Grisly Abortion Practitioner Gosnell’s Trial Moving Ahead

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 10, 2011   |   12:20AM   |   Philadelphia, PA

A judge ruled on Wednesday that the case against a grisly abortion practitioner, Pennsylvania-based Kermit Gosnell, can move forward.
Gosnell is the abortion practitioner who is charged with eight counts of murder in the botched abortion death of a woman and seven abortion-infanticides where Gosnell and his staff engaged in the purposeful birth of babies late in pregnancy so he could snip their spinal cords and kill them shortly after birth.

Gosnell could have been charged with the deaths of hundreds of babies in this gruesome live-birth abortion method, but prosecutors focused on the seven cases they believed would be most likely to result in a conviction.

Today’s ruling also allowed the cases prosecutors filed against nine of Gosnell’s staff, including his wife and sister-in-law, to move forward. They face charges ranging from murder in association with the deaths of the woman from the abortion and the babies to obstruction of justice and other counts associated with covering up the alleged crimes.

Wednesday’s court action came during a hearing in Common Pleas Court, where new attorneys for Gosnell and his employees, which include two women from Delaware, asked for an additional hearing to question some of the evidence prosecutors presented. Judge Renee Cardwell-Hughes said a separate hearing is unnecessary and set a date of March 2 for the arraignment of Gosnell and his associates, and the defendants will all enter pleas at that time.

Gosnell and his staff were arrested in January and faced charges from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, which also complained about the lax oversight from state health department officials – saying they had not investigated the West Philadelphia abortion center since 1995 despite numerous complaints about the unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the abortion clinic from former patients and their families who had been injured in abortions.

The grand jury also had evidence of at least six patients Gosnell began treating in Delaware and then sent to Philadelphia. That includes one of the seven babies Gosnell is accused of killing in an infanticide who was the unborn child of a teenage girl who first visited an abortion business in Delaware that Gosnell also worked for and which has come under scrutiny from the state attorney general. Prosecutors say he took her to this Philadelphia abortion business because she was too far into pregnancy to complete the abortion in Delaware and Pennsylvania’s late abortion laws are more lax.

During the hearing, prosecutors said Gosnell and his associates should not be granted a preliminary evidence hearing because of the lengthy grand jury indictment.

Meanwhile, Gosnell is now represented by criminal defense attorney Jack McMahon, and his selection game after the judge asked Gosnell to sell assets to obtain a lawyer. The abortion practitioner had an attorney during the grand jury process but the contract for legal services expired once the grand jury reached its conclusion and Gosnell was charged.

Gosnell and his wife requested a court-appointed attorney, but Judge Cardwell-Hughes said no after learning Gosnell’s possessions and other financial holdings, including a nice New Jersey home, were highly valued at $900,000 and he made more than $1.8 million annually from his abortion business.

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.

Delaware law does not require inspections of abortion centers but Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said his office will launch a “wide-ranging” investigation of Gosnell and probe his work at the Delaware abortion facility given the vast problems at his Pennsylvania abortion center.

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 infanticides that involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.

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

“We want justice, this doctor has to be out of that clinic or he should not be treating anybody,” Damber Ghalley told CNN. “And the things that happen to my sister, I don’t want to happen to anybody in the future.”

He told CNN “the clinic was so dirty, filthy with blood stains and a dirty floor, everywhere dirty, I cannot describe how dirty it was.”

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.