New Castle News

May 14, 2013

Abortion doctor found guilty of murdering babies

By Staff
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the 72-year-old abortion doctor accused of murdering four babies after they were allegedly born alive during abortion procedures at his Philadelphia clinic, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder Monday.

Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient who came to him for a later-term abortion procedure.

He was acquitted of a fourth charge of first-degree murder.

The verdict was reached after ten days of deliberations and the announcement Monday that the jury was divided on two counts, though it wasn't immediately clear which counts those were.

He had been accused of severing the spines of babies whose mothers came to him for late-term abortion procedures at the Women's Medical Society, his clinic in West Philadelphia. He was also accused of third-degree murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old immigrant who died after having an abortion at Gosnell's clinic.

Eight former workers have pleaded guilty to murder or other charges and have testified to seeing babies move, breathe or whine.

Gosnell's attorneys argued that the doctor provided care to poor, minority women and that the prosecution was "racist" and elitist" in pursuing their case against him. Calling the operation a "house of horrors," prosecutors allege the doctor created an "assembly line" of patients, performing more than 1,000 abortions a year and profiting lavishly, while treating women with unsterilized equipment and employing untrained workers.

The jury also weighed hundreds of abortion-law violations. Gosnell allegedly performed third-trimester abortions and failed to counsel patients.

Earlier this month, the judge in the case threw out three of the seven first-degree murder charges against Gosnell, ruling that the prosecution failed to present evidence that the infants were born alive.

Prosecutors put on about five weeks of testimony, and co-defendant and former clinic employee Eileen O'Neill called several witnesses.

Gosnell's lawyer, Jack McMahon, did not call either fact or character witnesses for his client. McMahon instead attacked the prosecution witnesses during cross-examination, and argued in closings that the babies were killed in the womb with an abortion drug. He said the patient, 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar of Woodbridge, Va., died of medical complications.

Gosnell ran the Women's Medical Society for more than 30 years until the FBI shut it down after a 2010 raid focused on his high-volume business distributing painkiller prescriptions.

Authorities instead stumbled upon abortions under way late at night amid allegedly filthy conditions and found 47 aborted fetuses stored in refrigerators at the clinic.