State Wants to Close Philadelphia Center Where Woman Died in Botched Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

State Wants to Close Philadelphia Center Where Woman Died in Botched Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 5
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — State officials in Pennsylvania want to close the abortion center run by abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, who is under investigation following the death of a woman in a botched abortion. They say Gosnell has not responded to the charges even though his abortion center is temporarily closed and his license revoked.

Authorities have been probing the Women’s Medical Society after an abortion patient died last November.

Massive amounts of drugs found in the victim’s system led authorities to suspect Gosnell was illegally prescribing pain-killers. He lost his medical license in both Pennsylvania and neighboring Delaware.

In 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.

The Philadelphia Inquirer indicates Gosnell also delayed the report to the state concerning the woman who died in the failed abortion. He had until April 12 to respond to the charges but has failed to do so, and missed an extension taking him to April 30.

Last month, the newspaper says his attorney, Philadelphia lawyer William J. Brennan, said "we’re in the process of reviewing the counts, and we’ll address them in the appropriate time frame."

But yesterday, Brennan told the Inquirer he only is representing Gosnell regarding criminal matters and not anything related to the charges the health department brought up.

As a result, the state health department has asked a judge to declare Gosnell guilty by default and Pennsylvania health department spokeswoman Stacy Kriedem told the paper Gosnell is scheduled for a May 20 disciplinary hearing where he could lose his medical license permanently.

Last month, federal agents from the FBI raided Gosnell’s home and seized boxes of documents and removed them. Also, FBI agents executed a second search warrant at the now-closed Women’s Medical Society abortion center.

That was the second time officials raided his abortion business — and they did so first on February 18.

They found what amounted to a "house of horrors" — including collection 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.

A deficiency report noted that the only source of suction for patients with airway tubes was the same suction machine used for abortions. Filthy and unsanitary conditions were also cited.

After suspending his medical license, the Pennsylvania State Health Department has filed documents in Commonwealth Court to prevent any other abortionist from operating in Gosnell’s unsafe abortion facility.

Gosnell has a long history of dangerous practices dating back nearly 40 years.

He was responsible for the death of Semika Shirelle Shaw in 2000, who died from a perforated uterus sustained during an abortion. Gosnell has been sued over 40 times for numerous botched abortions and other troubles.

"The story of Gosnell’s appalling abortion operation makes us wonder how many other abortionists like him are out there preying on vulnerable women," Operation Rescue president Troy Newman told "From our own investigations into the abortion industry, we have yet to find an abortionist who is in full compliance with the law."

"Because the abortion business draws practitioners from the bottom of the barrel, abortion presents a serious danger to women in this country. If the laws currently on the books were enforced, most abortion clinics in this country would be forced to close. The Gosnell story is a case in point," he said.

When Gosnell lost his Delaware license, he also agreed to stop distributing controlled substances and he waived his right to a board hearing normally scheduled for within 60 days.

"Based upon the severity of the violations alleged in the complaint, and based upon the suspension of Dr. Gosnell’s license in the state of Pennsylvania, we have concluded that the suspension of Dr. Gosnell’s license to practice medicine in Delaware is necessary to protect the public until we can fully hear the matter," Raymond L. Moore Sr., the president of the Board of Medical Practice, said according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Pennsylvania officials suspect Karnamaya Mongar died from the botched abortion in part because she had been treated by unlicensed personnel.

The State Board of Medicine says Gosnell had the unlicensed staff member give vaginal exams and administer the drugs Demerol, Promethazine and Diazepam. He was eventually fined $1,000 for the violations.

Records from 1995 show Gosnell was publicly reprimanded by the State Licensing Board which found he ”employed a physician’s assistant that was not certified … saw at least one patient and treated him."

Yet, Gosnell told a local television station recently, "I haven’t seen a negative comment that a patient has been dissatisfied with the services that I have provided."

But former patient Dayna Haynes, who suffered a botched, incomplete abortion and had to wait hours for proper medical care, had something else to say about that on camera.

"I really felt like he was just going to let me die," she said.

After a report showed Gosnell a stack of 40 lawsuits against him over the years, he responded: "If you’re not making mistakes, you are not really attempting to do something."

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