Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — The trial for a notorious abortionist who is facing multiple murder charges for the deaths of seven babies and one adult begins today in Philadelphia.
Kermit Gosnell, 72, was taken into custody in 2011 following an investigation into his practice called the Women’s Medical Society. Investigators had not initially been aware that Gosnell was running a late-term abortion facility, but visited the location over suspicions about the illegal sale of controlled substances.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams described Gosnell’s operation as a “House of Horrors.”
“[Investigators] found jar after jar after jar of fetal remains and specifically severed feet in jars,” he explained in front of a panel following the compilation of the Grand Jury Report. “They found medical waste bags just strewn everywhere.”
Williams also outlined that several babies had been found with their spinal cords severed. It was believed that Gosnell birthed a number of babies alive, then “snipped” the back of their neck with scissors in order to kill them.
He now faces seven counts of first-degree murder — the most severe charge, which signifies that the acts were premeditated — for the deaths of babies who were believed to have died in this manner.
“Killing really had to be part of Gosnell’s plan. His method for performing late-term abortions was to induce labor and delivery of intact fetuses, and he specialized in patients who were well beyond 24 weeks,” the Grand Jury Report outlined. “The subsequent slitting of spinal cords, without any consideration for the babies’ viability, was an integral part of what Gosnell’s employees called his ‘standard procedure.’”
Pennsylvania law requires that babies born alive are to receive immediate medical treatment.
“Gosnell chose instead to slit their necks and store their bodies in various household containers as if they were trash,” the report stated.
In addition to the seven first-degree murder charges, Gosnell also faces one count of third-degree murder for the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, an abortion client who died after she was administered a lethal amount of medication. Approximately 20 other charges have been leveled against the abortionist, who could face the death penalty for his crimes.
Two of Gosnell’s employees, Sherry West and Lynda Williams, have agreed to testify against the abortionist as part of a plea deal. Several other employees have also pled guilty for their participation in the crimes, including Gosnell’s wife, who helped perform late-term abortions on Sundays.
“Even though everything points back to Gosnell himself, to me it’s a mystery why so many people that he hired on as staff would be complicit in what he was doing,” Thomas Shaheen, vice president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, told reporters. “He was the one profiting, but it puzzles me that during that whole time and that whole tragedy, no one blew the whistle.”
Prosecutors in the case accuse government officials of allowing Gosnell’s operation to go undetected because the Heath Department and other entities failed to perform inspections at the facility. State regulations were tightened after the matter, as all abortion facilities in the Pennsylvania must now conform to ambulatory surgical regulations.