As the nation awaits the results of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial, a columnist who helped get some national coverage of the trial of the abortion practitioner is highlighting one woman’s tragic story.
In a new column at USA Today, writer Kirsten Powers focuses on the story of Desiree Hawkins.
When Hawkins (right) was 16, she sought an abortion at a clinic in Maryland, that referred her to Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion facility because she was too far along in pregnancy. Scared and confused, Hawkins eventually got an abortion at Gosnell’s “house of Horrors” clinic and her baby became one of many whose feet Gosnell kept as a sick and twisted collectors item.
Now, as Powers relates in her piece, Hawkins regrets the abortion and was prepared to testify against Gosnell — but that plan didn’t work out either.
“If I talk, maybe people will make sure it won’t happen again.”
That’s what 20-year-old Desiree Hawkins told me last week as she recounted the horror of visiting abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell in December 2009. The jury in Gosnell’s trial for the alleged murders of multiple babies and one woman heard closing arguments Monday afternoon, but they won’t hear from Hawkins.
Hawkins was forced to relive the nightmare of Gosnell’s house of horrors when she was contacted by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent this year. The agent told her that one of the severed feet found in jars at the clinic belonged to her aborted baby. She was set to testify as a rebuttal witness against Gosnell until he chose to not take the stand.
When she was 16, Hawkins sought an abortion at a National Abortion Federation-certified abortion clinic, Hagerstown (Md.) Reproductive Health Services. The clinic told her she was 19 weeks pregnant and referred her to Gosnell. When she recently retrieved her file in anticipation of testifying, she was shocked that her sonogram showed she had in fact been at 21 weeks, which meant she would have been 23 weeks pregnant by the time Gosnell performed the abortion. “I was so overwhelmed and hurt,” said Hawkins. “If I had known I was 23 weeks, I would have (chosen) adoption.”
She also would have avoided the trauma visited upon her by Gosnell. Hawkins described the licensed medical professional as laughing at her during the procedure as she cried and begged him to stop because of the pain. “Stop being a baby,” he said.
Hawkins experienced betrayal anew when she read the grand jury report replete with testimony of government officials admitting they ignored repeated complaints about Gosnell because they didn’t want to limit access to abortion.
Said Hawkins, “What really got me was when the (health department official) just said, ‘People die.’ They just decided to look the other way.” She is passionate that “someone needs to make sure all states’ departments of health … are preventing this from happening.”
Check out footage of Hawkins talking about her experience….
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