Just months after notorious Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was convicted on three counts of murder for snipping the spinal cords of babies born alive, he now blames Catholics for his conviction, claiming he is “spiritually innocent” and merely acted as “a soldier in a war against poverty.”
“In an ideal world,” he told Philadelphia magazine in a jail interview, “we’d have no need for abortion. But bringing a child into the world when it cannot be provided for, that there are not sufficient systems to support, is a greater sin. I considered myself to be in a war against poverty, and I feel comfortable with the things I did and the decisions I made.”
As WND reported, the 72-year-old abortionist’s business in Philadelphia, the “Women’s Medical Center,” has been dubbed the “House of Horrors” for the events that occurred there. FBI agents raided the facility in 2010 looking for evidence of prescription drug dealing.
But what they found was blood on the floors, the overwhelming stench of urine and freezers filled with bags of babies’ remains.
Gosnell, who is now serving three life sentences and claims to be reading the Bible regularly, 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.
Philadelphia magazine reporter Steve Volk, who spoke with Gosnell and has released an e-book on the interactions, said the former abortionist is “intelligent” and “charismatic” and asserts he’s not a “monster.”
“He believes himself to be innocent … in this larger spiritual sense. He believes he was performing a service for people that asked him,” Volk told ABC News. “He believes he was a soldier at war with poverty. He has a sense of righteousness, that whatever rule he broke, it was worth it.”
Volk said Gosnell argues he is “innocent” of the charges and views abortion as a lesser sin than allowing a child to be born into poverty.
“It’s not as if he feels guilty about what he did. He sees the world is a dark place. He sees himself as having performed a noble function in society,” he explained. “For him, in a perfect, idealized world, it wouldn’t be necessary.”
Gosnell blamed religion and politics for his conviction.
“I have come to believe that the presumption of guilt was compounded by religious convictions,” he said. “… Were you aware that Seth [Williams, Philadelphia's district attorney] was an altar boy? Did you know of the strong Catholic presence in the homicide division?”
Since he entered prison, Gosnell has been contacting organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative to argue for prison and justice reform.
“He believes that he gained insight into what it’s like to be pushed into the system, without the capacity to explain himself,” Volk told ABC News. “He believes if he could have spoken about his rationale for doing things, he wouldn’t be in jail … There is no anger, no desperation [in his voice.] He believes he was in a war, and that ‘they’ won.”
Gosnell also shared several poems he’s written bemoaning the public’s negative view of abortionists. The following is one of his poems:
Are Labeled Killers!
Not Physicians, Oathed To Heal
Lest We Forget,
What Chance Have Those?
Those Without The Support
Of Their Parents
Their Societies …
Without Sufficient Support
Stumble Into Drugs
Into Mental Illness
Into Institutions … And …
Languish in Jails …
The details revealed during the Gosnell trial left Americans 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 times 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.”
WND also reported 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.