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Steven Massof

Sentencing Day for Abortion Clinic Worker

Steven Massof will be sentenced on two counts of third-degree murder

By Elyse Madison

| Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 | Updated 3:35 PM EDT

An unlicensed doctor will be sentenced Monday for his part in the deaths of two babies born alive at a West Philadelphia abortion clinic.

Steven Massof, of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty in November to two counts of third-degree murder, murder conspiracy and other charges. The 49-year-old--who admitted to snapping the necks of at least 100 moving and breathing babies--could be sentenced to life in prison, but his plea is expected to earn him a reduced sentence.

Massof is among 10 defendants who plead guilty to charges related to the case. He allegedly graduated from a foreign medical school, but did not have a license to practice medicine.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell also was charged in connection to the deaths. The 70-year-old owned the clinic when he allegedly killed seven babies and a woman--who died following a botched abortion.

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Sentencing-Day-for-Steven-Massof-Abortion-Clinic-Worker-135431128.html

 

Kermit Gosnell’s abortion assistant sentenced to prison

By Cheryl K. Chumley

-The Washington Times
Thursday, February 13, 2014

Steven Massof, the 51-year-old assistant to abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, was sentenced to several years in prison for killing two babies who had been born alive.

CBS reported that Massof, who worked with the now-famous Gosnell at the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia, was sentenced to 6 to 12 years.

Massof was a medical school graduate, but did not have a license or certificate to perform the procedure. He nonetheless worked as a doctor at the same facility as Gosnell, who was recently sentenced to life in prison for killing several babies born alive in botched abortions at the city clinic.

Massof pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, conspiracy, corrupt organizations and conspiracy to commit corrupt organization charges back in 2011, CBS said.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/13/kermit-gosnells-abortion-assistant-sentenced-priso/

 

Assistant gets 6-12 years for Gosnell clinic role

By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: February 14, 2014

Middle-aged, a graduate of a Caribbean medical school just starting to take his licensing exams, looking for work in the job market's offseason - it wasn't surprising that Steven Massof had trouble finding a residency program.

So Massof leaped at the chance to work at Kermit Gosnell's Women's Medical Society in West Philadelphia: "I wanted to get experience. I wanted to counsel women and their partners about health issues."

What no one - least of all Massof - could explain to Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner was why he stayed five years, working under the table for $300 a week, performing illegal late-term abortions and killing infants born alive.

On Wednesday, Lerner sentenced Massof to six to 12 years in prison. The judge credited Massof's decision to plea guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and testify against Gosnell, but called what happened at the clinic "unspeakably horrible."

"As evil as Dr. Gosnell was, as charismatic as he may have been, he didn't do this alone," Lerner said. "He couldn't do this without the assistance of someone like you."

"I don't know how it started," Massof, 51, voice cracking, told the judge.

"I realize that this is something that's wrong and will never be right and will never go away," Massof said, calling his work with Gosnell "a horrific part of my life."

Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron, who handled the case with Joanne Pescatore, argued for a prison term of 10 to 20 years.

Despite his cooperation, Cameron said, Massof had the education, intelligence, and training to know what he was doing was wrong - and stop it.

Massof, of Pittsburgh, began working at Gosnell's clinic in 2003 and said he quit in 2008, exhausted by the workload, dismayed by deteriorating clinic conditions, and in a dispute with a coworker.

Massof was one of nine Gosnell workers charged in 2011 involving illegal late-term abortions performed at 3801 Lancaster Ave.

Like Gosnell, Massof was charged with first-degree murder for killing infants born live and viable during abortions. He would have faced a possible death sentence if the jury had found him guilty. He pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder in exchange for his cooperation with prosecutors.

In May, a Philadelphia jury found Gosnell guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for killing babies born alive during abortions by snipping their spinal cords with scissors. Gosnell, 72, waived his right to appeal to escape a possible death sentence and is serving three consecutive life terms.

Three more Gosnell workers await sentencing.

Defense attorneys Jeffrey M. Lindy and Paul M. George argued that Massof deserved leniency because of his cooperation and the personal price he had paid.

Lindy said Gosnell had told other inmates Massof was a snitch. Massof has since been threatened and is housed in isolation.

Lindy tried to minimize Massof's participation in abortions, saying he mostly worked upstairs in the clinic's family practice.

Pescatore, however, recounted Massof's trial testimony, in which he said there were so many abortions at the clinic, "I felt like a fireman in hell."

"That's how many babies were falling out," the prosecutor added.

jslobodzian@phillynews.com

215-854-2985 @joeslobo

http://articles.philly.com/2014-02-14/news/47308309_1_kermit-gosnell-steven-massof-abortions

 

 


 

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Wife: I'm sorry for trusting Pa. abortion doctor


The wife of a Philadelphia abortion doctor, a cosmetologist who admitted helping him perform very late-term abortions at his corrupt, grimy clinic, said Wednesday that she was sorry for trusting her husband and was sentenced seven to 23 months in prison.

Pearl Gosnell had pleaded guilty to racketeering and performing an illegal abortion past Pennsylvania's 24-week limit. She said her husband, Kermit, told her the abortions were all performed within the legal limit and she believed him. He was convicted this month of first-degree murder in the deaths of three infants born alive.

"I am the wife of Kermit Gosnell, I am not happy about that now and I haven't been for a long time," Pearl Gosnell, 51, told Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner at her sentencing hearing.

She said her husband took the "cowardly" path for not speaking at his trial or apologizing for his crimes.

The judge gave her time credit for nearly three months she spent in jail after her arrest.

Former employees testified that Kermit Gosnell routinely performed illegal abortions past the 24-week limit; delivered babies who were still moving, whimpering or breathing; and dispatched the newborns by "snipping" their spines, as he referred to it.

Gosnell was also convicted in the death of patient Karnamaya Mongar, who was given a fatal overdose of painkillers.

The case became a flashpoint in the nation's polarized abortion debate. Foes said it exposed the true nature of abortion in all its disturbing detail. Abortion rights activists warned that Gosnell's practice foreshadows what women could face if abortion is driven underground with more restrictive laws.

A former clinic employee, who pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and other charges, was sentenced Wednesday to time served after being jailed for 28 months.

Adrienne Moton, 36, had pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and other charges. Lerner said he was sending Moton home and she has shown remorse for her crimes.

In an emotionally wrought statement, Moton told the court she thought she was helping women but never thought about the babies at Gosnell's clinic.

The judge rescheduled the sentencing dates for clinic workers Lynda Williams, 43; Sherry West, 53; and Tina Baldwin, 47, because the women still have unresolved federal drug charges.

West and Baldwin are now scheduled to be sentenced June 24. Williams is due in court July 1.

http://www.theeagle.com/news/nation/article_e3cad17b-f648-5d33-a0e6-c1c0a446ca4a.html

Philadelphia Abortion Doc Found Guilty in Three Babies' Deaths

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia doctor accused of performing illegal, late-term abortions in a filthy clinic has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies born alive but acquitted in the death of a fourth baby.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of a patient.

Prosecutors say the 72-year-old Gosnell delivered babies alive and had their spines severed with scissors to kill them. They say the baby whose death he was cleared in let out a soft whimper before Gosnell cut its neck.

The defense had argued there were no live births at the clinic.

The grisly details of the case came out more than two years ago when authorities described finding bags and bottles of fetuses at the foul-smelling clinic and unsterile instruments that were reused.

Prosecutors seek the death penalty.
http://www.kbtx.com/news/facebookheadlines/Philly-Abortion-Doc-Guilty-in-Three-Babies-Deaths-207252801.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook#.UZFM08oRurB

 

Jury split on 2 counts in trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/13/jury-split-on-2-counts-in-trial-abortion-doctor-kermit-gosnell/?test=latestnews#ixzz2TBkqHKrX


PHILADELPHIA – Jurors in the murder trial of a longtime Philadelphia abortion provider said Monday that they were divided on two of the more than 200 counts in the case, but the judge asked them to try again to reach a unanimous verdict.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is accused of killing a patient and four babies allegedly born alive and then killed with scissors at his clinic in a rundown West Philadelphia neighborhood.
He also faces racketeering and conspiracy charges, and hundreds of counts alleging he performed illegal, third-trimester abortions or failed to counsel women.
It's not clear which two counts have divided jurors. Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart asked the panel to try to reach a unanimous verdict. The jury has been weighing the more than 200 counts in the case for 10 days.
Judges can eventually take a partial verdict and leave prosecutors to decide whether to retry the unresolved counts.
Prosecutors put on about five weeks of testimony, and co-defendant and former clinic employee Eileen O'Neill called several witnesses.
Gosnell's lawyer, Jack McMahon, did not call either fact or character witnesses for his client. McMahon instead attacked the prosecution witnesses during cross-examination, and argued in closings that the babies were killed in the womb with an abortion drug. He said the patient, 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar of Woodbridge, Va., died of medical complications.
Gosnell ran the Women's Medical Society for more than 30 years until the FBI shut it down after a 2010 raid focused on his high-volume business distributing painkiller prescriptions. Authorities instead stumbled upon abortions under way late at night amid allegedly filthy conditions and found 47 aborted fetuses stored in refrigerators at the clinic.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/13/jury-split-on-2-counts-in-trial-abortion-doctor-kermit-gosnell/?test=latestnews#ixzz2TBklWYAu

 

Gosnell jurors say they are "drained"

By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: May 12, 2013
A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury returns Monday to continue deliberating in the murder trial of West Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

The jury of seven women and five men, which has deliberated for a total of about 51 hours since April 30, broke for the weekend at 1:30 p.m. Friday after telling court officials they were "drained."

The jurors seemed to spend much of the week tackling the murder charges against Gosnell, 72, who operated the Women's Medical Society clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave. from 1979 to 2010 when it was closed after a federal-state drug raid.

Gosnell is charged with four counts of first-degree murder: babies allegedly born alive during illegal late-term abortions and killed by Gosnell or staff.

But deciding the verdicts on those counts may be more difficult than it seems because the jury must first decide if the babies were born alive.

Expert testimony based on autopsies was inconclusive so the jurors must decide if it believes ex-Gosnell employees who pleaded guilty in hopes of leniency at sentencing.

Then, on Thursday, Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart told the jurors they had to reach separate verdicts for each of 227 counts charging Gosnell with violating the state's 24-hour waiting period before a woman has an abortion.

Based on the jury's question to the judge, it seemed some jurors thought a lawyers' stipulation about the origin of medical records for the 227 abortions meant they only had to render one mass verdict.

Gosnell also faces a count of third-degree murder in the 2009 death of an abortion patient allegedly overdosed on Demerol by Gosnell's untrained staff.

Codefendant Eileen O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, is charged with working as an unlicensed doctor in Gosnell's family practice.

As the jury worked Friday, a convoy of television and cable satellite trucks lined the intersection of 13th and Filbert Street as reporters maintained their wait for a verdict.

The media were supplemented during the lunch break by a small contingent of bullhorn-equipped anti-abortion demonstrators from Maryland and the Philadelphia area.

The protesters kept up a pro-Christian anti-abortion harangue while handing out literature and posters from Repent America and the California-based Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Considering that the Gosnell trial just ended its eighth week, there have been few such protests.

The last was March 13, the last day of jury selection, when a truck festooned with anti-abortion posters and religious quotations from Colorado Coalition for Life circled the courthouse for hours.

Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985, jslobodzian@phillynews.com, or @joeslobo on Twitter.

http://articles.philly.com/2013-05-12/news/39188306_1_codefendant-eileen-o-neill-gosnell-trial-medical-society-clinic

 


Life behind bars still likely on lesser counts for Gosnell
May 7, 2013 6:53 AM |

Written by
Sean O’Sullivan
The News Journal
PHILADELPHIA — Even if a Court of Common Pleas jury acquits abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell of the homicide charges against him, there is a likelihood he will spend the rest of life behind bars.

The 72-year-old Gosnell is facing more than 250 lesser charges in the case, and if convicted on those counts, they have the potential to keep him incarcerated until his death, based on the possible sentences available to Judge Jeffrey Minehart.

In addition, Gosnell also faces federal charges for allegedly operating a pain-killer “pill mill” out of his West Philadelphia medical clinic.

The Court of Common Pleas jury considering the homicide case against Gosnell ended its fifth day of deliberation Monday without reaching a verdict.

Gosnell operated an abortion clinic in Philadelphia, where trial testimony revealed questionable practices and inadequately trained staff.

The doctor is charged with four counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing or having his staff kill babies that were delivered alive at his clinic during abortions. He also was on trial over one count of third-degree murder related to the 2009 death of patient Karnamaya Mongar.

A conviction on any of the first-degree murder counts carries a minimum of life in prison and the possibility of a death sentence.

Third-degree murder has a sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison. On Monday, the jury sent out one note asking for written definitions of the homicide charges against Gosnell, the charge of infanticide and the legal definition of malice, a necessary component for a jury to conclude that a slaying was murder and not manslaughter.

If the jury passes on all five homicide counts, there are still more than 250 lesser charges that could still send Gosnell to prison for the rest of his life, if the judge orders they be served consecutively.

The doctor is facing charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering, which carries a maximum of 10 to 20 years in prison.

Next, Gosnell faces one count of infanticide and 24 counts of violating the Pennsylvania Abortion Act’s prohibition on abortions past 24 weeks. These 25 charges, all felonies, carry a maximum potential penalty of up to 3 1/2 to seven years in prison.

(Page 2 of 2)

Gosnell is charged with 227 misdemeanors for failing to observe Pennsylvania’s requirement of a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion is performed. Each of those counts carries a maximum penalty of 6 to 12 months in prison.

And it seems likely that a jury will convict on some or all of those lesser charges given that Gosnell’s attorney, John “Jack” McMahon devoted little time rebutting them in his closing statements to focus on the homicide charges.

“I’m not a fool,” McMahon told the jury in his closing, saying that “clearly there are some [abortions] that were done past 24 weeks. I don’t doubt that.”

In addition to the Court of Common Pleas prosecution, Gosnell is scheduled to go on trial in September in federal court for allegedly operating a “pill mill” that provided patients with pain killers for cash and without a medical exam.

If convicted, Gosnell could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison on the lesser charge and from 20 years to life based on the most serious charge in the case.

The jury in Philadelphia will resume its deliberations at 8:30 a.m. today.

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20130507/NEWS/305070057/Life-behind-bars-still-likely-lesser-counts-Gosnell

 

Jurors Question Murder in Gosnell Abortion Clinic Trial

Jury enters fifth day of deliberations on the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell

By Vince Lattanzio | Monday, May 6, 2013 | Updated 12:07 PM ED

Jurors in the Dr. Kermit Gosnell murder trial started off their fifth day of deliberations with a question about varying murder charges.

The jury of 12 asked Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart to explain the differences between first and third-degree murder. They also asked for definition of the crimes malice, manslaughter and infanticide.

The jury has asked several questions related to the Gosnell capital murder case that's stretched on for seven weeks.

Gosnell, 72, is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of four babies. Prosecutors allege Gosnell delivered the babies alive during late-term abortions and then killed them by snipping their spinal cords.

The former doctor is also charged with third-degree murder in the death of former patient Karnamaya Mongar. The 41-year-old died after being given a lethal dose of pain killers during a 2009 procedure.

Defense attorney Jack McMahon has said his client never delivered a baby alive during procedures at his West Philadelphia clinic, the Women's Medical Society. McMahon said Gosnell used the drug Digoxin to stop fetuses' hearts in utero before being delivered.

Seven women and five men are weighing a total of 268 charges against the former doctor.

The jury was brought back into the third-floor courtroom at the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center to hear the charges again around 11 a.m. Monday. The explanations lasted 25 minutes. The courtroom doors were locked as Judge Minehart defined each charge.

Jurors are also deliberating theft by deception charges against Gosnell's co-defendant and former employee Eileen O'Neill. Prosecutors say O'Neill pretended to be a doctor and billed for her services even though she was not a licensed physician.

The jury has asked a handful of questions over the course of deliberations. Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham says the fact the jury has asked many questions suggests they are taking their time with the cases.

"I think the jury is trying to be very thoughtful and very careful, not rushing to judgment," Abraham said.

The former DA says the difference between first and third-degree murder hinges on pre-mediation.

"First-degree murder is a murder committed with willful, deliberate and pre-meditated state with an intent to kill. That's the grand ingredient of murder -- malice plus an intent to kill specifically," she said.

"Third degree murder is a death which results with malice, but there's no specific intent to kill, but nevertheless, the person dies."

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Gosnell faces the death penalty.

Gosnell's wife Pearl and other former employees, all who have pled guilty to various crimes, were set to be sentenced Monday, but those proceedings were continued.

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Jurors-Question-Murder-in-Gosnell-Abortion-Clinic-Trial-206267301.html

Kermit Gosnell Trial: Jurors ask for clarifications as they weigh murder charges against Phila. doctor
By Crimesider Staff
May 3, 2013 11:36 AM

(CBS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - Jurors are debating murder charges against Philadelphia abortion provider Dr. Kermit Gosnell as they start their third full day of deliberations in his trial.

The jury asked for help Friday distinguishing among the four babies Gosnell is accused of killing. Staff members at Gosnell's clinic have testified that they saw each one move, breathe or whine outside the mother's body before they were allegedly killed.

The jury has also asked for a list of drugs found during a 2010 clinic raid. Prosecutors say the abortion drug Digoxin was not found - although Gosnell says he used it to stop the babies' hearts in utero during late-term abortions.

The jury has been weighing more than 250 counts against Gosnell and a codefendant since Tuesday.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57582750-504083/kermit-gosnell-trial-jurors-ask-for-clarifications-as-they-weigh-murder-charges-against-phila-doctor/

http://youtu.be/Mnw9CR8-fHY


Kermit Gosnell Jury Resumes Deliberations In Philadelphia Abortion Trial

05/02/13 02:45 AM ET EDT

PHILADELPHIA -- A Philadelphia jury returns to keep working toward a verdict in the murder trial of a Philadelphia abortion provider.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of four babies allegedly born alive.

He also faces a third-degree murder charge in the 2009 overdose death of a 41-year-old patient.

The 72-year-old Gosnell has been in custody since his arrest two years ago.

His lawyer argues that there were no live births at the clinic. The trial judge dismissed murder charges involving three other babies.

Jurors must also weigh more than 200 abortion law violations lodged against Gosnell. They started deliberations Tuesday after six weeks of evidence. They return on Thursday.

The panel has asked several questions about billing fraud charges against the only co-defendant, unlicensed doctor Eileen O'Neill of Phoenixville.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/kermit-gosnell-abortion-trial_n_3199826.html

 

Jury Deliberations Resume In Kermit Gosnell Trial
May 1, 2013 9:30 AM

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jury deliberations resume today in the murder trial of abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell, who is charged with five counts of murder and a long list of other charges.

An early question Tuesday focused on a co-defendant who is not charged with murder.

Eileen O’Neill is charged with theft by deception. It’s alleged she treated patients, although she did not have a valid license and either patients or insurance companies paid for those visits.

The jury has asked the court to re-define the theft by deception charge. There was prosecution testimony that both employees and patients called her “doctor”. Some patients testified they had no idea she wasn’t a licensed physician.

The defense concedes she had no license and she saw patients but that Doctor Gosnell supervised her work and defense attorneys presented testimony from a couple of patients who said they knew she wasn’t a doctor but saw her anyway and the care was good.
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/05/01/jury-deliberations-resume-in-kermit-gosnell-trial/

The Kermit Gosnell Trial Reignited The Culture Wars, And Now The Anti-Abortion Activists Are Winning
Grace Wyler | Apr. 30, 2013, 9:30 PM |

A jury began deliberations Tuesday in the grisly murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, the 72-year-old Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of murdering four live fetuses by "snipping" their spinal cords after botched abortions.

Over seven weeks of stomach-turning testimony, witnesses for the prosecution detailed Gosnell's "house of horrors," a clinic in which venereal diseases were spread through dirty instruments, feral cats roamed around operating rooms, and fetuses were stashed in empty juice cartons and shoeboxes.

According to the prosecution, these atrocities went undetected by state health inspectors, who visited the clinic just three times, and unreported by other abortion providers, who knew of Gosnell's reputation and even visited the clinic.

The case has predictably inflamed passions on both sides of the abortion debate, both for its horrific content and for the potential policy implications that the trial could have on abortion rights.

To anti-abortion activists, the trial and its gruesome details have presented a rare opportunity to dislodge entrenched positions in the abortion debate. While polling shows that a majority of Americans support legal abortions, those same surveys show that most Americans also believe that late-term abortions — the central issue of the Gosnell trial — should be banned.

“Kermit Gosnell’s horrifying crimes are proof positive that babies are in fact born alive during failed abortions,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a recent statement. "What is the difference between killing a baby minutes before delivery compared to moments after? Only the barest of legal nuances."

Seizing on this public squeamishness with late-term abortions, pro-life activists have used the Gosnell case to draw attention to make an aggressive push for new abortion regulations at the state and federal level.

"The fact that this facility existed is not surprising to me — I'm glad that he was caught, but I'm worried that other clinics are also going uninspected, not only in Pennsylvania but in other states," said Anna Higgins, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity.

"The reason is that we have governments that refuse to hold abortion clinics to the same standards as any other medical clinic," Higgins added. "We need to make sure that not only are regulations passed, but that they are enforced. If that means that abortion clinics need to meet these standards, than that's what needs to happen."

In the past three weeks alone, anti-abortion groups have used the grisly details to rally support for new abortion clinic regulations in Virginia, renew momentum for a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks in Washington, D.C., and draw attention to unsafe conditions at Planned Parenthood clinics in other states.

On Sunday — one day before the closing arguments in the Gosnell trial — the anti-abortion group Live Action released secretly-taped videos of staff members at two East Coast abortion clinics making alarming comments about late-term abortion. (The validity of these videos has since been called into question.)

The public backlash against Gosnell — and late-term abortions in general — has put pro-choice activists on defense.
They claim, correctly, that late-term abortions (beyond 20 weeks) are extremely rare, accounting for just 1 percent of the procedures performed in the U.S. And they argue that Gosnell is a criminal outlier in what is otherwise a safe and legitimate medical field.

Moreover, pro-choice activists fear that further regulations on abortion clinics will further marginalize the procedure, forcing poor and disadvantaged women to seek out back-alley providers like Gosnell.

"It may seem counterintuitive, but these laws are actually pushing women into the hands of Gosnell," said Jessica Arons, director of the Women's Health and Rights program at the Center for American Progress. "They are driving up the cost of abortion and they are driving legitimate abortion providers out of business."

"No one is saying that there should never be an inspection of a clinic, that there should never be oversight by the state," Arons added. "But the solution is not to treat abortion care as different from other types of health care."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/kermit-gosnell-abortion-ban-pro-life-2013-4#ixzz2S0wPbn9Q

 

 

Pa. abortion doctor's murder trial goes to jury

Gosnell faces charges of killing five people, including four babies born alive

Published On: Apr 30 2013 04:23:16 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA -

A Philadelphia jury began weighing murder charges Tuesday against a doctor charged with killing five people, including four viable babies allegedly born alive at his abortion clinic.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, performed thousands of abortions over a 30-year career, and authorities say he routinely performed illegal, late-term procedures. He maintains that he helped desperate women and teens who had no other access to medical care.

According to prosecutors, Gosnell cut live babies in the back of the neck to sever their spines because he did not know how to do a proper abortion in utero.

Gosnell is also charged in the 2009 death of a woman patient who was given anesthesia and monitored by two troubled medical assistants and a teenager. By that point, state officials had not inspected Gosnell's clinic since the early 1990s, prosecutors said.

"When people (who are) supposed to regulate these folks don't do it right, that's what happens," Assistant District Attorney Ed Cameron told jurors in closing arguments Monday. "Back alley abortions. Coat hanger abortions. That's what happens."

Gosnell faces 258 counts in all, including four first-degree murder counts, which could bring the death penalty. Clinic workers have admitted killing two of those babies, and accuse Gosnell of killing the other two. But he could be found guilty in all four deaths if the jury finds he shared the intent to kill, the judge said Wednesday in jury instructions.

Other charges against him include one count each of infanticide and racketeering, 24 counts of performing third-trimester abortions and 227 counts of failing to counsel patients a day in advance.

Gosnell's clinic has been shuttered, and two top state health department officials fired, since the FBI raided the clinic one night in 2010 looking for prescription drug abuses. Instead, they found Gosnell's nocturnal clinic in full swing.

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon argued that prosecutors who blasted the clinic as a filthy, flea-infested "house of horrors" in a 2011 grand jury report sensationalized the case to make headlines.

"This isn't a perfect place by any stretch of the imagination -- but it isn't what they say it is," McMahon argued.

Eight former workers have pleaded guilty to murder other charges and have testified to seeing babies move, breathe or whine. Yet some said they did not consider the babies fully alive until they were charged after a 2011 grand jury investigation.

McMahon has seized on that point and argued again Monday that the occasional spasms the workers saw were not the wriggling movements of a newborn baby. Under Pennsylvania law, the judge explained to jurors, babies "born alive" must be expelled or removed from the mother and show one of the following signs of life: brain activity, breathing, the definitive movement of a muscle or the pulsing of the umbilical cord.

McMahon acknowledged that jurors have seen graphic, even grisly, photographs of aborted babies and bloody medical equipment.

"Abortion -- as is any surgical procedure -- isn't pretty," McMahon said. "It's bloody. It's real. But you have to transcend that."

And he refused to back down from aggressive opening remarks in which he called prosecutors "elitist" and "racist" for pursuing his client, who is black.

"We know why he was targeted," McMahon said.

Cameron called Gosnell's operation an assembly line for a stream of poor, mostly minority women and teens, including Karnamaya Mongar, who came from Virginia for an abortion after she was turned away at three other clinics, starting when she was 15 weeks pregnant. Gosnell is charged with third-degree murder in her overdose death.

"Are you human?" Cameron asked Gosnell, "to med these women up and stick knives in the backs of babies?"

The doctor sat calmly at the defense table, as he has throughout the often graphic six-week trial.

Former clinic employee Eileen O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, is also on trial, charged with six counts of theft for allegedly billing as a doctor when she was not licensed. O'Neill's lawyer has argued that O'Neill worked under Gosnell's supervision. The jury, asking its first question barely an hour into deliberations, had Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart repeat that charge, suggesting they may be starting with O'Neill's case.

Gosnell did not testify but might take the stand if he is convicted and the trial moves to the penalty phase. He has described himself as an altruistic doctor who returned to serve his medically needy community.

"He provided those desperate young girls with relief. He gave them a solution to their problems," McMahon argued Monday.

But Cameron said whatever intentions he may have once had turned criminal as he focused more on getting rich than on his patients.

"He created an assembly line with no regard for these women whatsoever. And he made money doing that," Cameron said.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/news/pa-abortion-doctors-murder-trial-goes-to-jury/-/4714498/19957386/-/hw9v4qz/-/index.html

 

Both Sides Rest in Trial of a Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Charged With Murder

April 29, 2013

 

By TRIP GABRIEL

PHILADELPHIA — They are known as Baby Boy A, Baby C, Baby D and Baby E, all of whom prosecutors call murdered children and the defense calls aborted fetuses — the very difference in language encapsulating why anti-abortion advocates are so passionate about drawing attention to the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, which wrapped up here on Monday with summations by both sides.

In five weeks of testimony, jurors were told that Dr. Gosnell, 72, had performed late-term abortions by injecting a drug to stop the heart of the fetus, but that when one jerked an arm, cried or drew breath outside the womb, its spinal cord was cut with surgical scissors.

To anti-abortion leaders, the accounts have the power to break through decades of hardened positions in the abortion wars, not just because of the graphic details but because they raise the philosophical issue of why an abortion procedure performed in utero is legal, but a similar act a few minutes later, outside the womb, is considered homicide.

The distinction “is maybe a 15-minute or half-hour time frame and 10 inches of physical space,” said Michael Geer, the president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, an anti-abortion group. “I think it’s going to resurrect a debate about the humanity of the unborn child.”

Abortion rights groups have a very different view. They say that Dr. Gosnell was a rogue practitioner, and that if abortion is further restricted, more women will be driven to clinics like his, which prosecutors called a “house of horrors.”

Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal organization in Washington, said, “This case in the end is going to be viewed as monumental, no matter what the verdict is.”

Last week, Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart of the Court of Common Pleas threw out three of seven first-degree murder charges against Dr. Gosnell. The doctor’s defense lawyer, Jack J. McMahon, argued Monday that none of the remaining four cases had resulted in live births.

Because the women were given injections of the drug digoxin, which causes “fetal demise,” Mr. McMahon argued, any postdelivery movements were involuntary spasms.

“Every single piece of scientific evidence in this case has shown stillbirth,” he said.

But Edward Cameron, an assistant district attorney, countered that testimony showed Dr. Gosnell did not always use digoxin and that it did not always work as intended. He quoted a former clinic worker with medical school training but no doctor’s license who testified that the drug “wasn’t giving the desired effect, the heart was always beating.”

The prosecutor cited Pennsylvania law stating that if a baby delivered during an abortion “shows any sign of life, it’s considered alive — a heartbeat, breathing, a cry, movement.”

The jury will now make that determination in the cases, including that of Baby Boy A, whom clinic workers testified Dr. Gosnell joked was big enough “to walk me home.”

Baby D, a clinic worker testified, was delivered into a toilet by a woman waiting for Dr. Gosnell and it appeared to make swimming motions before one of the doctor’s assistants pulled it out and cut its neck.

Two workers said they heard Baby E crying before Dr. Gosnell cut its spine with scissors. The prosecutor quoted a worker: “It made noises, a whine like my baby.”

Mr. McMahon also cited the trial testimony, in which the clinic worker acknowledged she did not know for sure if Baby E was born alive. Eight workers from the clinic, the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia, have pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the case, including Dr. Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, a cosmetologist who helped perform abortions.

If convicted, Dr. Gosnell could face the death penalty.

The case became a cause célèbre when anti-abortion activists complained that the mainstream news media were ignoring it for ideological reasons. It has since been widely covered, and every seat in the courtroom was taken on Monday.

Anti-abortion campaigners have seized on the trial because it highlights late-term abortions performed after fetal viability. The same public opinion polls that for decades have shown that a majority of Americans support abortion also show that most of them want it banned in certain cases.

Abortion opponents have leveraged these mixed feelings in recent years to lobby at the state level to restrict the procedure. Nine states have banned most abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy. Last month, two states went further: Arkansas banned abortion after 12 weeks and North Dakota beyond about 6 weeks, when a fetal heartbeat is “detectable.” Abortion rights groups said both limits would be found unconstitutional in federal court.

Though late-term abortions are central to the Gosnell case, they are extremely rare. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 92 percent of abortions are performed before 14 weeks, with 1.3 percent beyond 20 weeks.

“No woman carries their child to six, seven, eight months and then one day decides they don’t want to become a parent,” said Ilyse Hogue, the president of Naral Pro-Choice America. “These are terrible, tragic situations where families have to make difficult choices with their doctors. I think most Americans believe that’s where they belong.”

To abortion rights groups, if abortion is further restricted, desperate women will be forced to seek providers like Dr. Gosnell, who is also accused of performing 24 abortions beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy, the limit in Pennsylvania.

“Restrictions really work to hinder access to safe abortion,” said Dayle Steinberg, the president of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania. “It only increases the number of economically disadvantaged women who find themselves in extreme circumstances and they turn to unsafe options for care.”

Dr. Gosnell is also accused of third-degree murder in the death of a 41-year-old patient from Virginia, who visited his clinic after being turned away by three clinics closer to her home, according to testimony by a daughter of the woman.

Mr. McMahon said Dr. Gosnell’s staff members who pleaded guilty did so out of fear of the district attorney’s office, which he accused of creating “a tsunami of hype” in a grand jury report and in the news media about Dr. Gosnell’s practices. To counter that, he showed slides of a waiting room, hallway and procedure rooms at the defunct clinic that looked scrubbed and clean.

The prosecution, for its turn, rolled in a filthy procedure table and broken equipment removed from the clinic. Mr. Cameron, the assistant district attorney, brandished a stained ultrasound probe with unconcealed disgust.

The jury was expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/us/trial-abortion-doctor-kermit-gosnell.html

 

Closing arguments set for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell trial

MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - April 29, 2013 (WPVI) -- Philadelphia prosecutors predicted two years ago that the indictment of an abortion provider charged with killing babies would be exploited by both sides of the nation's polarized abortion debate.

The seven-week murder trial, which moves to closing arguments Monday, has proved them right.

Abortion foes have accused the media of under-publicizing the trial out of fear it would weaken public support for abortion rights. Abortion-rights advocates have said the grim testimony points to the need for the procedure to be accessible, safe and legal.

"The case is not about that controversy; it is about disregard of the law and disdain for the lives and health of mothers and infants," prosecutors wrote in the 2011 grand jury report. "We find common ground in exposing what happened here."

They accuse 72-year-old Kermit Gosnell of operating a clinic where desperate women sought late-term abortions they could not get elsewhere. And he got rich doing so, they said, making millions over a 30-year career.

Prosecutors say Gosnell killed viable babies born alive after putting a steady stream of often low-income, minority women through labor and delivery.

Former employees have testified that Gosnell taught them to "snip" babies' necks after they were delivered to "ensure fetal demise."

"Why would you cut a baby in the back of the neck unless you were killing them?" Assistant District Attorney Ed Cameron argued last week, as he asked a judge to send all seven first-degree murder charges to the jury.

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart, though, threw out three of those counts for lack of evidence they were viable, born alive and then killed.

Gosnell is also charged in the overdose death of a patient, 41-year-old refugee Karnamaya Mongar, of Woodbridge, Va.

The jury must now weigh the five murder counts, along with lesser charges that include racketeering, performing illegal abortions after 24 weeks, failing to observe the 24-hour waiting period and endangering a child's welfare for employing a 15-year-old in the procedure area.

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon has argued that there were no live births at the clinic, and he found some support from a prosecution witness, Philadelphia's top medical examiner. Dr. Sam Gulino, who examined 47 aborted fetuses stored in freezers at the clinic, said he could not definitively say if any had taken a breath because the lung tissue had deteriorated.

The prosecution's other evidence to support the live birth argument comes from former employees, who testified that they saw aborted babies move, breathe or even cry. McMahon challenged them on cross-examination, questioning whether they had instead seen post-mortem spasms.

"You have to have definite, voluntary movement," McMahon argued.

The jury has seen a graphic photograph of some of the aborted babies and a worker testified that Gosnell joked that one was so big "it could walk to the bus."

Lynda Williams, Adrianne Moton and Sherry West, all untrained clinic workers, and unlicensed doctor Stephen Massof have each pleaded guilty to third-degree murder charges and testified against Gosnell. And four others have pleaded guilty to lesser charges, including Gosnell's wife, Pearl.

Gosnell did not testify, but could take the stand in the penalty phase if he is convicted of first-degree murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Gosnell is a misogynist for the way he treated female patients while the inner-city doctor described himself as an altruist in a 2010 interview with the Philadelphia Daily News.

"I wanted to be an effective, positive force in the minority community," Gosnell said.
(Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=9083168

PHILADELPHIA - April 24, 2013 (WPVI) --

The defense rested on Wednesday in the murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.

Gosnell, 72, did not take the stand and the defense called no witnesses.

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon has done his work by challenging witnesses on cross-examination. The court is now in recess until Monday when closing arguments will be heard.

Gosnell is charged with killing four babies allegedly born alive at his clinic. He is also charged in the 2009 overdose death of a 41-year-old refugee who died months after coming to the U.S.

A string of former employees have testified that Gosnell relied on untrained, unlicensed staff to sedate and monitor women as they waited for abortions.

Earlier in the day, the judge corrected himself about which murder charges remain.

Judge Jeffrey Minehart dismissed first-degree murder charges Tuesday involving three of seven babies aborted at Gosnell's clinic.

On Wednesday, he said he had mistakenly dismissed charges related to a baby that clinic worker Lynda Williams admits killing after it was alive for 20 minutes. That baby has been called "Baby C."

Instead, Minehart is tossing charges involving "Baby F," which allegedly jerked its leg after it was born. Another staff member says Gosnell then cut the baby's neck to "ensure fetal demise."

Minehart now says there is not enough evidence to send that murder charge to a jury.

Eight other former co-workers, including Gosnell's wife Pearl, have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from third-degree murder to racketeering to performing illegal, late-term abortions.

-----------
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=9077881

 Kermit Gosnell lawyer: Abortion clinic no 'house of horrors'

Updated at 01:19 PM today

MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - April 29, 2013 (WPVI) -- A lawyer for a Philadelphia abortion doctor on trial for murder says the description of his former clinic as a "house of horrors" is a "political press fabrication."

Defense attorney Jack McMahon said during closing arguments Monday that pictures don't lie and showed photographs of a relatively neat waiting room and other areas in Dr. Kermit Gosnell's clinic.

Gosnell is charged with killing four babies allegedly born alive and in the overdose death of a 41-year-old patient.

McMahon says he's not backing down from his opening remarks that the case is an elitist and racist prosecution against Gosnell, who is black.

McMahon says the clinic wasn't perfect but it wasn't the criminal enterprise that prosecutors claim. The district attorney called it a "house of horrors."
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=9083168

jury-set-to-start-weighing-pa-abortion-deaths

BS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia jury is expected to start weighing murder charges in the trial of a veteran abortion provider charged with killing four viable babies after they were born alive.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, performed thousands of abortions over a 30-year career. He maintains that he helped desperate women and teens who had no other access to medical care.

According to prosecutors, Gosnell routinely cut live babies in the back of the neck to sever their spines because he did not know how to do a proper abortion in utero.

Gosnell is also charged in the 2009 death of a woman patient who was given anesthesia and monitored by two troubled medical assistants and a teenager. By that point, state officials had not inspected Gosnell's clinic since the early 1990s, prosecutors said.

"When people (who are) supposed to regulate these folks don't do it right, that's what happens," Assistant District Attorney Ed Cameron told jurors in closing arguments Monday. "Back alley abortions. Coat hanger abortions. That's what happens."

The jury is to begin considering the charges against Gosnell on Tuesday.

Gosnell's clinic has been shuttered, and two top state health department officials fired, since the FBI raided the clinic one night in 2010 looking for prescription drug abuses. Instead, they found Gosnell's nocturnal clinic in full swing.

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon argued that prosecutors who blasted the clinic as a filthy, flea-infested "house of horrors" in a 2011 grand jury report sensationalized the case to make headlines.

"This isn't a perfect place by any stretch of the imagination - but it isn't what they say it is," McMahon argued.

Eight former workers have pleaded guilty to murder or other charges and have testified to seeing babies move, breathe or whine.

Yet some said they did not consider the babies fully alive until they were charged after a 2011 grand jury investigation. McMahon has seized on that point and argued again Monday that the occasional spasms the workers saw were not the wriggling movements of a newborn baby. He acknowledged that jurors have seen graphic, even grisly, photographs of aborted babies and bloody medical equipment.

"Abortion - as is any surgical procedure - isn't pretty, McMahon said. "It's bloody. It's real. But you have to transcend that."

And he refused to back down from aggressive opening remarks in which he called prosecutors "elitist" and "racist" for pursuing his client, who is black.

"We know why he was targeted," McMahon said.

Gosnell is charged with third-degree murder in the overdose death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, who came from Virginia for an abortion after she was turned away at three other clinics, starting when she was 15 weeks pregnant.

One assistant warned Gosnell midway through the abortion that Mongar had no pulse, but he nonetheless finished the procedure, witnesses said. It took more than an hour to get her out of the clinic and to a hospital, where the recent refugee, who spoke no English, was pronounced dead the next day.

Cameron called Gosnell's operation an assembly line for a stream of poor, mostly minority women and teens.

"Are you human?" Cameron asked Gosnell, "to med these women up and stick knives in the backs of babies?"

The doctor sat calmly at the defense table, as he has throughout the often graphic six-week trial.

Also on trial is former clinic employee Eileen O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville. She is charged with theft for allegedly practicing medicine without a license. O'Neill's lawyer has argued that O'Neill worked under Gosnell's supervision.

District Attorney Seth Williams, whose office filed the charges, attended the closing arguments and shook hands with Cameron and fellow trial prosecutor Joanne Pescatore afterward.

Gosnell is also charged with performing illegal third-term abortions, failing to counsel patients and observe the 24-hour waiting period, and racketeering. Gosnell did not testify at the trial but might take the stand if he is convicted and the trial moves to the penalty phase. He has painted himself in pre-indictment media interviews as an altruistic doctor who returned to serve his medically needy community.

"He provided those desperate young girls with relief. He gave them a solution to their problems," McMahon argued Monday.

But Cameron said whatever intentions he may have once had turned criminal as he focused more on getting rich than on his patients. "He created an assembly line with no regard for these women whatsoever. And he made money doing that," Cameron said.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57582052-504083/kermit-gosnell-murder-trial-update-jury-set-to-start-weighing-pa-abortion-deaths/
 

Pa. judge corrects charges tossed in abortion case

By MARYCLAIRE DALE | Associated Press – Wed, Apr 24, 2013


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An abortion provider charged with killing babies after they were born alive won a reprieve when a judge threw out three murder counts, but the death penalty still looms if he is convicted in four other newborn deaths.

Lawyers for Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, could start presenting defense witnesses as early as Wednesday. Gosnell has been in prison since a 2011 grand jury report that described his outdated West Philadelphia clinic as "a house of horrors."

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart had ruled Tuesday that prosecutors over the past month failed to make a case on three of the seven first-degree murder counts, involving aborted babies known as Baby B, Baby C and Baby G.

On Wednesday, Minehart clarified that he did not intend to dismiss charges related to Baby C, which former employee Lynda Williams admits killing after it was alive for 20 minutes.

Instead, Minehart has thrown out the charges involving Baby F, which allegedly jerked its leg after it was born. Another staff member says Gosnell then cut the baby's neck to "ensure fetal demise."

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon challenged testimony from former staffers that they routinely saw aborted babies move, breathe or cry, even after they'd been given a drug designed to stop their heart in utero. McMahon argued that any movement or breath seen by the staffers amounted to involuntary spasms.
He noted that each of the babies had purportedly moved, breathed or whined just once.

"These are not the movements of a live child," McMahon argued Tuesday, after a month of prosecution testimony. "There is not one piece — not one — of objective, scientific evidence that anyone was born alive."

Minehart did not elaborate on his ruling, leaving the nearly full courtroom of reporters, abortion opponents and others to interpret his reasoning.

The body of Baby B had been found stored in a plastic water jug in 2010. The baby, like others, had been "snipped" or cut in the neck, and prosecution witnesses estimated it to be 28 weeks gestation. But McMahon had argued there was no evidence the baby had breathed outside the womb.

And unlicensed doctor Stephen Massof had said he saw Gosnell cut the spine of Baby G, after seeing what he called "a respiratory excursion." McMahon, though, said there was no proof of the baby's age or viability.
The judge also upheld third-degree murder charges in the 2009 overdose death of a patient, 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar.

"She wasn't treated any differently than any of the other thousands of other people who went through there," McMahon argued, attributing the death to a medical complication.

Prosecutors have said that patients were routinely exposed to unsanitary, intentionally reckless conditions at Gosnell's clinic. Former staffers have testified that patients received heavy sedatives and painkillers from untrained workers while Gosnell was offsite, and were then left in waiting rooms for hours, often unattended.
The 2011 grand jury report alleges that dozens of women were injured at Gosnell's clinic over the past 30 years. Some left with torn wombs or bowels, some with venereal disease contracted through the reuse of non-sterilized equipment, and some left with fetal remains still inside them, the report alleged. The report also blamed Gosnell for an earlier maternal death that was not charged.

The prosecution rested Thursday, and the defense is calling witnesses this week. It's not known if Gosnell will testify.

A string of character witnesses testified Tuesday afternoon for Gosnell's co-defendant, Eileen O'Neill. She is charged with three counts of theft for practicing medicine without a license, after Minehart dismissed six similar counts.

Eight other former co-workers, including Gosnell's wife Pearl, have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from third-degree murder to racketeering to performing illegal, late-term abortions.
Gosnell is also charged with racketeering, performing illegal abortions and failing to counsel women 24 hours before a procedure.
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http://news.yahoo.com/video/defense-rests-without-presenting-witnesses-231200401.html
 

Jury returns Monday for Pa. abortion case closings

By MARYCLAIRE DALE | Associated Press – 21 hrs ago

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia jury won't hear from an abortion provider before they weigh charges that he killed a woman and four viable babies.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell decided Wednesday not to testify or call witnesses at his capital murder trial. The jury is set to hear closing arguments on Monday.

Gosnell, 72, is charged with killing babies after they were born alive at his West Philadelphia clinic, which allegedly catered to poor, desperate women and teens with late-term pregnancies.

The trial judge this week dismissed charges involving three other babies, apparently finding the prosecution did not present sufficient evidence they were viable, born alive and then killed.

Gosnell also is charged in the 2009 overdose death of a 41-year-old abortion patient.

A string of former employees have testified that Gosnell relied on untrained staff to sedate and monitor women as they waited for abortions.

Three workers have pleaded guilty to third-degree murder charges, admitting they helped medicate the adult victim or "snipped" babies' necks after they were born alive to make sure they died.

They told jurors that Gosnell had taught them the technique, and said they trusted that it was legal. At least one, though, admits she grew so concerned about conditions at the clinic that she took pictures of the outdated equipment, messy rooms and stacked specimen jars containing the severed feet of aborted babies.

Gosnell told staff he sometimes kept the samples for DNA purposes in case the pregnancy led to assault charges. Prosecution experts said there were less invasive ways to preserve DNA.

"Once fetuses leave the mother, they are then due the respect that would be given any human being," Assistant District Attorney Ed Cameron argued Tuesday, in support of abuse of corpse charges filed over the severed feet.

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart, though, agreed with a defense motion to drop those charges.

Minehart on Tuesday also threw out three of the original seven murder charges involving aborted babies.

"There is not one piece — not one — of objective, scientific evidence that anyone was born alive," defense lawyer Jack McMahon argued Tuesday, in what was likely a preview of his closing arguments.

McMahon did most of his work by grilling prosecution witnesses, including former clinic workers. Although several said they had seen babies born alive, McMahon suggested the brief movements or breaths they saw were actually involuntary spasms during the death process. He argued that each of the babies had purportedly moved, breathed or whined just once.

"These are not the movements of a live child," McMahon said Tuesday.

One employee, though, has pleaded guilty to killing a baby that was alive for about 20 minutes.

Expert witness testimony has been another key portion of the case. Prosecutors called neonatologists who estimated that some of the babies were nearly 30 weeks gestation, far past the state's 24-week limit for abortions.

McMahon argued that such dating is imprecise, and that the margin of error is at least two weeks on either side.

The only employee to go on trial with Gosnell, medical school graduate Eileen O'Neill, is charged with theft for allegedly practicing medicine without a license.

Her attorney called a string of witnesses this week, most of whom testified about her character. O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, didn't take the stand.

http://news.yahoo.com/jury-returns-monday-pa-abortion-case-closings-064857717.html

In Kermit Gosnell abortion case, ex-employees say clinic was horrific place

By Maryclaire Dale,

Published: April 12

PHILADELPHIA — Former employees of a run-down West Philadelphia abortion clinic described a chaotic and horrific workplace under the direction of a 72-year-old doctor who is facing capital murder charges in the deaths of a patient and seven babies allegedly born alive.

In testimony during the past month at the capital murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, eight former employees said they performed grueling, often gruesome work for little more than minimum wage, paid by Gosnell under the table. Three have pleaded guilty to third-degree murder.

Gosnell, once a gifted student in his working-class black neighborhood, had put his medical degree to work as a 1970s-era champion of drug treatment and legal abortions. But 30 years later, conditions inside his bustling clinic and his old neighborhood had deteriorated, according to trial testimony.

“Gosnell recklessly cut corners, allowed patients to choose their medication based on ability to pay, and provided abysmal care — all to maximize his profit,” prosecutors wrote in the 2011 grand jury report. “He was not serving his community. Gosnell ran a criminal enterprise, motivated by greed.”

Unlicensed physician Stephen Massof, 50, of Pittsburgh, said he could not get a U.S. medical residency after finishing medical school in Grenada and went to work for Gosnell as a “backup plan” after six years of running a bar. He admitted killing two babies by snipping their necks, as he said Gosnell taught him to do. Massof has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder.

Eileen O’Neill, 56, had worked as a doctor in Louisiana but relinquished her medical license in 2000 to deal with “post-traumatic stress syndrome,” according to her 2011 grand jury testimony. She is the only employee on trial with Gosnell, fighting false billing and racketeering charges.

According to one colleague, O’Neill was increasingly upset at the line of people who came to Gosnell’s adjacent medical clinic for painkillers. However, O’Neill, like many others, stayed on at the clinic until a February 2010 drug raid, which was spawned by Gosnell’s high-volume distribution of Oxycontin and other painkillers.

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon said that no babies were born alive and unforeseen complications caused the overdose death of one woman.

“Just because the place was less than state-of-the-art doesn’t make him a murderer,” McMahon said in opening statements last month.

Front desk worker Tina Baldwin, like colleague Latosha Lewis, had trained to be a medical assistant at a vocational school before going to work for Gosnell in 2002. She handed out drugs at the front desk to induce labor, while Lewis helped perform ultrasounds, administer medications and deliver babies. Lewis worked from 10 a.m. until well after midnight, making $7 to $10 an hour. Baldwin now faces at least a year in prison, and perhaps much longer, after pleading guilty to federal drug charges and state charges that include corruption of a minor.

Two other clinic workers with family ties to Gosnell have pleaded guilty in the case but hope to get reduced terms in exchange for their cooperation. And Gosnell’s third wife, Pearl Gosnell, a licensed cosmetologist, pleaded guilty to performing illegal, late-term abortions.

The others involved include clinic workers Lynda Williams and Sherry West. Williams was hired to clean instruments but soon helped anesthetize patients, perform ultrasounds and carry out abortions, cutting babies in the back of the neck. She has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, which carries a 20- to 40-year prison sentence.

West, 53, had been a longtime surgical technician at the Veterans Administration but quit in 2007 after contracting Hepatitis C. A year later, still waiting on disability benefits, she went to work for Gosnell. West has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for administering drugs to the refugee from Bhutan who died of a drug overdose during a 2009 abortion.

— Associated Press

http://failover.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-kermit-gosnell-abortion-case-ex-employees-say-clinic-was-horrific-place/2013/04/12/b1a0ee54-a3ba-11e2-be47-b44febada3a8_story.html

 

 

 

 

 

From the Grand Jury Report, here are details about the four babies:

“Baby Boy A”

One case was particularly memorable. Kareema Cross and Ashley Baldwin testified about a baby who we will call “Baby Boy A,” born in July 2008. According to an ultrasound, the 17-year old mother was 29.4 weeks pregnant. Gosnell induced labor and sedated the mother, who delivered a baby boy. Cross saw Baby Boy A breathe and move. Gosnell dismissed Cross’s observations, telling her, “it’s the baby’s reflexes. It’s not really moving.” Cross told us that the baby was 18 to 19 inches long and nearly the size of her own newborn daughter, who was six pounds, six ounces at birth. Even Gosnell commented on Baby Boy A’s size, joking “this baby is big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop.” Cross testified that she saw “the doctor just slit the neck” and place the remains in a clear plastic shoebox for disposal.

Employees Adrienne Moton and Ashley Baldwin also were present. All three workers were so startled by Baby Boy A’s size that they each took a photograph. Cross explained,

Q. Why did you all take a photograph of this baby?

A. Because it was big and it was wrong and we knew it. We knew something was wrong.

***

I’m not sure who took the picture first, but when we seen this baby, it was – it was a shock to us because I never seen a baby that big that he had done. So it was – I knew something was wrong because everything, like you can see everything, the hair, eyes, everything. And I never seen for any other procedure that he did, I never seen any like that.

FBI Agent Huff testified that Adrienne Moton gave him consent to search her cell phone for the photograph that she took. The FBI lab was able to find the picture on cell phone; we saw this photograph, introduced as Exhibit 57. Moton told Agent Huff that she took this picture because Baby Boy A was born alive.

A neonatologist viewed Exhibit 57, the photograph of Baby Boy A. Based on his size, hairline, muscle mass, subcutaneous tissue, well-developed scrotum, and other characteristics, the neonatologist opined that the gestational age was at least 32 weeks. The Grand Jury was able to identify this baby because Kareema Cross remembered the 17-year-old mother, who came in with her great-aunt, who testified before the Grand Jury. We recommend that Kermit Gosnell be charged with murder for killing Baby Boy A in July, 2008.

“Baby C”

We also recommend murder and conspiracy charges against Kermit Gosnell and Lynda Williams for the murder committed by Lynda Williams in 2006 or 2007 of a baby who we will call “Baby C.” Kareema Cross testified that she saw Williams cut the neck of 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 touching the baby, Williams slit its neck.

When asked why Williams had killed the baby, Cross answered:

Because the baby, I guess, because the baby was moving and breathing. And she see Dr. Gosnell do it so many times, I guess she felt, you know, she can do it. It’s okay.

The neonatology expert testified that babies born at less than 25 weeks often need help breathing, but older babies can breathe on their own for a period of time. A bigger baby, over 25 weeks, may have developed sufficient muscle tone to pull back if its arm is pulled.

The evidence of an intentional killing and an implicit agreement to kill a newborn supports charges of murder and criminal conspiracy against Lynda Williams and Kermit Gosnell for killing Baby C.

“Baby D”

There is sufficient evidence to support murder and conspiracy charges against Adrienne Moton and Kermit Gosnell. Moton killed a baby by cutting its spinal cord. Kareema Cross testified that a woman had delivered a large baby, whom we will call “Baby D,” into a toilet before Gosnell arrived at work for the night. Cross said that the baby was moving and looked like it was swimming. Moton reached into the toilet, got the baby out, and cut its neck. Cross said the baby was between 10 and 15 inches long and had a head the size of a “big pancake.” Cross could not pinpoint the year that this happened, but testified that this killing occurred while Steven Massof was still working at the clinic. (Massof left in July 2008.)

Moton herself admitted to FBI Agent Huff that she had cut the spinal cords of living babies. According to her statement, Gosnell trained and instructed her to do this. The charts that the neonatology expert provided us indicate that the size of Baby D was consistent with viability.

This evidence of an intentional killing by Moton and an implicit agreement with Gosnell to kill babies as he instructed supports charges of murder and criminal conspiracy against Adrienne Moton and Kermit Gosnell for killing Baby D. We also recommend that Kermit Gosnell be charged with Criminal Solicitation of Adrienne Moton.

“Baby E”

A fifth murder charge should be filed against Kermit Gosnell for the murder of a baby that Ashley Baldwin heard crying. We will refer to this victim as “Baby E.” Ashley Baldwin testified that she heard a baby crying in the large procedure room (the one used for later-term abortions) and saw it moving. She said Lynda Williams summoned Dr. Gosnell, who then went into the procedure room where the baby was. Ashley testified that Dr. Gosnell was the only person in the room with the baby, that he came out of the room and put the baby in the waste bin, and that she saw an incision. Kareema Cross testified that Ashley had called her over because she had heard the baby crying; Cross said that she heard this baby “whine” while Dr. Gosnell was alone in the procedure room with the baby.

Based on the testimony of the neonatology expert, we believe this baby must have been at least 23 weeks of age and, because it cried more than once, probably older. This baby was born alive, and consistent with the medical guidelines and standards cited by the neonatology expert should have been resuscitated. Instead, it was killed. We recommend a murder charge against Kermit Gosnell for killing “Baby E.”

Grand Jury Report: http://timewellness.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/grandjurywomensmedical.pdf