Michael Carl is a veteran journalist with overseas military experience and experience as a political consultant. He also has two Master's Degrees, is a bi-vocational pastor and lives with his family in the Northeast United States.More ↓Less ↑
(Warning: This article contains graphic details concerning abortions and may disturb some readers.)
PHILADELPHIA – They were breathing, because their chests were moving up and down, until an abortionist would “snap their necks.”
That was the testimony today in the Philadelphia murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell by a former worker, Kareema Cross.
Earlier testimony was replete with gushing blood, severed body parts, feet preserved in jars, body pieces plugging a drain and death.
Gosnell, whose “House of Horrors” has pulled back a curtain to reveal horrific activities inside the abortion industry, has been charged with murdering a woman who was getting an abortion as well as seven newborn babies who, against odds, survived the abortion procedure and were breathing and crying in his office, as the pro-life group Operation Rescue has documented.
Cross was asked by the prosecutor if any of the babies were born alive.
“Oh yes, a lot of times I saw the baby move. They would be trying to get out of the fluid,” Cross said.
“Most of the babies delivered were still breathing, and Dr. Gosnell would snap their necks,” Cross said.
“He said they weren’t breathing, but I saw that their chests were moving up and down,” Cross said. “This happened more than 10 times.
“I heard them cry, but it was more like an umm, like a whine,” Cross said.
As to what Gosnell did with the babies after they were delivered: “Dr. Gosnell would put the babies into a container. He would take them out of the room and clip their necks.”
Cross worked at Gosnell’s Women’s Health Center from 2005 through December 2009.
She explained she went to school to become a medical assistant, a program that trained her to draw blood and keep medical files.
Co-prosecutor Joanne Pescatore asked Cross about her schedule at the Philadelphia facility.
“My working hours were usually about 8:30 to 5, but when there were a lot of second-trimester abortions, I would work until about 3 a.m.,” Cross said.
Much of the testimony from Cross centered on medication and whether she or her co-workers were authorized to administer it.
Pescatore asked Cross, “Were you trained on how to give medication?”
“No, I wasn’t trained on how to give medication and am not state certified to be a medication technician,” she said.
Cross alluded to the number of times she and her co-workers were tasked to administer intravenous medication. She admitted that neither she nor any of the other clinic workers were certified medication technicians.
But that didn’t prevent Cross or her co-workers from administering IV medication, she said.
“I would give the medication, inject the medication before he (Gosnell) came in to do the procedure,” Cross said.
Cross said she was also frequently assigned to do ultrasounds, a medical procedure she also admitted she was not trained to perform.
“The only training I received was at the clinic from Dr. Gosnell. He trained me, but it was only for a few minutes,” Cross said. “Then I was set loose to do them.”
She testified Gosnell was often not present at the facility.
“We did a lot of second-trimester abortions. I can’t say exactly how many. He was almost never there during a second-trimester abortion,” Cross said.
There were other problems, she said.
“There was no monitoring equipment to know how much medication [we] were giving intravenously. The medication we would give was Lorazepam,” Cross said.
“There were no monitors, no blood pressure monitors,’ Cross said. “We had a defibrillator but I don’t know that we ever used it.”
She said patients complained about their arms swelling, but while Gosnell “said he would be in, sometimes he wasn’t there.”
“In most cases the patients were never monitored. They would be in pain but just fall asleep,” Cross said.
She said she was present when one of the patients delivered while sitting on the toilet.
“The baby was in the fluid, flailing, breathing, but suffocated,” Cross said.
Cross recounted another second-trimester abortion.
“I remember one time when Linda Williams (a clinic assistant) helped in one procedure. Linda pulled the hands back on the baby. The baby was outside the mother for about 20 minutes. Then Linda snapped the baby’s neck with the scissors,” Cross said.
The prosecutor then asked if patients at the clinic were all local.
“No. Women came from all over. Some would stay in the rooms on the third floor,” Cross said.
The prosecutor also introduced photographs as evidence, including those of dirty surgical instruments, blood stains, ripped treatment tables, and blood stains on the instruments.
Then, there was one photo of a cabinet.
“This picture is a bunch of jars in a cabinet,” Cross said.
The prosecutor asked, “What was in the jars?”
“The jars had babies’ feet in them.”
Another photograph, an enlargement, showed a baby’s foot in a plastic specimen bag.
At one point, Cross testified about a patient named Shaquanna Abrams who came for a second-trimester abortion.
“She delivered and the baby came out big, about 12-16 inches. He came out, and Dr. Gosnell put him in a box, a plastic box. The baby pulled his arms together because he was too big for the box,” Cross said. “The baby was so big his arms and legs hung out of the box. That’s why he pulled his arms together.
“Dr. Gosnell took the box from the room. Dr. Gosnell took pictures of the baby, then he snapped the baby’s neck,” Cross said.
She added, “Dr. Gosnell said that this baby was so big he could have walked me to the bus stop.”
Operation Rescue staffer Cheryl Sullenger was at the trial, and she said the testimony is horrific and stunning.
“I can’t believe some of the things I heard. It’s gross, it’s cruel, and it’s barbaric,” Sullenger said. “It’s inhuman.”
Sullenger’s organization has been monitoring the weeks of testimony already in the case:
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.
Testimony revealed Gosnell was reusing plastic tubes for abortions.
Crime scene investigator John Taggart testified about retrieving a large garbage disposal that was under the sink in the wash room. Operation Rescue president Troy Newman explained the significance: “I had seen it before in the abortion clinic in Wichita, Kan., that Operation Rescue bought and closed, then renovated into a usable pro-life office. Aborted baby remains were likely ground up in the disposal then flushed down the sink.”
A former Gosnell employee, Steven Massof, testified the abortion business was chaotic and that he saw more than 100 babies born alive who had their necks snipped in what he described as “a beheading.”
He also testified at times “it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.”
The outrage began when the grand jury looked into Gosnell’s operations and activities.
When the FBI raided the location, the grand jury report stated, “There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs.”
The grand jury asked: “How did this go on so long? Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers.”
Report author Dave Andursko noted the list of unethical practices is extensive.
“The callous killing of babies outside the womb, the routinely performed third trimester abortions, the deaths of at least two patients, and the grievous health risks inflicted on countless other women by Gosnell and his unlicensed staff are not the only shocking things that this grand jury investigation uncovered. What surprised the jurors even more is the official neglect that allowed these crimes and conditions to persist for years in a Philadelphia medical facility,” Andursko wrote.