Abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell will not testify in his murder trial and his defense attorney decided to not call a single witness on his behalf to defend him from the murder and other charges he faces.
Reporter Joseph Slobodzian, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who has doggedly reported from the Gosnell murder trial since day one, says the defense case on Gosnell’s behalf has concluded today — after five weeks of prosecutors calling on former Gosnell staffers to make jaw-dropping testimony about the horrors they were involved in and witnessed at Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” abortion clinic.
Today, Gosnell’s co-defendant, Eileen O’Neill, an unlicensed doctor who worked at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic, decided not to testify for herself in her own defense against the charges she’s incurred.
As a result, the Gosnell defense has concluded without the embattled abortion doctor ever taking the stand and with Gosnell attorney Jack McMahon offering very little in his defense.
McMahon tersely announced, “Defense rests,” as the jury was seated after lunch.
Now, only final statements will be made to jurors from attorneys on both sides on Monday and McMahon may be relying on his assertion that none of the babies Gosnell killed were alive at the time they died. That’s a tough gambit — putting Gosnell’s life on the line (he faces the death penalty if convicted) in exchange for a glimmer of hope that members of the jury will ignore weeks of gut-wrenching testimony about babies who clearly were killed in infanticides after a live-birth abortion process.
As Slobodzian reports:
When the trial resumes this afternoon, Gosnell attorney Jack McMahon begins his case but sources familiar with the trial say Gosnell will not testify and McMahon will present no other witnesses.
“All things will be revealed,” McMahon joked to reporters after the trial broke for a lunch recess.
If sources are correct, the evidentiary phase would end and the Common Pleas Court jury of seven women and five men would return Monday for closing arguments.
He is also charged with third-degree murder in the 2009 death of a Virginia woman allegedly administered too much Demerol during an abortion procedure.
Gosnell’s defense attorney asked the judge to drop three of the charges for killing the babies and the judge agreed with the contention there was not enough evidence to convict Gosnell on those charges. Another charge of infanticide was also dropped. He still faces the other charges the prosecution has brought and the murder trial will continue on them.
One of the dropped charges involves a 28-week-old baby Gosnell killed and whose remains were kept in an abortion clinic freezer.
Common pleas court Judge Jeffrey Minehart also dropped five counts of corpse abuse at the request of his defense attorney and did not explain his ruling dropping any of the charges.
The defense has argued that there were no live births at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Center abortion clinic and contends the babies died during abortions and their necks were snipped afterwards. But former Gosnell staffers testified they saw signs of life even after the abortion had been completed — saying the babies “jumped” and “screamed” and tried to escape.
But, according to AP, McMahon told the judge “there is not one piece …. of objective, scientific evidence that anyone was born alive”
“We still have a long to go,” McMahon told the press about the rest of his Gosnell defense.
One pro-life advocate who has been following the trial closely says the charge should not have been dismissed.
“I am shocked that these counts have been dismissed. I have heard testimony by very credible witnesses to the effect that these babies were murdered in cold blood by Gosnell as they cried and struggled for life. We pray that justice will be done in the remaining five victims of Gosnell’s horrific slayings,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue, who has observed the trial and published first-hand accounts of the proceedings.
Sullenger said testimony from the medical examiner and toxicologist has indicated that there was no evidence the babies were injected with Digoxin to ensure the babies were dead prior to the abortion, as the defense has claimed.
The medical examiner testified that tests were inconclusive as proof that the babies were born alive. However, the tests also did not prove the babies were dead prior to birth. Those inconclusive test results were overshadowed by the weight of testimony from witness after witness, who detailed how the babies were in fact living prior to being murdered through what one witness described as a “virtual beheading.”
“If Gosnell gets off scot-free, that will send a message that murdering live babies and abortion patients is now acceptable behavior in America and that abortionists who engage in such depraved practices are above the law. This would put women and babies in grave danger – more than they already face – at abortion clinics throughout the nation,” said Sullenger.
Gosnell, whose squalid “house of horrors” abortion clinic has surprised even investigative officials, has had almost flippant attitude toward his macabre abortion practices shocked the nation.
“The Gosnell case is a watershed moment for the issue of abortion,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “The discovery of his horrific practices helped shed light on an abortion industry that has run amok without oversight or accountability for decades, and has prompted significant changes in abortion laws and attitudes toward enforcement in several states.”
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 has killed 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.
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.
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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 associated with 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 operated abortion centers in Wilmington and Dover.