Philly Abortion Doctor Guilty in 3 Babies’ Deaths

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  • PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia abortion doctor was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder and could face execution in the deaths of three babies who authorities say were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy clinic, in a case that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over abortion.

    Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the drug-overdose death of a patient who had undergone an abortion. He was cleared in the death of a fourth baby, who prosecutors say let out a soft whimper before he snipped its neck.

    Gosnell appeared hopeful before the verdict was read and calm afterward; jurors and lawyers on both sides were more emotional.

    The jury will return May 21 to hear evidence on whether Gosnell should get the death penalty.

    Former clinic employees testified that Gosnell routinely performed illegal late-term abortions past Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit, that he delivered babies who were still moving, whimpering or breathing, and that he and his assistants “snipped” the newborns’ spines, as he referred to it.

    “Are you human?” prosecutor Ed Cameron snarled during closing arguments as Gosnell sat calmly at the defense table. “To med these women up and stick knives in the backs of babies?”

    The grisly details came out more than two years ago during an investigation of prescription drug trafficking at Gosnell’s clinic in an impoverished section of West Philadelphia.

    Authorities said the clinic was a foul-smelling “house of horrors” with bags and bottles of stored fetuses, including jars of severed feet, along with bloodstained furniture, dirty medical instruments, and cats roaming the premises.

    Pennsylvania authorities had failed to conduct routine inspections of all of its abortion clinics for 15 years by the time Gosnell’s facility was raided and closed down. In the scandal’s aftermath, two top state health department officials were fired, and Pennsylvania imposed tougher rules for clinics.

    “We see this as triumph of justice,” said Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, a group that has taken a lead role in efforts to enact anti-abortion laws in state legislatures.

    Four former clinic employees have pleaded guilty to murder and four more to other charges. They include Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, a cosmetologist who helped perform abortions.

    Both sides of the abortion divide seized on the case. Abortion foes said it exposed the true nature of abortion in all its disturbing detail. Abortion rights activists warned that Gosnell’s rogue practice foreshadows what poor and desperate young women could face if abortion is driven underground with more restrictive laws.

    Midway through the six-week trial, anti-abortion activists accused the mainstream media of ignoring the case because it reflected badly on the abortion rights cause. Major news organizations denied the allegation, though a number promptly sent reporters to cover the trial.

    After prosecutors rested their case, Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart threw out for lack of evidence three of seven murder counts involving aborted fetuses. That left the jury to weigh charges involving fetuses identified as Baby A, Baby C, Baby D and Baby E.

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    3 thoughts on “Philly Abortion Doctor Guilty in 3 Babies’ Deaths

    1. Abortion is Murder! When you go to an abortion clinic, what do you expect? He is crazy! And the women who kill their babies! He can kiss heaven goodbye!

    2. Al Sharpton says that Gosnell is more to be lauded than scorned. Sort of like saying that, if it weren’t for the Jews, there wouldn’t be a need for Mengele or the Wannsee Conference.

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