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Editor’s Note: The graphic descriptions and images here may be upsetting to readers.
No sooner had a jury in Philadelphia today convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell of multiple counts of murder – he snipped the spinal columns of babies born alive – than abortion advocates found someone to blame for the horrific conditions in Gosnell’s business, such as cat urine and feces on the furniture, and his practice of stopping infants’ lives by cutting their necks.
It’s the fault of those people who want more regulation on abortion.
“Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty and will get what he deserves,” said a statement from the NARAL Pro-Choice America abortion advocates.
“Now, let’s make sure these women are vindicated by delivering what all women deserve: access to the full range of health services including safe, high-quality and legal abortion care.”
The statement said, “From the lack of funding available for low-income women to access abortion services, to the sharp decline of reputable providers in Pennsylvania, to the gross negligence of authorities to enforce the law after complaints were filed against Gosnell, each aspect of this case must be a teachable moment for lawmakers: until we reject the politicization of women’s medical care and leave these decisions where they belong – between a woman and her family and her doctor – women will never be safe, ” the abortion advocates said.
The jury in the Philadelphia case now must meet to consider the penalty in the case, since under state law in Pennsylvania the possible punishments for first-degree murder include life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
The jury rejected the defense arguments that Gosnell was being prosecuted for racist reasons, and witnesses in the courtroom told reporters Gosnell appeared shocked when the guilty verdicts were read. Testimony revealed it has been more than a decade since inspectors had been at the Gosnell abortion business.
Defense attorney Jack McMahon, speaking to reporters after the announcement of the verdict, said Gosnell was “disappointed and upset” at being found guilty.
“As we started the case there were eight homicide cases, seven infants and one adult woman, the jury should be commended for their efforts, even if I don’t always agree. I have confidence in the jury and how they proceeded, but we did feel a lot like salmon swimming upstream.”
Gosnell, who has been held behind bars during the trial, was led back to a sheriff’s van for return to jail.
The case sparked outrage across America when the details became known – how Gosnell would deliver babies, sometimes leaving them on a shelf while they breathed, and even cried out. Then he would cut their spinal columns to cause “fetal demise.”
Even though the charges – and verdicts – related to murder, or the death of a living human being, the New York Times, which had offered only scant coverage over the trial and its horrors, continued today to call the murder victims “fetuses.”
The convictions on three counts of first-degree murder, for three infants born alive and then killed, came “after a five-week trial in which the prosecution and the defense battled over whether the fetuses Dr. Gosnell was charged with killing were alive when they were removed from their mothers,” the Times said.
Testimony from multiple workers in the clinic revealed to jurors the babies breathed, reacted to touch and sometimes even cried out before they were killed.
American Life League cited how the trial pulled back the curtain on practices in abortionists’ back rooms.
“We undoubtedly will now hear from other abortionists like Planned Parenthood how Gosnell is the exception and that he is not representative of the abortion industry. The highly paid pro-abortion public relations professionals will tell us how Gosnell proves that we need greater access for women to safe abortion,” said the organization’s statement. “But Gosnell is the exemplar of those in the industry who place no value on any human being prior to birth, or clearly after birth. He is not the exception; every abortion kills a human being.”
The Susuan B. Anthony List agreed.
“There are numerous examples of negligence and even death in abortion facilities across the country. Now is the moment to realize that abortion is neither safe, nor rare. Abortion is a brutal, painful procedure, both for the child that it kills and the woman that it wounds. We must protect children both inside and outside the womb who experience unspeakable pain from abortion,” said SBA’s Marjoria Dannenfelser. “Congress must address its role in protecting nationwide the human rights of children.”
Dana Cody, executive director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, said the case is a start.
“Hopefully this is the first step in seeing prosecutors nationwide take legal action when children born alive after surviving abortion are murdered. After all, Gosnell is not the exception, his clinic is the rule, abortion is murder inside and outside the womb.”
Concerned Women for America noted what Washington already has started.
“The House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to all 50 state attorneys general to find out if state and local governments are being thwarted in their efforts to protect the civil rights of newborns and their mothers,” the organization said in a statement. “The House Energy and Commerce Committee also sent a letter to all 50 state departments of health, examining the oversight conducted of health clinics and facilities that perform abortions to determine whether state departments … are aware of, or even conducting, monitoring and the extent to which other atrocities exist.”
The statement continued, “It is a sickening thought that if these babies were killed with guns instead of scissors it would be national news…”
The case, which included 258 total counts against Gosnell, also listed counts of infanticide, racketeering, performing third-trimester abortions and failing to follow the state’s mandatory 24-hour waiting period before an abortion. It revealed insider details of the abortion industry in the U.S. few wanted to hear.
LifeNews.com described from testimony the three cases for which Gosnell will be sentenced:
- Baby A: He was delivered to 17-year old Shaquana Abrams at 29.4 weeks gestation, according to an ultrasound record. He did not fit into the plastic shoe box that Gosnell tossed him in. A worker said she saw the baby pull in his arms and legs while Gosnell explained the movements as “reflexes,” telling her the baby really didn’t move. Then he cut the baby’s neck.
- Baby C. Intact baby of 25 weeks gestation. Worker testified that she saw Baby C breathing for 20 minutes. She told the court she saw Lynda Williams lift the baby’s arm and watched as the newborn drew it back on its own power. Then the baby’s neck was “snipped.”
- Baby D. Described by witnesses as 12-15 inches long with the head the size of a “big pancake.” He was delivered into a toilet and a worker said she saw the baby struggling, using swimming motions in an attempt to get out of the toilet bowl. Then the baby’s neck was “snipped.”
Philly.com reported the state’s prescribed punishment for first-degree murder is either life in prison without parole or death by lethal injection.
The jury also found Eileen O’Neill, 56, Gosnell’s codefendant, guilty of two counts of theft by deception and two of conspiracy.
The newspaper reported he was arrested in 2010 by agents investigating drug dealing. The newspaper said, “As they searched for evidence in the drug investigation, agents found other more shocking evidence: unsanitary conditions including blood and body fluids on the floor and furniture, the odor of a pet store permeated the building from Gosnell’s cat, fish and turtles, and the remains of aborted fetuses and fetal parts stored around the clinic.”
Within days, Gosnell’s medical license was suspended and with weeks, authorities moved to close the business permanently.
No criminal charges resulted against state officials, but a handful of lawyers and supervisors for the health department were fired for failing to make sure inspections were done at the business.
Theoretically, Gosnell still faces trial on the charges that emanated from the drug raid.
The graphic details of the abortion business sickened some observers.
Philadelphia Medical Examiner Dr. Sam Gulino told a Washington Post reporter that he had to deal with frozen baby body parts. Other baby parts, such as feet, were stored in jars.
“It was really an unprecedented situation. It was the first time I had to deal with fetal remains that had been frozen. All I could do was allow the remains to thaw so that I could examine them,” Gulino told the paper.
The Blaze compiled a list of abuses Gosnell and his staff are alleged to have committed:
- Gosnell allegedly treated his minority clients with much less respect than his white patients. Considering that he was named, according to the AP, in more than 40 malpractice suits, the clinic head would purportedly perform abortions for Caucasian women in cleaner locations (he assumed whites were more likely to complain about him).
- In addition to the murderous allegations being waged against Gosnell, eight former employees of the clinic have pleaded guilty (some to third-degree murder) and have spoken in great lengths about the terrifying conditions at the clinic.
- A 15-year-old girl allegedly helped facilitate abortions – including on potentially live babies – at the clinic. Ashley Baldwin, now 22, claims she worked nearly 50 hours per week. Even more shocking, she allegedly helped give women the drugs needed for the procedure – and apparently assisted throughout. Baldwin said that she saw aborted babies move on at least two occasions following abortions (in one instance, she said “the chest was moving”).
- Gosnell purportedly used untrained and low-paid staff to conduct nearly 1,000 abortions each year. The charge for a procedure in the horrific conditions mentioned? Between $350 and several thousand, depending on how far along the pregnancy was. Prosecutors believe he made millions from the practice. Authorities claim the clinic brought in about $15,000 per day.
- Speaking of “untrained,” prosecutors claim, according to the Gospel Coalition, that Gosnell is not certified to work in either gynecology or obstetrics.
- In the grand jury report, the clinic was said to smell of animal urine and blood stains were on blankets and furniture inside of the office. Not surprisingly, sterilized instruments were unheard of inside the establishment. And somehow the state had failed to inspect – or even visit – the clinic since 1993.
- In March, Adrienne Moton, a medical assistant at the clinic, provided sickening details about her alleged actions at the clinic, claiming that she snipped the spines of at least 10 babies; she said that another worker – and Gosnell himself – did the same. But that’s not the worst part. Moton also claimed that she once killed a baby after it was delivered in a toilet by cutting its neck with scissors. Moton plead guilty and has been in prison since 2011.
- Another former employee, Sherry West, shared yet another horrifying story. She claims that she was once called to the back room at the clinic, where aborted babies’ bodies were apparently kept on a shelf. Once there, West heard a live baby among the bodies cry out. The screaming child “really freaked” her out, she told the court. “I can’t describe it. It sounded like a little alien,” she said, noting that she previously referred to the babies as “specimens,” because it was easier to mentally handle what was going on at the clinic.
- Then there’s Robyn Reid’s story. She was only an 87-pound teen when she went to the clinic in 1998. Accompanied by her grandmother, she was looking for an abortion. But once she made it to the office, Reid changed her mind. But Salem-News.com writes that the doctor allegedly forced an abortion on her. “Gosnell ripped off her clothes and restrained the girl. When she regained consciousness 12 hours later at her aunt’s home, she discovered that an abortion had been performed against her will,” the website reports.
WND also 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 a 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.