Williams returned to the clinic as instructed, but the doctor was late. While waiting, Williams was given Cytotec to induce labor and further dilate the cervix. Within a short time, Williams began to experience severe labor pains, but still no doctor.
Quoting from the lawsuit filed in 2009: “...unable to remain seated, Williams braced herself with the arms of the recliner chair she was sitting on. As she lifted herself, her water broke and she delivered a live baby girl onto the seat of the recliner. The baby writhed and gasped for air, still connected to Williams by the umbilical cord.”
Williams was horrified: "I thought it would be a blob thing, not a baby. She was really little, like this," she said, holding her hands about 12 inches apart. "It was like everything inside was coming out at once. There was just no stopping it."
The sight of a fully formed baby was a complete surprise to Williams. "They never said anything to me that would make me think it was a baby. They only said things like ‘termination of pregnancy’. They cheated me. They didn't tell me everything..."
But the trauma was only beginning for Williams. While her baby writhed and hissed on the chair, the owner of the clinic ran into the room, knocked the baby onto the floor, cut the umbilical cord with a pair of shears, stuffed the baby into a biohazard bag, and threw little Shanice (whom her mother later named) into a garbage can. The doctor then arrived and sedated Williams.
An anonymous caller notified police about the incident and three days later Shanice’s body was found decomposing in a cardboard box in a clinic closet. A DNA test linked the baby’s remains to Williams.
The incident later made news when the Thomas More Society took an interest in the case. The Miami-Dade medical examiner had determined that the baby’s lungs had filled with air prior to her death, proving that Shanice had indeed been alive outside the mother’s body, but blamed the death on “extreme prematurity.”
The Thomas More attorneys insisted that Shanice’s death was a murder. The case dragged on for three years. In the end, the abortionist lost his license, and baby Shanice, whose body had been kept for evidence, finally received a proper burial.
The experience changed Sycloria. In 2009, she told a reporter: "No one should lose their life if you get pregnant. If I got pregnant again I would have the baby. I would tell them not to do it. I’ll say whatever to make them have second thoughts so they don’t do it…”
On January 6, 2010, to prevent abortion survivors from being similarly thrown in the trash, then-Senator Calvo introduced Bill 309-30: THE CHILD’S RIGHT TO LIVE ACT. The bill mandated normal medical care for children who survive failed abortions.
Such a bill had already been passed unanimously by the U.S. Congress and had been signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002. Proponents of Bill 309-30 were expecting our local legislature to respond similarly. We were wrong.
After an overwhelmingly supportive public hearing on February 11, 2010, the bill disappeared. Despite several inquiries and even public calls for a vote, Senator Frank Aguon, Jr., the then-Chairman of the Committee on Health, made sure Bill 309-30 died the same death as Shanice Williams: in a garbage can.
A few weeks after the public hearing, two people related stories of children who had survived failed abortions. One lived and was adopted by a loving father and mother. The other died despite volunteer medical efforts to save him. How many more abortion survivors have died in Guam’s abortion clinic trash? We don’t know. Chairman Aguon made sure of that.
See CNN account of the case here