NRL News

The Murder Trial of Abortionist Kermit Gosnell, Day Three: Meet Defense Attorney Jack McMahon

by | Mar 20, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Kermit Gosnell's defense attorney Jack McMahon

Kermit Gosnell’s defense attorney Jack McMahon

Jack McMahon, the flamboyant defense attorney for abortionist Kermit Gosnell who is on trial on eight counts of murder, went after the mother of “Baby Boy A” in two hours of questioning Wednesday morning, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.

In 2008 Shayquana Abrams was 17 when she had a “late-term” abortion at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic, a baby boy prosecutors say was almost seven months old. Abortions in Pennsylvania are illegal after the 24th week.

Tuesday was filled with testimony by Ms. Adams and by the first of what is expected to be a number of Gosnell’s former employees.

As NRL News Today reported yesterday Adrienne Moton, 35, testified that she, Gosnell, and other employees cut the spinal cords of dozens of babies – some still moving. Three paragraphs from the story by the Philadelphia Daily News’ Mensah M. Dean deftly summarized Moton’s powerful testimony:

“Moton’s memory of one baby – known in court as ‘Baby A’ – brought her to tears. The child was born in July 2008 so large and seemingly healthy in the 29th week of pregnancy that Moton took a cellphone picture before Gosnell rushed in and carried the boy away, she said. Abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy are banned in Pennsylvania.

“’I just saw a big baby boy. He had that color, that color that a baby has,’ a weeping Moton said under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron.

“’I just felt he could have had a chance. . . . He could have been born any day,’ added Moton, who has been jailed for 26 months.”

Later, Dean added, “A female juror covered her mouth as if in shock when a color picture of ‘Baby A’ was shown on courtroom video screens.”

Ms. Adams testified that her abortion was started at the Atlantic Women’s Medical Services clinic in Wilmington, Delaware where Gosnell worked. She said Gosnell performed an ultrasound and she was told the baby was 24 weeks old. (Abortions are legal through the 20th week in Delaware.) The baby was delivered three days later at Gosnell’s own abortion clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave.

Questioned by Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, Abrams said she was in such pain following the abortion that her aunt took her to a hospital where Abrams was diagnosed with a “grapefruit-sized abscess” on her side and a blood clot in the vein near her heart. “It was the worst pain I ever experienced, worse than when I gave birth to my daughter,” Abrams said.

“Abrams said she was so drugged up during the abortion that she could not recall the procedure,” Dean reported. “She said she still suffers from fatigue, stress, shortness of breath and headaches. For his services, Abrams said, Gosnell charged her aunt about $1,300–cash.”

McMahon’s questioning was to elicit that Abrams had signed a consent form and that the form warned of possible complications using Digoxin, a drug that is injected into the baby or the amniotic fluid. McMahon is already arguing that contrary to all the testimony documented in the 261-page Grand Jury report and by Moton, none of the babies were born alive.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Joseph A. Slobodzian, Pescatore focused on the age of the babies and how Gosnell allegedly tried to mask how old the babies actually were.

“Pescatore also had Abrams review her file from Gosnell’s office, which included three consecutive ultrasound photos Gosnell performed on July 10, 2008. In each, the size of the fetus gets smaller until the third has a gestational age of 24.5 weeks.

“Pescatore has argued that Gosnell and his staff manipulated ultrasounds to try to artificially reduce the age of the fetus so it would appear to be a legal late-term abortion.”

Gosnell is on trial on eight counts of murder. Seven of those counts are first degree for the deaths of seven viable unborn babies allegedly aborted alive who were then killed when Gosnell and his untrained, unlicensed staff snipped their spines. The eighth count is third degree murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who was allegedly administered too much anesthesia during a 2009 abortion.

Earlier this week Tara Murtha of the Philadelphia Weekly described  defense attorney McMahon  as “a distinct-looking character with a jaw set like a bulldog and a bald freckled head that works up to a shade of crimson while passionately making his case.” The case he made Monday? That the Women’s Medical Society was no “House of Horrors” and that Gosnell was (in Murtha’s words) “an imperfect doctor dedicated to serving poor people in his ‘urban’ community.”

Two years ago Murtha wrote another story about McMahon where she explained that

“Some of McMahon’s better-known clients include Arturo Juarez, alleged leader of the Latin King gang and Rich Wise, one of the two men accused in the 1995 murder of Kimberly Ernst, known in the press as the Center City Jogger case. McMahon is a busy guy: on top of taking on the Gosnell case, he’s currently representing Gerald Ung, the former Temple Law student arrested in 2010 on suspicion of attempting to kill Ed DiDonato in an Old City shoot-out captured by Fox29 cameras.”

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Categories: Gosnell