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Abortionist Kermit Gosnell Back in Court

by | Apr 28, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who will be tried next March on eight counts of murder, was in court Thursday to plead not guilty to a separate set of charges—“an amended federal indictment charging him and three employees with selling prescriptions for almost a million pills containing the narcotic painkiller Oxycodone and the generic version of the antianxiety drug Xanax,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Two of Gosnell’s three codefendants also entered not-guilty pleas.

Naturally, and properly, the overwhelming bulk of the attention has been paid to what a Philadelphia Grand Jury described as Gosnell’s West Philadelphia  “baby charnel house.” Gosnell is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of seven babies aborted alive and then killed when their spines were allegedly severed; and with third-degree murder in the case of the 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, who died from a drug overdose prescribed by Gosnell.

But what originally brought federal and state investigators to raid Gosnell’s Women Medical Society abortion clinic in February 2010 was suspicion that he was running a “pill mill,” illegally dispensing powerful prescription drugs.  According to the Associated Press, the amended indictment

“charges that Gosnell — or his untrained staff — wrote as many as 2,300 prescriptions a month for OxyContin and other highly addictive, controlled drugs. The volume grew so high he set up a separate phone line just for refills, the indictment said.   Gosnell typically came to work only in the evenings to perform abortions after the women were medicated, so he was often not around when the prescriptions were filled, authorities said.   Staff members would give as many as 10 prescriptions under different names to the same customer, collecting a $20 fee and a tip they kept for themselves, the indictment alleged. Three employees are also charged. The clinic has been shut down.”

The Inquirer story painted a picture of a confident, even cocky Gosnell: “Gosnell smiled broadly and winked at defense attorney Emily B. Cherniack as he waited his turn to be arraigned by U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth T. Hey.”

Gosnell’s trial on the murder charges has been set for March 14 before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart. “Two former clinic employees will be tried with Gosnell,” the Inquirer reported. “The remaining seven who were charged, including Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, 51, have pleaded guilty but will not be sentenced until after Gosnell’s trial is over.”

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams called Gosnell’s abortion clinic a “House of Horrors.” The following two paragraphs are from the Grand Jury report which can read in full at www.phila.gov/districtattorney/PDFs/GrandJuryWomensMedical.pdf

“Killing really had to be part of Gosnell’s plan.  His method for performing late-term abortions was to induce labor and delivery of intact fetuses, and he specialized in patients who were well beyond 24 weeks.  Thus, the birth of live, viable babies was a natural and predictable consequence.  The subsequent slitting of spinal cords, without any consideration for the babies’ viability, was an integral part of what Gosnell’s employees called his “ standard procedure.”

“Steve Massof described this ‘standard procedure.’ It required the clinic’s unequipped staff to manage a clinic full of sedated patients who were thrown into full labor, and then to “deal” with whatever precipitated, including live babies – all while the doctor was at home, or jogging, or working at a clinic in Wilmington.  … [Another employee, Tina Baldwin] explained that after a fetus was expelled, Gosnell ‘used to go ahead and do the suction in the back of the neck.’  She saw this ‘hundreds’ of times.  Gosnell told her that this was ‘part of the demise.’”

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Categories: Gosnell