CHILDREN AT RISK: Abortion doc charged with 8 counts of murder

Patrick Walters and Maryclaire Dale
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia abortion doctor has been charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a woman patient and seven babies who prosecutors say were born alive and then killed with scissors. The charges against Dr. Kermit Gosnell follow a long grand jury investigation.

District Attorney Seth Williams says state regulators ignored complaints and failed to visit the clinic since 1993. Williams says the women were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, which was shut down last year. Gosnell has been named in at least 10 malpractice suits, including one over the death of a woman who died of sepsis and a perforated uterus.

A doctor who gave abortions to minorities, immigrants and poor women in a “house of horrors” clinic was charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors said Wednesday. 

Kermit GosnellDr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, made millions of dollars over 30 years, performing as many illegal, late-term abortions as he could, prosecutors said. State regulators ignored complaints about him and failed to inspect his clinic since 1993, but no charges were warranted against them given time limits and existing law, District Attorney Seth Williams said. Nine of Gosnell’s employees also were charged.

 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,” Williams said.

 Patients were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, where Gosnell performed dozens of abortions a day, prosecutors said. He mostly worked overnight hours after his untrained staff administered drugs to induce labor during the day, they said.

 Early last year, authorities went to investigate drug-related complaints at the clinic and stumbled on what Williams called a “house of horrors.” Bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses “were scattered throughout the building,” Williams said. “There were jars, lining shelves, with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose.”

 The clinic was shut down and Gosnell’s medical license was suspended after the raid. Click here to read more.

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