Yesterday, Steven Massof, an unlicensed doctor who worked for convicted abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, was sentenced to 6-12 years in jail. Massof previously pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder.
With his sentencing complete, there are now three former Gosnell staffers who await their own sentences, including Gosnell abortion clinic employee Sherry West, who described how she heard a baby scream during a live-birth abortion. West described an incident which “really freaked (her) out” and related to the jury how she heard a child scream who was born alive following an abortion.
West remembered how she referred to the dead children killed in these gruesome abortion procedures as “specimens” so she could avoid the mental trauma associated with knowing how they died. As local media reported:
Sherry West, of Bear, said she was loyal to Gosnell – who is now facing multiple counts of murder for allegedly killing children after they were delivered alive at his clinic – but said the incident “really freaked me out.”
When Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore pressed the 53-year-old West for specifics about the incident, West struggled to answer, clearly uncomfortable with the memory.
“I can’t describe it. It sounded like a little alien,” West testified, telling a judge and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas jury that the body of the child was about 18 to 24 inches long and was one of the largest babies she had seen delivered during abortion procedures at Gosnell’s clinic.
West said she saw the child, whose face and features were not yet completely formed, lying on a glass tray on a shelf and she told a co-worker to call Gosnell about it and fled the room.
During her two years working for Gosnell, West said she also saw patients deliver “specimens” in the toilet, which she made a co-worker remove, adding she called aborted fetuses “specimens” because “it was easier to deal with mentally.”
She also testified that she saw many women come in who looked like they were too far along in their pregnancies to have abortions.
West started working for Gosnell in late 2008, after being his patient for more than 20 years. West said she had previously worked at the Veterans Administration, doing preparation work in the operating room, but left in 2007 after suffering a nervous breakdown and being diagnosed with Hepatitis C that she contracted in the hospital.
West said she was desperate for money in 2008 because she was fighting with the VA over disability benefits and Gosnell agreed to hire her and pay her under the table. She said Gosnell, as her primary care doctor, was well aware that she had a nervous breakdown, was on the anti-anxiety drug Prozac and had Hepatitis C diagnosis.
Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue has more on West and the other two Gosnell employees who await their fates:
The final three accomplices, Sherry West, Lynda Williams, and Tina Baldwin, are set to be sentenced in Judge Lerner’s courtroom on March 13, 2014.
West and Williams, who are accused of the worst crimes, including several counts of third degree murder in the deaths of babies born alive during abortions and in the drug overdose death of patient Karnamaya Mongar. They remain incarcerated at Riverside Correctional Center.
Baldwin, who as charged among other things with contributing to the corruption of a minor for allowing her 16 year-old daughter to work long hours at Gosnell’s clinic, is currently free on bond.
Other Gosnell co-defendants already sentenced include:
• Adrienne Moton, who was sentenced to time served (28 months) and 3 years of probation. Moton testified against Gosnell and provided the prosecution with a photo she took on her cell phone of “Baby A.” Gosnell had joked that Baby A was so large, he could walk him to the bus stop.
• Pearl Gosnell, Kermit’s wife, was sentenced to probation after turning against her husband to save herself. However, she did not testify at her husband’s trial.
• Elisabeth Hampton, Pearl Gosnell’s foster sister, received probation. Disturbingly, Massof had testified that Hampton was the worker called to hold down women writhing in pain during abortions.
• Eileen O’Neill, another unlicensed medical school graduate who claims she never participated in abortions, was sentenced to 6-23 months of house arrest, 2 years of probation, and 100 hours of community service. She was found guilty of numerous crimes, including conspiracy, participation in a corrupt organization, and two counts of theft by deception.
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The Gosnell criminal case was considered a seminal event for the pro-life movement. Grisly details of late-term abortions that were conducted amid grossly filthy conditions by untrained and unsupervised staff showed the spotlight on abortion abuses that occur, to one extent or the other, at abortion clinics nationwide. This led to the passage of stronger clinic accountability and safety laws not only in Pennsylvania, but around the nation, contributing to a record number closures of unsafe abortion clinics, including 87 closures in 2013.