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Wednesday
May152013

Convicted Abortion Doctor Given Third Life Sentence

Hemera/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies, was sentenced Wednesday to a third life term.

Gosnell was handed two life sentences on Tuesday after a deal was struck with prosecutors, which spared him a potential death sentence. The third sentence was handed down on Wednesday. The 72-year-old was also sentenced to 2.5 to 5 years in prison for the 2009 overdose death of a female patient.

Gosnell was accused of performing late-term abortions on four babies who were born alive, but were then allegedly killed by Gosnell who "snipped" their spinal cords with scissors. He was cleared in the death of one of the infants.

The Philadelphia clinic run by Gosnell has been described as a "pill mill" for drug addicts by day, and an "abortion mill" by night. When Gosnell aborted the fetus of a teen who was nearly 30 weeks pregnant, he allegedly joked the baby was so big it could "walk to the bus."

The guilty verdicts against Gosnell came on Monday, the jury's tenth day of deliberations.

As part of the deal struck with prosecutors, Gosnell will serve three life sentences without the possibility of parole or the opportunity to appeal.

For two months, the jury heard often grisly testimony, including from members of Gosnell's staff. Eight staffers have pleaded guilty to several crimes. Prosecutors said none of the staff were licensed nurses or doctors.

Gosnell ran the Women's Medical Society in West Philadelphia for decades until February 2010, when FBI agents raided his clinic looking for evidence of prescription drug dealing.

Instead they found, as reported in a nearly 300-page grand jury report released in 2011, a filthy, decrepit "house of horrors."

Blood was on the floor, the clinic reeked of urine and bags of fetal remains were stacked in freezers. The clinic was shut down and Gosnell's medical license was suspended after the raid.

Despite repeated complaints to state officials over the years -- as well as 46 lawsuits filed against Gosnell -- investigators said in the report that state regulators had conducted five inspections since the clinic had opened in 1979.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio