The abortion facility where newborns were murdered and women were subjected to countless horrors at the hands of abortionist Kermit Gosnell remains empty and deteriorating along Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia.
As pro-lifers gathered over the weekend to remember the victims of Gosnell’s “house of horrors,” they spoke about the empty building and the possibility of redeeming it to help mothers and children in the city, WHYY reports.
“It’s easy to say, ‘don’t get an abortion, good luck,’” local pro-life advocate John McKeever said. “But unless you eliminate the need for abortion, it’s still going to happen, it’s just going to happen in more dangerous places, and you’re going to push people into places like Gosnell’s clinic.”
McKeever and his wife began a petition and fundraiser to buy Gosnell’s old building and turn it into a maternity home for mothers and babies in need. But there has been resistance from some city officials and people in the neighborhood, according to the report.
Gosnell practiced his gristly abortion trade in the city for decades with little oversight from the state. In 2010, his abortion facility was raided on suspicion of illegal drug activity, and, in the process, authorities discovered an illegal, late-term abortion practice, untrained staff, unsanitary conditions and a gruesome collection of preserved aborted babies’ body parts.
In 2013, Gosnell was convicted of murdering three newborn babies and of manslaughter for a female patient who died in his care.
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His building has remained empty since then, though a pro-life pregnancy center opened next door about three years ago. AlphaCare provides free support to pregnant and parenting moms, including pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, counseling and referrals to other support services.
Gosnell’s building is scheduled for sheriff’s sale on Oct. 16, but the auction may not actually take place, according to the local news.
City officials have listed the clinic for sheriff’s sale four times since Gosnell’s arrest — there are $56,000 in back taxes on the property. But the property has never actually gone up for auction. Mike Dunn, a spokesperson for the city, said the properties are routinely listed as part of the normal foreclosure process. The city postponed the sales “as we engaged in internal discussions on the best course of action for these properties.”
… Neighbors are divided. Anti-abortion groups and individuals want to turn the clinic into a crisis pregnancy center or housing for pregnant mothers. Some neighbors believe the victims should be honored and remembered, but don’t want the site put to political uses. Others want the history erased altogether.
The McKeevers also are among a group of pro-life advocates who want to mark the grave where some of Gosnell’s victims are buried.
Pro-life advocates requested the babies’ remains to give them a proper burial, but the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office buried them in an unmarked grave in Laurel Hill instead.
“Forgotten in life, forgotten in death,” John McKeever reflected.
He and his wife asked for permission to erect a gravestone for the babies, but city officials denied that request as well, according to the report. On Saturday, they joined Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and others at the grave site for the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.
McKeever said their desire is not for publicity but for a return to a society that respects and values every human life. He said they simply want a grave marker to remember the babies’ lives.
“You want people to see it, but at the same time it could become a big huge propaganda circus, and we don’t want that,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be huge, doesn’t have to be over the top, but just so people know it’s here.”