In response to a comment on a previous article, I decided to provide my take on Dr. Kermit Barron Gosnell. As many of us recently learned, Dr. Gosnell is a former physician who practiced as an abortion provider in Philadelphia from 1972 to 2011. He was arrested in January 2011 and charged with eight counts of murder resulting from gross medical malpractice in the treatment of patients at his clinics. The murder charges related to a patient who died while under his care and seven newborns said to have been killed after being born alive during attempted abortions. Although Gosnell denied the allegations, he was convicted on charges of first and third degree murder, illegal prescription of drugs, conspiracy related to corruption and illegal abortions and related medical malpractice offenses at his practice.
It was reported that before the trial opened, all defendants with the exception of Gosnell and one other, had already pled guilty to similar charges including for some, charges of third degree murder. Several defendants had testified to “snipping” the spines of babies. One defendant, Steven Massof, testified that he had personally done this over a hundred times, describing it as a “standard procedure” at the Gosnell clinics. On May 13, 2013, Gosnell was convicted of three counts of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, and numerous other charges, including 211 counts of failing to wait 24 hours between consulting with a patient and performing an abortion. He was found not guilty of one other charge of murder.
In 2011, Gosnell was well known in Philadelphia for providing abortions to poor minority and immigrant women. It was also claimed that he charged $1,600–$3,000 for each late-term abortion. Gosnell was also associated with clinics in Delaware and Louisiana. Atlantic Women’s Services in Wilmington Delaware was Gosnell’s place of work one day a week. The owner of Atlantic Women’s Services, Leroy Brinkley, also owned Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and facilitated the hiring of staff from there for Gosnell’s operation in Philadelphia.
Here are a few examples of Gosnell’s appalling behavior as a physician:
- Girl age 15, accompanied by relative (1998): said to have told Gosnell she changed her mind about the abortion once inside the practice. Gosnell allegedly got upset, ripped off the patient’s clothing, and forcibly restrained her. The patient later stated that Gosnell told her “This is the same care that I would give to my own daughter.” She regained consciousness 12 hours later at her aunt’s home, the abortion having been completed against her will.
- Woman age 28, five months pregnant (2001): Patient described the pain four days after abortion as being so bad she could barely walk. The patient described that upon returning to the clinic because of the pain, ultrasound showed fetal remains left inside her womb, and that Gosnell suctioned these out without anesthesia. “I was just laying on the table and crying and I just asked the Lord to get me through it.”
- Fifteen year old (undated): damages awarded in court upon a finding that Gosnell performed an abortion on a fifteen-year-old without parental permission.
- Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old refugee from Bhutan (2009): according to prosecutors, Gosnell’s staff gave the 90-pound woman a lethal dose of anesthesia and painkillers during a 2009 abortion (this is the adult whose death is charged as third degree murder). During his trial, a toxicologist testified to unsafe levels of the drug, and the chair of Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School testified that the dose she had was “outrageous” and “most” average adults would have stopped breathing if dosed in the manner described. Gosnell’s lawyer asserts that Karnamaya Mongar also had other drugs in her system that did not come from Gosnell’s clinic, and that none of the infants were born alive.
The conditions of Gosnell’s practice should also be noted such as: (1) Extreme unsanitary conditions, including STDs, septic (unsterile) conditions, blood and animal feces and urine and other noxious fluids and waste, and months-old fetal remains stored in “jars, bags and jugs.” (2) Improper equipment and usage including reuse of disposable supplies and broken life-saving and monitoring equipment; (3) Padlocked emergency access and exit routes; (4) Lack of properly trained staff including “bogus doctors-unqualified, unlicensed and unsupervised staff who misrepresented themselves to patients as qualified licensed clinicians; (5) Operation of a “prescription treadmill” whereby blank signed prescriptions would be left for those seeking controlled medications, unsupervised and uncontrolled by Dr. Gosnell.
As reported by Policymic, Dr. Gosnell was the operator of an abortion mill – this was no clinic – located in West Philadelphia called the “Women’s Medical Society” and set up in 1972. He was a product of the local neighborhood, and he had spent almost four decades running his establishment – “giving back” to the community he grew up in. Of course, he had a peculiar form of charity: “Infant be-headings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure.” Gosnell’s mill was known for its willingness to carry out late-term abortions – the illegal practice (in Pennsylvania) of killing a child after the initial 24 weeks of pregnancy. Indeed, as word spread about the doctor’s services, women would come from all around to subject their bodies for the benefit of his services.
“There was blood on the floor,” witnesses reported. “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.” Despite the dreadful conditions, the illegal practices, and the innumerable women and children who were both injured and killed as a result of Gosnell’s actions, he was still able to operate for almost 40 years. The reason is because of politics, prejudice, and plain negligence. After approving the Women’s Medical Society to open an abortion clinic in 1979, the Pennsylvania Department of Health apparently conducted no site reviews for another 10 years. In both 1992 and 1993, Gosnell’s “clinic” was guilty of “numerous violations,” but was allowed to stay open on the promise that he would go about fixing them.
“After 1993, however, even that pro forma 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. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro-abortion. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions.”
Basically, “the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, the victims were infants without identities, and the subject was the political football of abortion.” Despite countless appeals, complaints, warnings, and deaths, the Gosnell murder trainl continued to operate until February 18, 2010, when an FBI raid of the offices was executed because of reports of “illegal prescription activity.” What they found, of course, was much, much worse.
As I mentioned in a previous article, without exception, the Sixth Commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill” and it doesn’t matter if it’s a baby or adult. In my view, Dr. Kermit Gosnell is one of the most wicked and shameful murderers in modern times and even the severest penalty will not come close to matching his crimes, but that’s just my take.