AP Headline: Florida Infanticide Just a 'Badly Botched Abortion'

Update (Feb. 9; 11:15 EST): Apparently the Buffalo News updated the story and the link I gave in my lede goes to a follow-up story. I wasn't able to find the exact article I was writing about, but here is a link to an updated story from Feb. 6 by Armario, entitled: "Botched abortion outrages pro-life, pro-choice factions."

"Fla. doctor investigated in badly botched abortion," reads the headline for an AP story syndicated on the Web site for The Buffalo News.

Yet according to the story by writer Christine Armario, the abortion procedure had not been initiated and hence could not have been botched. (h/t e-mail tipster Paul Head)

What did, happen, allegedly, is one count of infanticide (emphases mine):

Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.

Only Renelique didn't arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.

What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

Police recovered the decomposing remains in a cardboard box a week later after getting anonymous tips.

[...]

An autopsy determined Williams' baby - she named her Shanice - had filled her lungs with air, meaning she had been born alive, according to the Department of Health. The cause of death was listed as extreme prematurity.

The Department of Health believes Renelique committed malpractice by failing to ensure that licensed personnel would be present when Williams was there, among other missteps.

So why the inaccurate, misleading headline when something along the lines of "Fla. abortion doctor investigated following infanticide" would more accurately convey the main idea of the horrifying story?

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters