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Kermit Gosnell Abortion Staff, Family to Stand Trial With Him

by Steven Ertelt | Philadelphia, PA | LifeNews.com | 9/30/11 12:52 PM

State

A trial court judge ruled today that the family members and former staffers of abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, who faces eight charges for killing a patient in a botched abortion and killing unborn children in brutal abortion-infanticides, must stand trial with him.

Gosnell faces multiple murder charges for killing a woman in a failed abortion and seven unborn children after purposefully inducing birth so he could take their lives in a ghastly abortion-infanticide procedure. His wife, who worked at the Women’s Medical Society abortion business with him, and staffers also face charges ranging from murder to obstructing justice to practicing medicine without a license.

Judge Benjamin Lerner ruled today that the family and staff must strand trial with Gosnell even if they are not also charged in connection with the murder of a woman in a failed legal abortion or the charges of murder related to the illegal late-term abortions.

Lerner agreed with defense attorneys who are concerned about the emotional intensity of the testimony of witnesses in the courtroom during the trial. But, according to a WPVI report, he said the daughter of the woman who died in the botched abortion and other witnesses who were injured in abortions at Gosnell’s abortion facility should not have to be forced to give the same testimony twice if the trials were split up.

As a result, Judge Lerner denied motions from lawyers for co-defendants Eileen O’Neill and Elizabeth Hampton to be tried separately. Gosnell, who is in jail facing the charges and not free on bail, did not appear in court.

While the trial moves forward, a pro-life group and state lawmakers are pressing for legislation the state House needs to pass that responds to the grisly abortions and infanticides at Gosnell’s facility.

Gosnell’s abortion center was inspected only after a federal drug raid in 2010.  It was the first time the facility had been inspected in 17 years because state officials ignored complaints and failed to visit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society for years.

Now, the Pennsylvania state legislature is examining legislation that would subject abortion businesses to the same higher health and safety standards applied to legitimate surgical facilities.

“For the sake of women’s health and safety, we commend legislators who are taking a stand against unsafe practices at abortion facilities,” Michael Ciccocioppo, the director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, told LifeNews. “Countless numbers of women were harmed at Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion facility.  This legislation goes a long way toward protecting women from harm from the abortion industry.”

“The Gosnell case is a wake-up call for Pennsylvania, and shows that greater scrutiny of abortion facilities is needed to prevent such tragedies in the future,” he said.

A group of several dozen Pennsylvania lawmakers agreed and called for legislative action to ensure that abortion facilities play by the same rules as outpatient medical centers. The lawmakers are urging final action on Senate Bill 732, which would mean that abortion centers would have to abide by the safety standards of ambulatory surgical facilities.

Gosnell and his wife are still in prison without bail and a gag order on the case prevents him from talking about it with the media.

Gosnell’s center was found to be filthy and in violation of numerous state health and safety laws and he put women’s health at risk with botched abortions that ultimately killed at least one woman and injured others. Gosnell also used a live birth abortion technique that essentially had him birthing unborn children for the sole purpose of killing them in infanticides using medical scissors to “snip” their spinal cords. The aftermath of numerous investigations found state officials ignored complaints about the abortion center and that the state government had not inspected it or other abortion businesses.

Gosnell and several staffers at his abortion center, including his wife Pearl, were arrested in January after a grand jury indicted them on multiple charges after officials raided his abortion business following a woman’s death and discovered a “shop of horrors” filled with bags of bodies and body parts of deceased unborn children and babies killed in infanticides. Pearl Gosnell, Kermit’s 49-year-old wife who has no medical license, faces a charge of providing an abortion at 24 or more weeks and conspiracy and other charges.

Last March, the Pennsylvania Department of Health found the abortion center had violated more than a dozen health and safety laws ranging from a lack of equipment and drugs for emergency resuscitation to not having a way to get patients to a hospital or a backup physician. In the raid, officials found jars containing the remains of pre-born babies dating back 30 years along with filthy and unsafe conditions and evidence that unlicensed workers had been illegally treating patients. The office has no access for a stretcher in the case of an emergency. In previous emergencies, care was delayed because exit doors were padlocked shut or blocked with debris from the clinic.

But, the grand jury investigation also shows state officials did nothing when reports came in about problems at Gosnell’s abortion center, which has upset incoming pro-life Governor Tom Corbett who fired several state employees.

The abortion industry has been forced to suspend two abortion businesses that employed embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, who has been the subject of national controversy over his abortion business in Philadelphia.

Following revelations that Gosnell is associatedwith two other abortion centers in Louisiana and Delaware, the National Abortion Federation made the decision to suspend the memberships of both. Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, the Delaware abortion business that employed Gosnell one day a week to do abortions, and the Delta Clinic abortion center of Baton Rouge, have both had their memberships suspended. Leroy Brinkley owns both abortion businesses. Atlantic operates abortion centers in Wilmington and Dover.