Entries in Dr. Kermit Gosnell (3)


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


Abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell Ends Defense With No Witnesses

Hemera/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The attorney for controversial abortion doctor and accused murderer Kermit Gosnell rested his defense Wednesday without presenting any witnesses or calling on Gosnell to testify.

The announcement by Gosnell's attorney, Jack McMahon, came just a day after the defense began presenting its case, and signaled a quick end to a trial that has seen five weeks of testimony from prosecution witnesses.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys will have the rest of the week to prepare closing statements in the case, which they will present on Monday, according to ABC News affiliate WPVI.

Gosnell is charged with four counts of first-degree murder stemming from the practices at his Philadelphia abortion clinic, where he allegedly used untrained staff to help perform late-term abortions that included, according to testimony, delivering babies and then killing them outside the womb.

He is accused of using scissors to snip the spinal chords of infants in cases where the abortion inside the womb failed, and the babies were delivered.

He could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors also say that the doctor overdosed a female patient with anesthesia and failed to get her medical help, which led to her death. He is charged with third-degree murder in her death.

Earlier this week, Judge Jeffrey Minehart dismissed three other murder charges that concerned allegedly killing infants who were born alive. Minehart said there was not enough evidence to send the charges to a jury.

Workers from the clinic had testified during the prosecution's case that they had seen some of the infants take a breath or move after they were delivered from their mothers, which prosecutors said showed that Gosnell killed viable infants after botched abortions, leading to the murder charges.

Gosnell's attorney asked Minehart to dismiss the charges after the prosecution rested.

"There is not one piece - not one - of objective, scientific evidence that anyone was born alive," McMahon said, according to WPVI. "These are not the movements of a live child."

The trial has roused both sides of the abortion debate, with abortion-rights activists condemning Gosnell's murder as far outside the bounds of legalized abortion and anti-abortions rights groups hoping the trial sheds light on what they see as the troubling aspects of abortion.

Ann Scheidler, a vice president for the Pro-Life Action League, said that the dropped charges showed the "gray area" that is difficult to sort through when it comes to judging when an infant is considered alive, with its own rights.

"It certainly does highlight the complications that begin to emerge when you're talking about life and death and that short distance, that short time between being in the womb and out of the womb," Scheidler said.

"At some point we're going to have to face the issue of just what is the difference and why is it okay to take a person's life if that life is still inside the womb, or when the baby is outside the womb but the intention was to take its life inside," she said.

Vicki Saporta, president for the abortion rights group National Abortion Federation, said that Gosnell took advantage of the women who came to him in need of an abortion. She said his clinic is not representative of safe, regulated abortion clinics.

"Unfortunately, you do have rogue providers that prey on the most vulnerable of women and regardless of a woman's income level they deserve access to high-quality care," Saporta said.

Saporta noted that Pennsylvania already has strict abortion regulations, but that the regulations were not enforced, allowing Gosnell to run an illegal operation.

"The fact that he wasn't providing care later and wasn't ensuring fetal demise and not operating under any established standards of care and outside of the law is the problem in this case, and not indicative of the high-quality care available across the country," Saporta said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Alleged Victim Calls Philly Abortion Doc Kermit Gosnell a 'Monster' 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- When Robyn Reid heard that abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell had been charged with killing viable babies with scissors and giving a woman a lethal dose of painkillers, she felt sick.

"I didn't know that he was such a monster doing this to everyone," Reid said. "I didn't think it'd happened to somebody else. I thought it was just me."

Gosnell, 69, and nine employees from his West Philadelphia Women's Medical Society were arrested Jan. 19 and charged with several offenses. Gosnell was charged with eight counts of murder for allegedly killing babies born alive and giving a lethal dose of Demerol to a woman.

Gosnell "induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord," Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has said.

For 13 years, Reid said that she lived with the horror of Jan. 31, 1998. Then 15 and three months pregnant, she said that her grandmother took her to Gosnell's clinic.

Reid said she planned to tell Gosnell that she didn't want the abortion and was going to sneak out of the clinic.

"When I said no, the doctor got upset and he ended up taking my clothes off, hitting me, my legs were tied to the stirrups," Reid said.

The 87-pound teen struggled with the man for 30 minutes, fighting him alone in the room, she said.

Gosnell's chilling defense of his alleged behavior haunts Reid. She said that he repeatedly told her, "This is the same care that I would give to my own daughter."

Since the arraignment of Gosnell and members of his staff, they've received several calls from women claiming to be victims, District Attorney Christine Wechsler said.

"Phones are ringing off the hook. There are scores of women," Wechsler said.

Wechsler said that the claims of Reid and Gaither sound very similar to the behavior documented in the grand jury report and in the phone calls they've received since late last week.

Gosnell is being held without bail. Gosnell's lawyer at the beginning of the investigation recently removed himself from the case.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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