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MORE HERE Abortionist arrested and charged with 8 counts of murder
Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Charged With 8 Counts Of Murder
January 19, 2011 11:23 PM
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A West Philadelphia abortion doctor, his wife and eight other suspects are now under arrest following a grand jury investigation.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, faces eight counts of murder in the deaths of a woman following a botched abortion at his office, along with the deaths of seven other babies who, prosecutors allege, were born alive following illegal late-term abortions and then were killed by severing their spinal cords with a pair of scissors.
“I am aware that abortion is a hot-button topic,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “But as district attorney, my job is to carry out the law. A doctor who knowingly and systematically mistreats female patients, to the point that one of them dies in his so-called care, commits murder under the law. A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law.”
Gosnell is facing charges of murder in the third degree for the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar. Mrs. Mongar died on November 20, 2009, when she was overdosed with anesthetics prescribed by Gosnell. He is also facing seven murder charges for the deaths of infants who were killed after being born viable and alive during the sixth, seventh, or eighth month of pregnancy. Gosnell is also facing numerous other charges.
Gosnell is suspected of killing hundreds of living babies over the course of his 30-year practice. However, he is not charged because the records do not exist.
DA Williams said Gosnell made approximately $1.8 million in one year alone performing the procedures.
Hear the DA’s entire press conference in this CBS Philly podcast … DA Seth Williams
Four of the suspects, some improperly licensed according to officials, also face multiple counts of murder for allegedly killing the newborns. All of the suspects are now behind bars after warrants were served overnight.
A search of Gosnell’s office, called the Women’s Medical Society, revealed that bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses were scattered throughout the building. Jars containing the severed feet of babies lined a shelf.
Gosnell, a family practioner, was never certified as an OB/GYN. He is accused of re-using unsanitary instruments and performing procedures in filthy rooms. Some of the rooms had litter boxes and animals present at the time of the operations.
Investigators also said Gosnell allowed unlicensed employees, including a 15-year-old high school student, to perform operations and administer anesthesia.
The grand jury investigation revealed that, for over two decades, government health and licensing officials had received repeated reports about Gosnell’s dangerous practices. However, no action was ever taken, even after the agencies learned that Mrs. Mongar had died during routine abortions under Gosnell’s care (see related story).
Dr. Gosnell, who has practiced in the West Philadelphia neighborhood for decades, is also the target of a federal grand jury investigation into illegally prescribing prescription drugs. Investigators say during a search of his home, they found $240,000 in cash.
Defense attorney William J. Brennan, who was out of town when the arrest happened this morning, said he had not yet talked to Dr. Gosnell, but says the charges are extremely serious and emotionally charged, and it is extremely important not to have a rush to judgement. Brennan says Gosnell is “cloaked with the presumption of innocence.”
Meanwhile, a civil suit has also been filed against Gosnell on behalf of the husband and children of the woman who died after an abortion. The suit seeks unspecified damages for the family of Karna Mongar, an immigrant from Bhutan who spent many years as a refugee. The suit claims she died after just five months here because of treatment by unlicensed personnel in a facility that lacked proper medical equipment.
The doctor, in past interviews with Eyewitness News, has proclaimed his innocence, predicting if charged, he will be acquitted.
Inside the ‘baby charnel house’
By DANA DiFILIPPO
Philadelphia Daily News
The grand jury called it “a baby charnel house.”
For more than 30 years, Kermit Gosnell ran an abortion clinic in West Philadelphia that was the “go-to” place for women wanting illegal late-term abortions or for people seeking no-questions-asked prescription drugs, according to a grand jury.
Here are some highlights from the jury’s report:
* Gosnell performed thousands of abortions at his Women’s Medical Society at 38th Street and Lancaster Avenue, even though he was a family practitioner never certified as an obstetrician or gynecologist. Gosnell was rarely present in the clinic, allowing his unlicensed, untrained staff to administer drugs and perform procedures.
* Gosnell routinely induced labor in patients in their second and third trimesters rather than perform risky late-term abortions. That sometimes resulted in live births. He and his staffers killed the babies by stabbing their necks with scissors to sever their spinal cords and sometimes suctioning their skulls, too. About a baby writhing as he cut its neck, Gosnell joked to a staffer: “That’s what you call a chicken with its head cut off.”
* Gosnell is accused of murder in the November 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who died a day after a staffer overdosed her with sedatives. Another woman, Semika Shaw, 22, died after Gosnell punctured her uterus and sent her home. Gosnell allegedly injured “scores” of others, leaving some sterile, perforating the bowels and uteruses of others. He frequently left fetal remains inside women, who then had to seek treatment elsewhere. * Gosnell and his staffers frequently left their patients unattended, so that the dead fetuses or live babies “fell out” wherever the patient was, often the bathroom. One clinic janitor told the grand jury that this happened so often that fetuses frequently clogged the toilet.
* Conditions at the clinic were deplorable. The walls were urine-splattered, and the floors were bloodstained. A janitor testified that the bathrooms were cleaned just once a week, even though patients routinely vomited into sinks and miscarried into toilets.
* White patients waited and were treated in a cleaner room than patients of color. Patients of color who became “too rowdy” got a slap on the thigh from Gosnell, one worker testified. Gosnell photographed his patients’ genitalia before procedures, another told the grand jury.
* A high-schooler, the daughter of staffer Tina Baldwin, worked in the clinic for four years, starting at age 15. She worked as much as 50 hours a week for $8.50 an hour. She routinely operated the ultrasound machine, administered anesthesia, diagnosed sexually transmitted diseases and told grand jurors she often was “in charge” of the clinic at night.
* Investigators say Gosnell made up to $15,000 a night, mostly in cash, for a few hours of work performing abortions. That doesn’t include the money he made as one of the state’s top Oxycontin prescribers. When authorities searched his home, they found a gun and $240,000 in cash stashed in his 12-year-old daughter’s closet.
* Instead of trashing disposable medical supplies, Gosnell directed workers to reuse them over and over until they broke. They were rarely sterilized, allowing venereal disease and other germs to spread among patients. After the raid, inspectors found that the suction source used to perform abortions was the only one available to resuscitate patients.
* Medical waste and fetal remains were supposed to be picked up weekly by a licensed disposal provider. But because Gosnell didn’t pay his bills, months might pass between pickups, leaving leaking bags and boxes to pile up in the clinic’s basement and freezers.