The defense attorney for abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell presented his closing arguments to the jury today and claimed there was no evidence the babies whose necks Gosnell “snipped” were alive at the time he snipped them.
Jack McMahon attempted to make the case to the jury today that workers for Gosnell are exaggerating the importance of movements in babies Gosnell killed. He was already successful in getting three of the seven murder counts dropped related to the babies. Now he hoped they will find him not guilty on four murder charges.
The grand jury report indicated one baby was “moving and breathing for 20 minutes before an assistant came in and cut the spinal cord, just the way she had seen Gosnell do it so many times.”
But defense attorney Jack McMahon said the babies Gosnell killed in an abortion process involving their live birth and eventual “snipping” of their necks and spinal cords were dead before they were actually born. He claimed any movement staffers saw after the fact was involuntary or reflexive and not an indication they were still alive after birth.
McMahon says no “scientific evidence” exists that any babies were alive at the time their necks were snipped. McMahon answered the question many pro-life advocates and prosecutors have asked: Why did Gosnell snip the necks of babies who were supposedly already dead from an abortion.
“Maybe (there was) some remote pain…I don’t know,” he said.
Testimony from the medical examiner and toxicologist has indicated that there was no evidence the babies were injected with Digoxin to ensure the babies were dead prior to the abortion, as the defense has claimed.
The medical examiner testified that tests were inconclusive as proof that the babies were born alive. However, the tests also did not prove the babies were dead prior to birth. Those inconclusive test results were overshadowed by the weight of testimony from witness after witness, who detailed how the babies were in fact living prior to being murdered through what one witness described as a “virtual beheading.”
McMahon also defended Gosnell against the murder charge related to killing a patient in a botched abortion, and he called death of abortion patient Karnamaya Mongar a “tragic accident” but not murder.
During his closing arguments, McMahon used many slides for the jury to see, but showed no pictures of the babies Gosnell killed. But, according to reporter J.D. Mullane, McMahon admitted to jurors that pictures of seven babies Gosnell accused of killing sickened him, and he did not want to download to his computer.
“Never in my life have I seen the presumption of innocence more trampled on, stomped on, than in this case,” he said.
Most of the closing from McMahon tried to paint Gosnell in a positive light. He said Gosnell “never turned away desperate, troubled girls young as 13 who came …for help. He gave them a solution to their problem.”
Mcmahon even went as far as invoking President John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” and implored jurors to “defy public opinion” and find abortion doctor not guilty.
Bryan Kemper, a pro-life advocate who is at the Gosnell trial tweeted today about the attitude of both men: “Gosnell was laughing with his attorney directly before defense closing statements which tried to paint Gosnell as a hero for poor women.”
Gosnell’s defense attorney asked the judge to drop three of the charges for killing the babies and the judge agreed with the contention there was not enough evidence to convict Gosnell on those charges. Another charge of infanticide was also dropped. He still faces the other charges the prosecution has brought and the murder trial will continue on them.
One of the dropped charges involves a 28-week-old baby Gosnell killed and whose remains were kept in an abortion clinic freezer.
Common pleas court Judge Jeffrey Minehart also dropped five counts of corpse abuse at the request of his defense attorney and did not explain his ruling dropping any of the charges.
The defense has argued that there were no live births at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Center abortion clinic and contends the babies died during abortions and their necks were snipped afterwards. But former Gosnell staffers testified they saw signs of life even after the abortion had been completed — saying the babies “jumped” and “screamed” and tried to escape.
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.
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.
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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 operated abortion centers in Wilmington and Dover.