Health Dept Ignored Abortionist Who Killed Woman, Babies With Scissors

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 20, 2011   |   1:16PM   |   Philadelphia, PA

Abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell of Pennsylvania was charged with 8 counts of murder yesterday related to the botched abortion death of a woman and his infanticides of seven babies purposefully born and killed with scissors. But the grand jury report accompanying the charges shows state officials did nothing when reports came in about problems at Gosnell’s abortion center.

District Attorney Seth Williams released the detailed charges yesterday and the grand jury report contains shocking findings that he says shows significant problems in monitoring abortion centers.

“We discovered that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers,” the report says. “Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.”

“The State Legislature has charged the Department of Health (DOH) with responsibility for writing and enforcing regulations to protect health and safety in abortion clinics as well as in hospitals and other health care facilities. Yet a significant difference exists between how DOH monitors abortion clinics and how it monitors facilities where other medical procedures are performed,” the report continues.

“Indeed, the department has shown an utter disregard both for the safety of women who seek treatment at abortion clinics and for the health of fetuses after they have become viable. State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design,” the report indicates.

The kicker of the reportshows state health officials “knew that Gosnell and his clinic were offering unacceptable medical care to women and girls, yet DOH failed to take any action to stop the atrocities documented by this Grand Jury.”

“These officials were far more protective of themselves when they testified before the Grand Jury. Even DOH lawyers, including the chief counsel, brought private attorneys with them – presumably at government expense,” the report reads.

The grand jury report also finds officials “twisted” state law to not inspect abortion centers like Gosnell’s or make them abide by laws regulating legitimate medical centers as ambulatory surgical facilities:

It was clear to us after hearing these witnesses testify that the decisions not to inspect abortion clinics or to license them as ASFs were not based on any serious interpretation of statutes or legal research. These lawyers were simply twisting and reinterpreting the law to explain policy decisions that changed with administrations, even though the laws did not. Dutton admitted in her testimony that the decision not to inspect was a policy decision, not one grounded in the law:

Q: Does it surprise you to know that some of the reasons cited for the failure to go out and do these inspections is that they believed that they didn’t have the legal authority to do so?

A: That would surprise me, yes. . . . To me, I would believe that they didn’t go out to do them because some policy had been set in the department at some point in time in the past that we were not going to do regular inspections of abortion facilities.

Dutton’s failure to recognize and treat abortion clinics as ASFs, and her silence as DOH shirked its duty to protect women and infants at abortion clinics, reflect a blatant refusal to enforce the law.

The DOH attorneys offered multiple explanations to attempt to justify why the department does not license abortion clinics in the same manner as any other ASF. None of their explanations comports with the law or with common sense.

The information contained in the report is shocking to officials at Operation Rescue, who have seen some of the worst of the worst as they monitor abortion practitioners and abortion facilities.

“In the report, the Grand Jury notes that several agencies and groups became aware of what has become known as Gosnell’s “shop of horrors” but did nothing,” complains OR president Troy Newman. He said the grand jury was right to give them “a stern rebuke” for “giving their stamp of approval on his criminal practices.”

“These people who saw the abuses yet stood idly by, or worse, encouraged the behavior that has now shocked the nation bear some responsibility for what happened in Philadelphia. In fact, they deserve criminal prosecution just as much as Gosnell and his cohorts because their silence not only enabled the crimes, but gave tacit consent to them,” Newman said.

Newman said his group “calls for immediate emergency inspections of every abortion clinic in the nation. We have often said that if this were to ever happen, no abortion clinic would remain in operation because we have yet to discover one that adheres to all the laws that apply to them.”

Newman also pointed out that even abortion advocates did nothing to stop Gosnell.

“Just the day after the death of Karnamaya Mongar, Gosnell had applied for membership to the National Abortion Federations, whose meager guidelines Gosnell could not meet. Even though an NAF staff person spent several days in Gosnell’s abortion mill noting numerous violations, they did not think to report him to the proper authorities,” he told

It wasn’t until last year that Gosnell was the focus of FBI raids and his  his medical license was suspended and his abortion facility, Women’s Medical Society Clinic, closed down. Authorities found filthy and deplorable conditions along with a collection of aborted babies dating back 30 years.

Williams charged Gosnell with killing Mongar in a failed abortion. Gosnell was arrested and charged with eight counts or murder in the deaths of Mongar and seven infants allegedly killed with scissors after their birth. The arrest came affecter a grand jury investigation.

The infanticide abortion cases are causing significant outrage and may get a federal law involved. Several of his staff were also arrested overnight and will face charges in connection with the cases.

The infanticides are “abortions,” in that Gosnell purposefully induced a premature birth of the infants for the purpose of taking their lives. District Attorney Seth Williams said today that the charges involve a particularly gruesome method of killing the babies.

Williams said Gosnell “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord.”

“There were bags, and bottles holding aborted fetuses were scattered throughout the building,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. “There were jars lining shelves with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose.”

Gosnell allegedly aborted and killed babies in the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy. The abortions of the biggest babies allegedly were scheduled for Sundays, when the abortion center was closed. The only person allowed to assist with such cases was Gosnell’s wife, Williams said. Gosnell allegedly took home the files for those patients and disposed of them.