PHILADELPHIA – The judge in the abortion murder trial for practitioner Kermit Gosnell has dismissed several of the counts in the case, including one of infanticide and three of murder.
The decision came today from Judge Jeffrey Minehart after Jack McMahon, Gosnell’s defense attorney, argued for the dismissals.
Also dropped were several counts of abuse of a corpse.
The trial, however, will continue on the rest of the counts that stem from the 72-year-old abortionist’s business in Philadelphia, the “Women’s Medical Center” that has been dubbed the “House of Horrors” for the events that occurred there.
He was accused of snipping the spinal cords of seven babies who were born alive at the facility, although witnesses have described that that same procedure was used to dispatch possibly hundreds of infants, as well as the drug overdose death of a patient.
Five other murder counts remain, and according to Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, who has been monitoring the case, it is a “watershed moment.”
“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,” he told LifeNews.
Minehart dropped the infanticide charge regarding “Baby B,” a baby born in a toilet, as well as murder charges for “Baby A,” “Baby C” and “Baby G.”
“”The prosecution has to show malice, the fact that Dr. Gosnell acted with intentional disregard for the safety of the mother and treated them differently than he did with the others,” McMahon said. “The prosecution has failed to do that.”
McMahon also cited Pennsylvania’s “24-Week Law.”
“Yes, Dr. Gosnell did abortions past the 24-week limit, but not one of those who he’s accused of harming were past 24 weeks.”
Prosecutor Ed Cameron said the counts fall within the law.
“The statute reads that if the crime offends common sensibilities, then the person is guilty. These acts offend reasonable sensibility,” Cameron said.
“The statute says that once the baby leaves the mother that the baby should be treated with dignity as a human being. That if they die, they should be disposed of with dignity. It is clear that Dr. Gosnell didn’t do that,” Cameron said.
“Cameron said that there are three signs that have to be present.
“It’s an either or. There has to be a beating heart and there has to be breathing. There also has to be voluntary movement,” Cameron said, “Even one of the doctors testified that they saw the baby breathing.”
In the case of “Baby B” and “Baby C,” Cameron argued that there was voluntary movement.
“The baby moved his arms. Lynda Williams said, ‘Hey look at this,’ as she called people to witness what she was doing,” Cameron said. “Williams pulled the baby’s arms and the baby pulled back.”
“That’s voluntary movement,” Cameron said.
“In the case of ‘Baby A’, Cameron said a clinic worker saw the baby move and breathe.
“It was a repeated course of conduct. Dr. Gosnell acted recklessly and with no regard for the safety of the women or the babies,” Cameron said.
President Obama, who has declined to weigh in, through his spokesman, on the case, meanwhile, is planning to attend a fundraising gala later this week for Planned Parenthood, the U.S. abortion industry’s biggest player.
Cecile Richards, president of the organization, said, “President Obama has done more than any president in history for women’s health and rights.”
In a statement that did not include the word abortion, she said, “He understands that access to birth control and preventive health care are economic issues for women and their families. We fought alongside him to ensure that women’s health access was expanded in the landmark Affordable Care Act, and now we have to fight hard to ensure that the full promise of health care reform is realized for millions of women.
“We are honored to President Obama join us…”
The details revealed during the trial have left Americans following the charges horrified.
For example, clinic worker Ashley Baldwin said Gosnell snipped the neck of many babies who could have lived.
The details of another instance are recorded in the grand jury report.
One report: “The baby had precipitated (emerged from the mother) when the doctor was not in the clinic. Lynda Williams (another clinic staff member) placed the baby in a basin on the counter where the instruments were washed and called the doctor to come.”
The details build: Baldwin heard an infant’s cry, and saw the baby move on the country. Estimated the baby’s length at 12 inches.
Gosnell arrived and all that soon stopped.
“He snipped the neck, and said there is nothing to worry about, and he suctioned it,” came the testimony.
The report also records the procedure for what would happen to the babies who were born when Gosnell was not at the clinic.
If Gosnell was absent, his employees would kill viable babies. Ashley Baldwin saw Steve Massof slit the necks of babies that moved or breathed ‘five or 10″ times. Massof, repeating what he had been taught by Gosnell, told her that that it was standard procedure to cut the spine in all cases.
Baldwin told the grand jury that she witnessed the similar procedure on several other occasions. An exchange between the prosecutors and Baldwin is also recorded in the grand jury report.
Q: These larger babies, when Dr. Steve was there, did he ever – was he ever there when any of the larger babies precipitated?
Q: Babies that would move?
Q: So, Dr. Steve – what would Dr. Steve do with babies that moved?
A The same thing.
Q. The same thing. And how many time did you see Dr. Steve?
A: A lot. He told me that – don’t worry about it. They are not living. It is just a reaction.”
The grand jury report also says that after Steve Massof left the clinic, clinic worker Lynda Williams took over the task of slitting the baby’s necks after they were born.
Former worker Kareema Cross said she later say Lynda Williams slit the neck of a baby (“Baby C”) who had been moving and breathing for approximately 20 minutes.
Gosnell had delivered the baby and put it on a counter while he suctioned the placenta from the mother. Williams called Cross over to look at the baby because it was breathing and moving its arms when Williams pulled on them. After playing with the baby, Williams slit its neck.
Marie Smith is another of Gosnell’s patients who almost died as a result of a botched abortion.
Smith was 19 when she had an abortion at Gosnell’s clinic. Three days after the abortion, she developed a fever and lost consciousness at her mother’s house.
She was taken to the emergency room where doctor’s discovered the cause of her infection.
“They showed me X-rays and said he [Gosnell] left an arm and a leg inside me. I almost died. I thought he knew what he was doing, but I guess I was wrong,” Smith told a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Operation Rescue’s Senior Policy Adviser Cheryl Sullenger wrote later that Smith is one of the fortunate ones.
“Marie Smith is lucky to be alive after having had a botched abortion by Gosnell in 1999,” Sullenger wrote.
Unlicensed medical school graduate Eileen O’Neill, Gosnell’s codefendant on murder charges, is reported to have given abortion drugs to clinic patients.
Lisa Dungee, a Gosnell clinic patient in 2009, testified to the court that O’Neill gave her the abortion pill before the end of the required 24-hour waiting period for an abortion and that she didn’t receive any pre-abortion counseling.
LifeNews.com reported that Dungee testified on the stand that, “When I came in to the facility, I already had my mind made up about what I wanted to do, so yes, I signed it,” Dungee said.
LifeNews also reported that Dungee didn’t deliver the four-week old baby until over 24-hours after taking the first abortion pill. The report says that O’Neill’s defense lawyer James Berardinelli has maintained that, “since Dungee did not actually expel her four-week baby until 24 hours after she took the first abortion pill, then the 24-hour waiting period had been observed.”
It was unclear whether the abortionist would testimony for himself.
WND reported earlier that the discoveries at Gosnell’s clinic were startling. A partial list reported by WND includes:
- Rusty and filthy abortion equipment has been brought into the courtroom to document unsanitary conditions.
- Medical records appear to have blood and other stains on them.
- Gosnell’s staff acted as though they were doctors, even though some had little or no medical training.
- Medications, including anesthetics, found in the office had expired years earlier.
- A defense attorney blamed the woman, Bhutan immigrant Karnamaya Mongar, for her own death, since she left several blanks on her medical form. Prosecutors said she spoke little English and likely was unaware she needed to provide information.
- Patients appeared to repeatedly get overdoses of drugs for their abortion procedures, including Mongar.
- Photographs of the bodies of babies, revealed gaping wounds in the back of their necks. According to testimony, Gosnell or staff members routinely snipped their spinal cords to make sure they were dead. Operation Rescue said: “The babies were all intact and had the appearance of being partially mummified or dried. The brownish-black skin had shrunk as it dried, revealing the upper spinal column that authorities say was pierced with scissors in order to snip the spinal cords of newborn babies born alive during abortions by Gosnell.”
- Photographs were introduced of babies’ feet, or even whole legs, Gosnell had preserved in jars.