Legislator: Kermit Gosnell Killed My Cousin in Failed Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 20, 2011   |   5:50PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

Last week, when the Pennsylvania state legislature approved a bill that would hold abortion facilities accountable for following basic health and safety standards, a state legislator gave an impassioned plea as to why she supported the bill.

State Rep. Margo L. Davidson, an African-American first term Democratic legislator from Upper Darby explained why she strongly supported the legislation to better monitor abortion centers like the one Kermit Gosnell ran in Philadelphia, even though some Democrats and pro-abortion groups opposed it.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Davidson said her 22-year-old cousin was one of the women Gosnell killed in a failed abortion.”

Semika Shaw was “just coming into her own as a young woman,” Davidson said, when she died in 2002 from an infection caused by a botched abortion in Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic.

“I honor her memory by voting for this bill,” Davidson told her colleagues Wednesday after the controversial measure was approved. “So women will no longer walk into a licensed health-care facility and be butchered as she was.”

Shaw’s death, which led to a $900,000 insurance settlement, was central to the grand jury’s conclusion that state officials had failed to inspect the clinic for two decades and repeatedly ignored complaints of possible criminal activity there.

Davidson, 49, who grew up in same Mantua neighborhood where Shaw lived and the Gosnell clinic was located, said her young cousin probably sought an abortion because she had two young children and realized that as a single woman, she could not support a third. The grand jury report said Shaw had four previous abortions.

Little wonder the clinic wasn’t inspected in those days, Davidson reasoned. “The regulations regarding inspection were only policy,” the legislator said. “It was not mandated by the law.”

Davison says she doesn’t buy the argument from pro-abortion groups that the bill would somehow make abortion illegal or impossible to obtain.

“I don’t often buy into conspiracy theories. There is no evidence to support that that would happen in Pennsylvania,” she said after the vote. “There is a long list of organizations [that oppose the bill] that have resources to raise funds to make sure clinics stay open.”

Still, that doesn’t mean Davidson is pro-life.

Davidson described herself in an interview as having “pro-life leanings,” but said she did not want to overturn Roe v. Wade. “I don’t want to go back to back-alley abortions that put a woman’s life in danger,” she said.

But she said she felt compelled to support the bill because her cousin’s case exposed fatal flaws in the system – complaints ignored, leading to tragedies that could have been prevented – and because she cannot forget the cries of her young relatives as they stared at Semika’s body at her viewing.

“They were screaming and demanding she get up,” Davidson said. “There was no way I could comfort them.”

Last week, the wife of embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell pleaded guilty to assisting her husband at his Philadelphia abortion center where he killed a woman in a botched abortion and kills hundreds of babies in abortion-infanticides. Gosnell was charged with participating in an illegal late-term abortion, conspiracy and being part of a corrupt organization at the abortion center Gosnell ran. Gosnell himself faces trial for first-degree murder for the deaths of a woman from a botched abortion and seven babies killed in the live-birth-infanticide-abortion process.

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 whe she would “help do the instruments” in the operating room despite no medical training.

Pearl Gosnell is slated to be sentenced on February 15.