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Fourth Defendant to Plead Guilty in Gosnell Abortion Case

by Steven Ertelt | Philadelphia, PA | LifeNews.com | 11/3/11 11:22 AM

State

A fourth defendant is expected to plead guilty today in the gruesome case involving the botched abortion deaths and the abortion-infanticides of dozens of unborn children that took place at the abortion facility run by Kermit Gosnell.

Gosnell, his wife, and staff members face various charges — including eight charges for killing a patient in a botched abortion and killing unborn children in the brutal infanticides that saw him stick medical scissors into the backs of unborn children purposefully induced prematurely so he could “snip” their spinal cords and take their lives. They also face charges ranging from murder to obstructing justice to practicing medicine without a license.

The grand jury released a 261-page report which said the 69-year-old abortion practitioner and his staff killed hundreds of babies in this manner and killed at least two women and injured many more in failed abortions. Gosnell became known in Philadelphia and the Atlantic region as the guy women should go to if they wanted a late-term abortion illegal in most states.

Today, staffer Steven Massof, who was charged with conspiracy and other charges and was an unlicensed medical school graduate performing medical work at Gosnell’s abortion business, will plead guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and other charges. An AP report indicates the murder counts could bring him a mandatory life term, but the judge in the case could suspend or reduce the sentence if he cooperates with authorities prosecuting Gosnell and other staffers.

Massof is charged in connection with the deaths of two of the babies born alive and killed in abortion-infanticides.

Last week, Adrienne Moton, 34, and Sherry West, 52, pleaded guilty for contributing to the deaths as they worked at the abortion facility that had not been inspected by state officials in decades.

Moton faces charges of murder, conspiracy, racketeering and corruption related to the death of at least one viable unborn child killed at Gosnell’s facility. She was unlicensed by the state and illegally administered anesthesia to women obtaining abortions. West, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, faces charges of third-degree murder in the botched abortion death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, who died at Gosnell’s abortion clinic after a failed abortion.

Moton and West each pleaded guilty to related charges, including taking part in a corrupt organization. West also pleaded guilty to drug delivery causing death.

Mongar died November 20, 2009, after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by the doctor. Mongar’s family filed a lawsuit against Gosnell’s abortion business seeking damages.

Defense lawyer Michael Wallace said after the hearing, according to an AP report, that West may have administered the fatal dosage of anesthesia that killed Mongar, although he tried to mitigate her death by saying West stayed with her on the way to the hospital following the botched abortion.

“She’s very sorry about the death of that young lady,” Wallace said. “She got caught up in a series of things that probably she did not realize the significance of.”

West (picture at left), who reportedly exposed patients at Gosnell’s clinic to hepatitis C, has been in custody on $2 million bail since her arrest in January and Wallace said she would cooperate with authorities — maybe even testifying against Gosnell.

“She knows she will do time,” Wallace said of the possible 140 years in prison she may receive, which could be reduced if she cooperates.

A third staffer, 53-year-old Elizabeth Hampton, Gosnell’s sister-in-law, pleaded guilty to perjury on October 13 and will be sentenced on December 2.

Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder and several of his staff at the abortion center, including his wife and sister-in-law, have been charged as well in the case with assisting in botched abortions, practicing medicine without a license or covering up the actions of those who did. The counts include grisly infanticidesthat involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.

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.

Gosnell has been denied bail while the case against him moves forward. Women have spoken out about their treatment and one woman says she was drugged and tied up and forced to have an abortion.

Authorities searching the facility last year found bags and bottles holding aborted babies scattered around the building, jars containing babies’ severed feet lining a shelf, as well as filthy, unsanitary furniture and equipment.

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.

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.

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.