Abortionist faces eight counts of murder in Philadelphia; Update: How did he escape notice so long? “By design

posted at 2:55 pm on January 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

This may be as ghastly a story outside of the Tucson massacre as we’ll see all year … I hope.  An abortionist arrested in Philadelphia faces eight counts of murder, one for the death of a patient, and the other seven for killing babies who survived his botched abortions.  The district attorney alleges that Kermit Gosnell used a pair of scissors to sever their spinal cords:

A West Philadelphia abortion doctor, his wife and eight other suspects are now under arrest following a grand jury investigation.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, faces eight counts of murder in the deaths of a woman following a botched abortion at his office, along with the deaths of seven other babies who, prosecutors allege, were born alive following illegal late-term abortions and then were killed by severing their spinal cords with a pair of scissors. …

Gosnell is facing Murder in the 3rd Degree for the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar. Mrs. Mongar died on November 20, 2009 when she was overdosed with anesthetics prescribed by Gosnell. He is also facing seven Murder charges for the deaths of infants who were killed after being born viable and alive during the 6th, 7th and 8th month of pregnancy. Gosnell is also facing numerous other charges.

Gosnell is suspected of killing hundreds of living babies over the course of his 30 year practice. However, he is not charged because the records do not exist.

What a shock it must be to find that Gosnell didn’t keep records of his illegal abortions and outright murders.  This was no fly-by-night operation, either.  Gosnell made over $1.8 million in one year, the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia reports.  Also, Gosnell is reportedly the target of a federal probe into illegal prescriptions.

The district attorney felt the need to defend his prosecution to the media, for some reason:

“I am aware that abortion is a hot-button topic,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “But as District Attorney, my job is to carry out the law. A doctor who knowingly and systematically mistreats female patients, to the point that one of them dies in his so-called care, commits murder under the law. A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law.”

Indeed.  And it says something about the current debate over abortion that Williams even had to explain this.  This is worse than the controversy in the 2008 presidential election about Barack Obama’s successful action to block a bill requiring doctors to provide care to babies born alive during abortion procedures.  This “doctor” allegedly went out of his way to kill them after the birth through a brutal and heartless procedure, not just neglect.  And he made a fortune from doing so.

My guess is that few people will rush to defend Gosnell’s alleged actions, apart from the fringe like Peter Singer who argue that parents should have the option of terminating an infant’s life past a live birth.  But this revelation will certainly linger in the minds of everyone else, and have people asking how many more Gosnells may be making their own fortunes through similar means.

Update: I’ve just started reading the grand jury report, which is sickening, but raises an important question — how did Gosnell get away with it for so long?  Forget about the murders of live babies for a moment and read this description of Gosnell’s work from the section titled “Butcher of women”:

One woman, for example, was left lying in place for hours after Gosnell tore her cervix and colon while trying, unsuccessfully, to extract the fetus. Relatives who came to pick her up were refused entry into the building; they had to threaten to call the police. They eventually found her inside, bleeding and incoherent, and transported her to the hospital, where doctors had to remove almost half a foot of her intestines.

On another occasion, Gosnell simply sent a patient home, after keeping her mother waiting for hours, without telling either of them that she still had fetal parts inside her. Gosnell insisted she was fine, even after signs of serious infection set in over the next several days. By the time her mother got her to the emergency room, she was unconscious and near death.

A nineteen-year-old girl was held for several hours after Gosnell punctured her uterus.  As a result of the delay, she fell into shock from blood loss, and had to undergo a hysterectomy.

One patient went into convulsions during an abortion, fell off the procedure table,  and hit her head on the floor.  Gosnell wouldn’t call an ambulance, and wouldn’t let the woman’s companion leave the building so that he could call an ambulance.

That’s at least three incidents where a hospital should have reported Gosnell’s butchery.  Why wasn’t he stopped then?  The politics of abortion (emphasis in the original):

We discovered that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.

The State Legislature has charged the Department of Health (DOH) with responsibility for writing and enforcing regulations to protect health and safety in abortion clinics as well as in hospitals and other health care facilities. Yet a significant difference exists between how DOH monitors abortion clinics and how it monitors facilities where other medical procedures are performed.

Indeed, the department has shown an utter disregard both for the safety of women who seek treatment at abortion clinics and for the health of fetuses after they have become viable. State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design. …

State health officials knew that Gosnell and his clinic were offering unacceptable medical care to women and girls, yet DOH failed to take any action to stop the atrocities documented by this Grand Jury. These officials were far more protective of themselves when they testified before the Grand Jury. Even DOH lawyers, including the chief counsel, brought private attorneys with them – presumably at government expense.

Ghastly doesn’t begin to describe this.  Read the report at your own risk.


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If you can bear it, you should read the grand jury report that Ed links to. Ghastly is too mild a word. “Evil and Callous” are insufficient adjectives. This system did the the Nazis one better… they followed orders, this was for profit.

theCork on January 20, 2011 at 9:18 AM

My daughter came in to this world via an emergency C-Section, seven weeks early. She was only four pounds – smaller than the baby boy shown in the Grand Jury paper. She came into this world a ball of energy crying and full of life – and to this day I can’t stop from tearing up when I think of that first moment when I held her.

To this, “doctor” – how can you even attempt to defend you actions? You sir, are more evil and depraved than a serial killer. Your victims had absolutely no way to defend themselves.

The only thing I could think of when I read line after line about the number of viable children killed by this man is how many childless couples or families that desperately want more children but can’t would have given anything to adopt those babies.

I too, will hold my daughter tighter and let the goodnight hug last a little longer today.

keyboarddude on January 20, 2011 at 10:22 AM

If the government has no obligation to protect the most helpless among us, then it has no obligation to the rest of us either.

abcurtis on January 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

What really gets me is that so many people are going to forget this story with the new day.

Can’t really find words for how I feel at the moment. Let the Lord’s justice come swiftly. That is the only way this madness will end, because it is a certainty that there are not enough of us in the nation to outlaw it.

A bitter day, this. Would that the nation as a whole would stand up and scream cry havoc, demanding an end to it, but we won’t, will we.

KinleyArdal on January 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM

I’m sure it’s already been pointed out, but if we criminalize abortion, women will be forced to have back-alley hanger abortions and they will die by the millions. At least now they’re safe. Oh, wait…

Next Saturday is the 38th anniversary of this abomination. We are drawing near to 40 years. We are running out of time. I truly believe God will punish us for this. I tend to believe He has already started. God have mercy.

pannw on January 20, 2011 at 10:36 AM

From today’s Philly.com story:

Dayle Steinberg, president of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, said she worried that abortion foes would use this extreme case to taint all providers.

Is that what she’s worried about? How… humane of her. She goes on to say that more regulations aren’t the answer. I wonder if she feels that way about other issues?

hawksruleva on January 20, 2011 at 10:52 AM

There are plenty of abortionists out there that are offering very poor care to their patients. The infamous Nebraska abortionist Dr. Carhart is trying to open another mill in Iowa. That’s because the abortionist there has run afoul of the law for doing things like dumping a patient outside an ER, so he could get back to the mill and make more money.

These people aren’t doctors – they’re greedy butchers.

Ward Cleaver on January 20, 2011 at 10:54 AM

If the government has no obligation to protect the most helpless among us, then it has no obligation to the rest of us either.

abcurtis on January 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

We are all useless eaters now.

Extrafishy on January 20, 2011 at 11:05 AM

WWCathodeRay on January 19, 2011 at 11:11 PM
I don’t like the name calling. It was sarcasm directed at folks who want to ignore social issues. Maybe you should read whole threads. And really, the name calling just destroys your comment credibility.

hawkdriver on January 20, 2011 at 5:39 AM

point taken. I did read the whole thread, and I thought the post below was your sarcastic comment. Now I see.

You have to be kidding right?

wi farmgirl on January 19, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Of course. Just repeating comments I’ve heard a thousand times on Hot Air from our fiscally Conservative friends who don’t want to waste party capital on social issues.

hawkdriver on January 19, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Regarding name calling: Calling these abused children women (with a choice) is a moronic argument. If I had used profanity, I might be rebuffed. I stand by my use of the term moron, but apologize for missing your sarcasm. I’ll play nice and will read more carefully, next time.

WWCathodeRay on January 20, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Can I blame Obama for this? After all he condones abortions.

tommer74 on January 20, 2011 at 11:26 AM

From today’s Philly.com story:

Dayle Steinberg, president of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, said she worried that abortion foes would use this extreme case to taint all providers.

Is that what she’s worried about? How… humane of her. She goes on to say that more regulations aren’t the answer. I wonder if she feels that way about other issues?

hawksruleva on January 20, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Everything else in the world can be improved with additional regulation, except for abortions.

This is indicative, people, especially to you fiscal cons. They know what they’re doing. You do, too.

What point is there to behaving as though we can’t have an opinion on this for the rights of others? Look at this! Blood-drenched Leftists saying the last thing their Molech needs is more regulation.

THINK. ABOUT. IT.

KinleyArdal on January 20, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Can I blame Obama for this? After all he condones abortions.

tommer74 on January 20, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Yes, you may.

He also condemns saving the lives of infants who survive the forceps and knives. The man is as culpable as any abortion provider – moreso, because he holds the office of the Presidency. Think about the nature of a person who casts a vote to forbid giving aid to a screaming, bleeding infant who has survived Sanger’s dark dream.

Think carefully about what that says about a person.

KinleyArdal on January 20, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Calling these abused children women (with a choice) is a moronic argument.

Sometimes being a moron is at least excusable; shifting the evil of murdering innocent life,to attacking the messengers who bring the truth,is a far worse evil.Lacking intellegence is at least excusable, justifying abortion is never.

Don L on January 20, 2011 at 11:34 AM

I am distressed to read comments which seem to suggest that opposition to abortion is somehow anti-libertarian. As if the opposition is simply to a “choice” that should be respected. It isn’t. It is opposition to murder of the innocent. I hope my interpretation is wrong, but I do read some wacky sh*t from libertarians at times.

Extrafishy on January 20, 2011 at 11:52 AM

In case you think that this sort of thing is uncommon, you should really read http://realchoice.blogspot.com

Christina was a researcher for Lime 5 and has compiled a list of every abortion death that has been reported. The stories are horrific.

Vera on January 20, 2011 at 11:55 AM

And I thought the main reason for legalizing abortion was that if we made them illegal there would be a bunch of dangerous, secret abortion mills practicing unsafe medicine. I’ve got news for you, it was not the illegality of the precedure that created the back-street abortionists. It was the procedure itself that drew unethical people who had no regard for life.

Choose_Freedom on January 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM

And I thought the main reason for legalizing abortion was that if we made them illegal there would be a bunch of dangerous, secret abortion mills practicing unsafe medicine. I’ve got news for you, it was not the illegality of the precedure that created the back-street abortionists. It was the procedure itself that drew unethical people who had no regard for life.
Choose_Freedom on January 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Excellent point!

WWCathodeRay on January 20, 2011 at 3:14 PM

I’ve often heard that abortionists are people who were at the bottom of their class in medical school.

Abortion kills babies and often injures (and sometimes kills) mothers. Nothing new there, although many people still don’t want to fact the facts.

Mothers who have been killed by “safe, legal” abortion include these women (please read abou them online):

Alexandra Nunez — severed artery, New York, 2010
LouAnne Herron — 2-inch tear in uterus, Arizona, 1998
Carolina Gutierrez — massive infection, Florida, 1996
Angela Hall — infection and embolism, Alabama, 1966
Guadalupe Negron — bled to death, New York, 1995
Anjelica Duarte — perforated uterus, Nevada, 1992

An earlier monster of note is abortionist Abu Hayat of New York. A real monster.

KyMouse on January 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM

By the way, the current price for aborting a baby 6-to-12 weeks of gestational age at the Louisville, KY abortion mill (EMW Women’s Surgical Center) is $650, according to their brochure.

12.1 – 14 weeks — $800
14.1 – 16 weeks — $1,075.

22.1 – 23 weeks — $2,200.

Seems as if they could be making more than $8,000 an hour.

KyMouse on January 20, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Of course your average Democrat(which I was until until age 56) will tell you that this treatment of the unborn is not genocide. Genocide is what Israel is committing against Palestinians. But 42,000,000 million unborn babies killed by their mothers worldwide each year with the support of Progressive’s/Oppresive’s is NOT genocide.

wtng2fish on January 20, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design.

State health officials knew that Gosnell and his clinic were offering unacceptable medical care to women and girls, yet DOH failed to take any action to stop the atrocities documented by this Grand Jury.

So, pro-abortion folks out there: isn’t this what your mantra of safe, legal, and rare was supposed to prevent?

The next time I hear someone who favors abortion tell me legalization keeps women out of back alleys and away from coat hangers, I will laugh in their face. ANYONE who defends this butcher is just as vile as he is.

This man is evil incarnate. The devil’s brother, if not the devil himself. There is a special place in hell for people who make their life’s work the murder of innocent children. May the pain he brought on those children be brought back on him a hundredfold.

It is also very telling how liberal priorities lie when it comes to wealth: this man made millions murdering children and women. MILLIONS. And — mark my words — he will be defended by the pro-abortion crowd. He profited off murder. But if you work hard at a moral, legitimate business and earn your wealth that way, you’re an evil capitalist pariah who must be punished via taxes and redistribution of wealth.

The more I see of liberalism, the more it absolutely digusts me.

englishqueen01 on January 20, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Abortion Killing babies is a religious sacrament of Liberalism, and as such it is exempt from the law in their eyes. There is a special place in Hell for this kind of human filth.

infidel4life on January 20, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Hmmm … this sounds like a back alley abortionist.

I thought legalized abortion was supposed to eliminate that kind of thing?

HondaV65 on January 20, 2011 at 8:28 PM

WWCathodeRay on January 20, 2011 at 11:23 AM

It’s an emotional issue.

hawkdriver on January 20, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Hmmm … this sounds like a back alley abortionist.

I thought legalized abortion was supposed to eliminate that kind of thing?

HondaV65 on January 20, 2011 at 8:28 PM

I was thinking about Crr6 saying a few weeks back that the present day abortion mills were preferable to “Back-Alley Coat Hanger” abortions.

hawkdriver on January 20, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Here’s the pro-abortion take away

But way more entertaining to play Wise Man and draw lines in the sand around what are actually really complex moral issues. Saletan’s entire body of writing on abortion seems to center around the goal of getting pro-choice people to admit that abortion is kind of icky. So, Will, I will give you that: Abortion is pretty gross. So are many medical procedures. So is childbirth, actually. Can we move the conversation forward now?

http://tinyurl.com/4t3uegw

Vera on January 20, 2011 at 9:11 PM

I was thinking about Crr6 saying a few weeks back that the present day abortion mills were preferable to “Back-Alley Coat Hanger” abortions.

hawkdriver on January 20, 2011 at 9:03 PM

What thread was that? What a sick person.

Inanemergencydial on January 20, 2011 at 9:22 PM

whether one believes that life is imputed in the womb or as the fetus exits the womb doesn’t matter – murder occurs frequently in the abortion mills. If that baby exits and is breathing, it is alive heroic measures must be made to keep it alive. No telling how many breathing babies are murdered in the places. Law enforcement needs to be posted in the places to protect these tiny lives. DD

Darvin Dowdy on January 20, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Disgusting, but not at all shocking. If a fetus is not worthy of respect and humanity, a fetus a few seconds older is not a person worthy of respect and humanity, either.

The abortion industry is one where doctors’ careers revolve around the baby not being alive at the end of the procedure. You can’t think the doctor’s are going to take too much care to follow the law between A and C. That makes the law hypocritical, since the right of the mother to order the death of a viable human is established, and whether that person is here or there a few seconds later is not morally relevant.

So is the law a joke? Sure. But I’ll never cry over an injustice to those who cut necks for a living. It would be great for one of these wonderful people to be executed. If we can kill babies on a technicality, why shouldn’t we kill baby-killers on a technicality?

HitNRun on January 20, 2011 at 10:51 PM

I am against abortion but if Abortion is made illegal we will see a bunch of women and teens dying from a butcher. This is what some just don’t get and that is if a woman or a teen doesn’t want a baby they will do what they can to rid that baby. Government has no business paying for it with our money. This doctor should be either Public Hanging or Firing Squad and do it the day he is found Guilty no more waiting in jail for years on our tax dollars.

sheebe on January 21, 2011 at 1:13 AM

You might say Roe v Wade creates a climate of hate against the pre-born.

curved space on January 21, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Maybe the Eagles will hire him as team doctor.

Bevan on January 21, 2011 at 9:47 AM

I am against abortion but if Abortion is made illegal we will see a bunch of women and teens dying from a butcher

Actually, no. There were fewer deaths from abortion in the year prior to Roe than in the year after. If abortion is illegal, doctors know that if they make a mistake, they will be charged with a crime. As it currently stands, we have butchers who go 30 years without so much as a glance from HHS.

Vera on January 21, 2011 at 12:10 PM

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