Doctors Failed to Report Kermit Gosnell’s Botched Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 11, 2011   |   12:31PM   |   Philadelphia, PA

Doctors in Philadelphia are attempting to defend why they apparently failed to report the numerous botched abortions and other medical problems that took place at the clinic run by abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell.

Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder related to a failed abortion that claimed a woman’s life and seven infanticides that saw him use an abortion technique where he purposefully prematurely birthed babies late in pregnancy so he could use medical scissors to snip their spinal cords and end their lives.

Gosnell also botched the abortions of other women, who eventually found themselves in local medical centers treated by physicians for injuries sustained in the abortions. However, doctors at University of Pennsylvania Health System, which operates two medical facilities near Gosnell’s abortion business, were criticized by the grand jury that indicted Gosnell for failing to hold him accountable for the problems.

“We are very troubled that almost all of the doctors who treated these women routinely failed to report a fellow physician who was so obviously endangering his patients,” they wrote in January.

Now, according to an AP report, the health system released a statement saying it “provided reports to the authorities regarding patients of Dr. Gosnell who sought additional care at our hospitals” as early as 1999 even though officials reportedly could only produce one report of an instance where doctors informed state or local officials of potential problems. AP indicates the report centered on 22-year-old Semika Shaw, who died at the university hospital of internal bleeding and sepsis following the surgical abortion she obtained at Gosnell’s abortion center in 2000 — a case in which Gosnell eventually settled a lawsuit for $900,000.

Health system spokeswoman Susan Phillips told AP “we have staff who specifically recall making oral reports” to Pennsylvania authorities about problems with Gosnell, but she added, “Unfortunately, we have not been able to find additional written reports from these past years.”

AP indicates one physician and suburban medical examiner who did report problems to state officials never heard back from them about the problems — which is consistent with the grand jury report that noted the state government failed to properly monitor many of the concerning reports it received over the years regarding Gosnell and his abortion facility.

The AP story notes no reports were filed with state officials concerning Marie Smith, who went to Penn Presbyterian Hospital in 1999 after an abortion that left parts of her unborn baby inside her caused her to fall unconscious, or Dana Haynes, who went to Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s emergency room in 2006 with a perforated cervix, uterus and bowel following a failed abortion that also left parts of her baby inside her.

No reports were issued when Karnamaya Mongar died following an abortion in 2009 that eventually resulted in authorities raiding Gosnell’s abortion center.

Latosha Lewis, a Gosnell employee, told the grand jury that staff at the university hospital treated numerous Gosnell patients and AP documented at least five cases in which women suffering from botched abortions requiring emergency medical treatment were not reported to state authorities. That’s despite the state board of medicine saying doctors who fail to file reports within 30 days of treating women who suffer from failed abortions are guilty of unprofessional conduct” and could see their licenses suspended.

Gosnell and several staffers at his abortion center, including his wife 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.

In the raid, officials found 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.

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.

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 nothingwhen reports came in about problems at Gosnell’s abortion center, which has upset incoming pro-life Governor Tom Corbett who fired several state employees.