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Dr. Kermit Gosnell – The Unknown Serial Killer

Dr. Kermit Barron Gosnell, 72, an illegal abortionist ran a multi-million dollar illegal abortion business.

In today’s modern history few events illustrate the corrosive impact of the illegal abortion culture like the Kermit Gosnell case of 2013.

This is absolutely not about being pro-choice or pro-life. It is about basic human rights.

The grand jury report in the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, is among the most horrifying I’ve read. This is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What I mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then Dr. Gosnell murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors,” according to the grand jury. 

The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths.
Gosnell ran the Women’s Medical Society Clinic in West Philadelphia, PA.

Looking at the building from the outside it looks like any “good samaritan” community health center. Inside, however, it was a house of horrors. 
Dr. Kermit Barron Gosnell, 72, an illegal abortionist ran a multi-million dollar illegal abortion business.

Gosnell was arrested on Jan. 19, 2011, and his trial ended in 2013. He was convicted of 8 first-degree murder related to seven late-term aborted babies who were born alive and then killed, their spinal cords cut with scissors.

Gosnell opened up the clinic in 1979 but wasn’t investigated until February 2010 when the FBI and the Pennsylvania Department of Health raided his clinic on drug charges.

Apparently, they received a tip that Dr. Gosnell was illegally selling prescription drugs, which he was. Preparing for the raid, detectives were expecting to find evidence that it was illegally selling prescription drugs.

But what they found was more than anyone can imagine.

Upon entering, they quickly realized something else was amiss. According to the detectives “There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets. All the women had been sedated by unlicensed staff.” 

Nevertheless, he lived in “squalor,” according to Philadelphia Police Crimes Scene Unit Detective John Taggart. Gosnell “would leave plates of food on the floor” at the home police raided. “There was stuff everywhere in the bedroom. You couldn’t see the bed,” the detectives told reporters. His cellar was flea-ridden, according to police who inspected it.

After the raid, the state immediately suspended his medical license. shortly thereafter.

Gosnell, in the beginning, was a family doctor. His primary goal was to serve the poor and disenfranchised. He comes from a wealthy family in West Philly. He started out doing abortions legally and within the 24-week cutoff for legal abortions in the state of Pennsylvania. 

In Pennsylvania, most doctors won’t perform abortions after the 20th week, many for health reasons, others for moral reasons. Any abortion after 24 weeks is illegal. Until 2009, Gosnell reportedly performed mostly first and second-trimester abortions. But because Gosnell was a squalor and his office was filthy – people didn’t recommend his office as much, so he started to lose money.

Now he became the doctor you go to when you are over the legal cutoff time. 

According to the grand jury report from Jan. 19, 2011, it states: A 17-year-old girl, accompanied by her aunt, went to Gosnell’s office for a pregnancy termination. Gosnell charged $2,500 for the abortion. An ultrasound conducted by an unlicensed nurse, who worked for Gosnell, “recorded a gestational age of 29.4 weeks,” according to the report, or about 7.5 months pregnant.

The 17-year-old girl was given a drug called Cytotec to induce labor and was also “heavily sedated” over a period of 13 hours. The unlicensed staff would “medthemup” so none of the neighbors would hear the screaming from pain. “Eventually she gave birth to a large baby boy” and “ the unlicensed nurse estimated that the baby was 18-19 inches long,” reads the report.

“After the baby was expelled, the unlicensed worker noticed that he was breathing, though not for long. After about 10 to 20 seconds, while the mother was asleep, ‘the doctor just slit the neck.’ Gosnell put the boy’s body in a shoebox. The worker described the baby as so big that his feet and arms hung out over the sides of the container. The worker said that she saw the baby move after his neck was cut and after the doctor placed it in the shoebox. Gosnell told her, ‘it’s the baby’s reflexes. It’s not really moving.’”according to the grand jury report. 

In testimony, Adrienne Moton, who used to work for Gosnell at the Women’s Medical Society, said she recalled one baby – “Baby Boy A” was so large, Moton took a photo of the child with her cell phone before Gosnell took the baby out of the room to “snip” the baby spinal cord. 
“I just saw a big baby boy. He had that color, that color that a baby has,” Moton said in court. 

According to Moton, Gosnell joked about the baby being so big; “This baby is big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop.”
Other workers including Ashley Baldwin who, along with Moton, “took photographs because they knew this was a baby that could and should have lived,” reads the grand jury report.“

The mother of “Baby Boy A” was released by Gosnell but she was in a lot of pain and got sick. A few days later she was taken to the hospital and doctors “found that she had a severe infection and blood clots that had traveled to her lungs.” She stayed in the hospital for more than a week and eventually recovered, according to her aunt.

Moton also testified that she indeed herself personally cut (“snipped”) – the spinal cords of at least 10 babies after they were delivered, as Gosnell reportedly had instructed.

The grand jury report also states that Baldwin, the worker, “remembered Gosnell severing the neck of a baby that cried after being born,” reads the report.

After the raid over 40 dead fetuses were found in bags in the basement and stuffed in the freezer, the same freezer where the workers would keep their lunch.

Plus, he would cut the legs, and the feet off some of these babies and kept them in jars like trophies. 

Toilets were clogged from fetuses and baby arms and legs. Apparently, Gosnell had his patients birth the babies in the toilet when they were 7 to 8 months in. One worker testified swing the baby swim in the toilet, she ten grab it and snipped it.

There are so many details that are too graphic to dwell on. He trained his unlicensed staff to do this while he wasn’t there, and when I say unlicensed staff, these are people posing as nurses, who have a seventh-grade education and had alcoholism and mental health issues, and criminal difficulties. People who would not be … as the detective in the case, Jim Wood, said, “You wouldn’t let them mow your lawn, let alone give people anesthesia.”

Gosnell had a 15-year-old, a teenager, administering anesthesia. She created a cheat sheet for herself so that she could try to remember, so she’d look at somebody and go, “A bit of pink, a bit of red,” and she would do kind of a cocktail of the anesthesia drugs based on that.

Lynda Williams, another unlicensed worker testified how she would administer painkillers and anesthesia acting as the clinic’s anesthesiologist. But, the 44-year-old had no formal training and only an 8th-grade education.

There were cats walking around in this clinic. The doctor, when he was there, which was late in the evening, would eat breakfast cereal in the same room where people were having these procedures. 

Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who catered to minorities, immigrants and poor women, was charged Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors.

Gosnell pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, Jack McMahon, said the district attorney’s office was engaging in “a prosecutorial lynching” of his client. 

Gosnell claims when the babies were suctioned or birthed they were already dead from a drug they injected into the babies heart called “Digoxin” which is used to stop the baby’s heart. But when the police raided Gosnell slaughterhouse in 2010 they found “no” digoxin.

For 17 years, no one from The State of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg ) lifted a finger to check out what Gosnell was doing. His critics wondered how on earth did this go on for so long without anyone stopping it. 

The grand jury delved into that very question in their report. Here is an excerpt – at length, because it bears directly on the question that will concern us afterward: has this story gotten an appropriate amount of attention from the news media? Which it didn’t. 

Here is the grand jury on oversight failures:

“Pennsylvania is not a third-world country. There were several oversight agenciesthat stumbled upon and should have shut down Kermit Gosnell long ago. But none of them did…

The first line of defense was the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The department’s job is to audit hospitals and outpatient medical facilities, like Gosnell’s, to make sure that they follow the rules and provide safe care. The department had contact with the Women’s Medical Society dating back to 1979, when it first issued approval to open an abortion clinic. It did not conduct another site review until 1989, ten years later. Numerous violations were already apparent, but Gosnell got a pass when he promised to fix them. Site reviews in 1992 and 1993 also noted various violations, but again failed to ensure they were corrected.

But at least the department had been doing something up to that point, however ineffectual. After 1993, even that proform an effort came to an end. Not because of administrative ennui, although there had been plenty.

Instead, the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all… The only exception to this live-and-let-die policy was supposed to be for complaints dumped directly on the department’s doorstep. Those, at least, would be investigated. Except that there were complaints about Gosnell, repeatedly.

Several different attorneys, representing women injured by Gosnell, contacted the department. A doctor from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia hand-delivered a complaint, advising the department that numerous patients he had referred for abortions came back from Gosnell with the same venereal disease. The medical examiner of Delaware County informed the department that Gosnell had performed an illegal abortion on a 14-year-old girl carrying a 30-week-old baby. And the department received official notice that a woman named Karnamaya Mongar had died at Gosnell’s hands.”

No one did nothing for 17 years. The lack of oversight and pure negligence on the state’s part enable Gosnell to slaughter over 100 babies.  He destroyed hundreds of records.

If it wasn’t for that drug tip, Gosnell probably would be still illegally aborting babies.

In 2013 the Philadelphia abortion doctor was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies that were born alive before having their necks cut with scissors.

In addition to the murder charges, the 72-year-old was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of former patient Karnamaya Mongar.

He was sentenced to life in prison and was also sentenced to 30 years in prison for running a pill mill out of the same clinic, according to a U.S. attorney’s office statement.  Gosnell pleaded guilty to prescribing and dispensing narcotics from June 2008 to February 2010. He wrote fraudulent prescriptions for hundreds of thousands of prescription pills — including 600,000 pills containing oxycodone — to cash-paying customers who showed no medical need, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

was also found guilty of several other crimes including one count of infanticide, two counts of conspiracy, 21 of 24 counts of abortion of an unborn child of 24 weeks or more and 208 of 227 counts of violation of informed consent of an abortion. 

In all, Gosnell, father of six, was found guilty of 237 crimes.

His wife, Pearl Gosnell worked at the Women’s Medical Society from 1982 until 1990. At one point during that time, she became the third wife of Dr. Gosnell. According to the grand jury report, she played a nurse with her husband and with his “abortions” of the largest, latest-term babies, which he reserved for only on Sundays. In December 2011, Pearl entered a guilty plea to charges of performing an abortion after 24 weeks, conspiracy, criminal conspiracy, and corrupt organization. 

Pearl said in court her husband was “cowardly” for dragging her family through court proceedings.

She told the court she regrets having trusted him and criticized him for not taking the stand in his own defense.

She was sentenced to seven to 23 months in prison.

The Gosnell family raked in $1.8 million a year from his ventures. The couple owned 17 properties, a motorboat, a Dodge Durango, a Ford F-150 pickup truck, and a Ford Expedition. 

There was precious little coverage of the case that should have been on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell’s former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.

The case also brought a lot of light to the deficiencies in the state health department and how they acknowledge complaints. The Pennsylvania Department of Health admitted the clinic went nearly two decades without being inspected.

Legislators later passed a law to require more stringent rules for abortion clinics in the Commonwealth. 

Several employees of the health department were fired as a result of the investigation.

Court observers said when Gosnell was led from the courthouse in shackles and a gray prison outfit, he smirked to the waiting media, before being loaded by sheriff deputies into a van and returned to jail.


About A'tif Khalil (18 Articles)
A'tif K. Coleman is a lifelong resident of Mount Vernon who has become a Mount Vernon Columnist for Black Westchester. A'tif's passion and love of the city he was born and bred drives him to wanting to inform the residents and speak truth to power and corruption. Mr. Coleman is also one half of the founders of the Save Mount Vernon movement.
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