Testimony has concluded for the week in the murder trial of abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell. But, late Thursday, members of the jury heard from a teenage girl who found an odd work-study program at his clinic.
Ashley Baldwin, a 15-year-old sophomore at University City High School, found herself employed at Gosnell’s abortion clinic and, despite no medical license or training, working alongside him performing gruesome late-term abortions.
From an AP report on the testimony:
She was paid, and in no time went from answering phones to doing ultrasounds, administering intravenous medicine, and, ultimately, assisting in abortions performed by her mentor, Kermit Gosnell.
Now 22 and the mother of a 2-year-old son, Baldwin on Thursday told a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury hearing Gosnell’s murder trial of her unusual hands-on medical apprenticeship.
Baldwin also told the jury about seeing at least five aborted babies moving, breathing, and, in one case, “screeching” after late-term procedures at the clinic.
In Pennsylvania, abortions are legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. After that, medical experts say, a fetus is capable of living outside the womb.
“They looked just like regular babies,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said one baby was so big that Gosnell joked that “this baby is going to walk me home.”
She said the joke bothered her and she talked to her mother about it. Baldwin’s mother, however, was also a Gosnell employee. Tina Baldwin had worked there since 2001.
Ashley Baldwin said she assisted Gosnell in abortions, applying pressure to the mother’s abdomen, handing the doctor instruments and equipment.
She said she also saw Gosnell use scissors to “snip” the neck of newborns who were moving after the procedure.
Although she sometimes felt uneasy about what she saw, Baldwin said, Gosnell always had an explanation: “He told me that’s how it was supposed to go.”
Baldwin testified Thursday that even his horrific “snipping” procedure for killing babies in abortions/infanticides didn’t necessarily end their lives.
Gosnell’s defense lawyer, Jack McMahon, claims none of the babies were born alive but were dead before birth due to a lethal drug injection and that Gosnell and his staff “snipped” their necks after “birth.” McMahon claims no babies were ever killed in the gruesome abortion process, which involved “snipping” the spinal cords of the children by jabbing medical scissors into the backs of their necks, because the babies were supposedly already dead.
That’s not what two staffers for Gosnell admitted in court — with one saying she heard a baby scream and another saying the baby “jumped” when the newborn was stabbed in the neck with the scissors.
McMahon is attempting to get the jury to buy a story that Gosnell used a drug called Digoxin to kill the baby in utero and then to deliver a dead child. He claims Gosnell just wanted to “snip” the spinal cords to ensure the baby was dead already. The Gosnell staffer admitted that’s what the abortion practitioner told her he was doing.
Although the defense attorney claimed the babies were dead and that jabbing them in the neck with scissors was needed to make sure that was the case, Gosnell staffers also told the court one at least two occasions that the babies were not dead when their necks were stabbed.
However expert witnesses testified there was no medical reason for Gosnell to cut the spines of aborted fetuses.
Determining if the children were alive or dead at the time their spinal cords were “snipped” is crucial to prosecuting Gosnell and his staff.
Gosnell faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants. Additional charges include conspiracy, drug delivery resulting in death, infanticide, corruption of minors, evidence tampering, theft by deception, abuse of corpse, and corruption. Gosnell could face the death penalty if convicted and he faces a mandatory minimum 20 years.
The trial of the abortion practitioner has been so gruesome and vivid in its accounts of the late-term and live-birth abortions that it has shocked the conscience of the nation, despite a relative lack of media coverage outside of local media and conservative and pro-life news outlets.
Gosnell, whose squalid “house of horrors” abortion clinic has surprised even investigative officials, has had almost flippant attitude toward his macabre abortion practices shocked the nation.
“The Gosnell case is a watershed moment for the issue of abortion,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “The discovery of his horrific practices helped shed light on an abortion industry that has run amok without oversight or accountability for decades, and has prompted significant changes in abortion laws and attitudes toward enforcement in several states.”
Previously, Gosnell’s wife Pearl pleaded guilty to assisting her husband at his Philadelphia abortion center where he killed a woman in a botched abortion and has killed hundreds of babies in abortion-infanticides.
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.
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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 when she would “help do the instruments” in the operating room despite no medical training.
Previously, Judge Lerner ruled two other former employees, Eileen O’Neill and Madeline Joe, are not allowed to have their cases separated from that of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Neither O’Neill nor Joe are charged with killing babies in infanticides and, although their attorneys argued the horrifying allegations against Gosnell could unfairly taint their cases, they were not allowed to plead guilty in deals as was the case with six other former employees.
The murder charges also came in connection with the botched abortion death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, who died at Gosnell’s abortion clinic after a failed abortion. Mongar died November 20, 2009, after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by the doctor. Mongar’s family filed a lawsuit against Gosnell’s abortion business seeking damages.
Gosnell and several staffers at his abortion center, including 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. Pearl Gosnell, Kermit’s 49-year-old wife who has no medical license, faces a charge of providing an abortion at 24 or more weeks and conspiracy and other charges.
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.
Gosnell’s abortion center was inspected only after a federal drug raid in 2010. It was the first time the facility had been inspected in 17 years because state officials ignored complaints and failed to visit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society for years.
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 associated with 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.