The district attorney who is prosecuting the case against abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell says he engaged in murder when he snipped the spinal cords of babies who were killed in live-birth abortions.
The abortion practitioner faces trial after pleading not guilty to the eight murder counts. The murder charges in connection with the deaths of the babies are related to hundreds of unborn children he reportedly caused to be born alive and prosecutors say he and his staff used scissors to kill them by “snipping” at their spinal cords with the scissors.
“A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law,” Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said.
“It was a house of horrors beyond any type of definition or explanation I can humbly try to give,” Williams told CNN in January 2011, shortly after Gosnell was charged.
“And it’s very sad for the women that were there, that were subjected to such horrific and barbaric — I would say medical treatment, but it wasn’t medical treatment.”
When authorities searched Gosnell’s office, they found bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses scattered throughout the building.
Jars containing the severed feet of babies lined a shelf. Furniture and equipment was blood-stained, dusty and broken.
“My grasp of the English language doesn’t really allow me to fully describe how horrific this clinic was — rotting bodies, fetal remains, the smell of urine throughout, blood-stained,” Williams said.
Williams described one of the alleged infant deaths.
“The baby had been born and was on a cold steel table and murdered by using — there’s no medical basis for snipping or taking scissors and putting them into the neck and cutting, severing the spinal cord. It’s just homicide. It’s just murder,” Williams told CNN.
Gosnell could face the death penalty if convicted and he faces a mandatory minimum 20 years. A pool of 125 was narrowed down to 43 potential jurors this afternoon and the death penalty played a role.
The first day of jury selection began with a panel of about 125 people, but most were quickly excused for a variety of factors, including opposition to the death penalty in this potential capital case, personal hardship caused by serving in a trial expected to last 6 to 8 weeks, and having a fixed opinion on the case. At the end of the first day, three female jurors had been selected. The three jurors chosen Monday told Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart they supported abortion.
Previously, Gosnell’s wife Pearl pleaded guilty to assisting her husband at his Philadelphia abortion center where he killed a woman in a botched abortion and kills hundreds of babies in abortion-infanticides.
Pearl Gosnell was considering a plea deal similar to the one several of Gosnell’s former abortion center employees have made where they have pleaded guilty to receive a lesser sentence in exchange for testifying against Gosnell. Pearl also worked at the abortion center Gosnell ran that had him kill and injure women in failed abortions and kill perhaps hundreds of babies in grisly infanticides by birthing them and “snipping” their spinal cords.
She worked at the Women’s Medical Society abortion business her husband ran as a full-time medical assistant from 1982 until she married Kermit Gosnell in 1990, when she switched to only working on Sundays. At that time, the abortion business was officially closed but would do its latest-term abortions possible.
The grand jury report indicates Pearl Gosnell testified that she alone helped Kermit do abortions on Sundays when she would “help do the instruments” in the operating room despite no medical training.
Previously, Judge Lerner ruled two other former employees, Eileen O’Neill and Madeline Joe, are not allowed to have their cases separated from that of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Neither O’Neill nor Joe are charged with killing babies in infanticides and, although their attorneys argued the horrifying allegations against Gosnell could unfairly taint their cases, they were not allowed to plead guilty in deals as was the case with six other former employees.
The murder charges also came in connection with the botched abortion death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, who died at Gosnell’s abortion clinic after a failed abortion. 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.
Gosnell and several staffers at his abortion center, including 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.
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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.
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.