(Warning: This news article contains details of a graphic nature concerning abortions and may disturb some readers.)
Some might find it hard to believe an abortion clinic could be this gruesome: The stench of cat urine greeted those who entered the Women’s Medical Society Clinic in Philadelphia, Pa.
Police found blood-stained furniture and blankets, piles of bags of medical waste and other filth. They even discovered rows of jars containing the severed feet of what appeared to be late-term aborted babies, and the corpses of several aborted babies with cuts on the backs of their necks.
What happened in the clinic was nothing short of a nightmare.
“[I]t was a horrific late-term abortion operation that was conducted with the aid of unlicensed workers who drugged patients into stupors, spread venereal disease by reusing disposable equipment, perforated wombs and bowels, and killed at least two patients,” Operation Rescue said.
Abortionist Kermit Gosnell “would deliver late-term, viable babies alive, then murder them by thrusting scissors into the backs of their neck and ‘snipping’ their spinal cords.”
The 72-year-old doctor faces the death sentence if the jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder. But he may avoid execution. Gosnell spent two hours Thursday in a prisoner interview booth attached to a courtroom, while his attorney apparently weighed a plea deal from prosecutors. Jury selection is scheduled to begin in Monday.
Gosnell has been jailed without bail for more than a year. He faces 43 criminal counts. In January 2011, he was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of seven newborns. He was also charged with third-degree murder in the 2007 death of a Virginia woman given too much anesthesia by Gosnell’s untrained staff during an abortion. Additional charges include conspiracy, drug delivery resulting in death, infanticide, corruption of minors, evidence tampering, theft by deception, abuse of corpse and corruption.
Gosnell’s wife and eight other employees face hundreds of criminal counts.
“Four other employees, Steven Massof, Lynda Williams, Sherry West, and Adrienne Moton masqueraded as physicians even though they had little if any training, and certainly no medical license,” Operation Rescue said. “They frequently conducted illegal abortions, including the grisly procedure Gosnell called ‘snipping’ of newborns’ spinal cords.”
Eight employees have already pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, and some are expected to testify against Gosnell. They may receive leniency at sentencing, depending on the quality of their testimony.
Gosnell faces another trial, this one in federal court. A grand jury indictment in December 2011 accused him of operating a “pill mill” out of the abortion clinic, selling narcotics prescriptions for cash.
The case began in January 2010, when police raided Gosnell’s clinic, looking for a “pill mill” thought to be the city’s largest illegal supplier of Oxycontin.
Once authorities saw the horror inside, they immediately closed the Women’s Medical Society Clinic and a grand jury began investigating.
Subsequent clinic inspections revealed massive violations at clinics across Pennsylvania. The case has influenced new legislation and clinic regulation, and prompted stronger enforcement of abortion laws, not only in Pennsylvania, but also in Maryland, Delaware, and other states.