The Gosnell Grand Jury Report: “Some of these babies did not die immediately. And they described their bodies as twitching and lifeless”

By Dave Andrusko

GosnellandclinicA little over two years and two months ago, the Associated Press led its stomach-turning story (“DA: West Philadelphia abortion doctor killed 7 babies with scissors”) with these four paragraphs.

“WEST PHILADELPHIA – January 19, 2011 — A doctor whose abortion clinic was described as a filthy, foul-smelling ‘house of horrors’ that was overlooked by regulators for years was charged Wednesday with murder, accused of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them.

“Dr. Kermit Gosnell was also charged with murder in the death of a woman who suffered an overdose of painkillers while awaiting an abortion.

“In a nearly 300-page grand jury report filled with ghastly, stomach-turning detail, prosecutors said Pennsylvania regulators ignored complaints of barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s clinic, which catered to poor, immigrant and minority women in the city’s impoverished West Philadelphia section.

Prosecutors called the case a ‘complete regulatory collapse.’ ‘Pennsylvania is not a Third World country,’ the district attorney’s office declared in the report. ‘There were several oversight agencies that stumbled upon and should have shut down Kermit Gosnell long ago.’”

Now a jury of 12 women and men will decide the fate of the 72-year-old Gosnell who is charged with seven counts of first degree murder and one count of third degree murder. In theory, although highly unlikely in practice, Gosnell could face the death penalty if convicted of first degree murder.

Elsewhere today NRL News Today ran another in our series of excerpts from the Grand Jury report which presented an overwhelming case against Gosnell and nine of his employees who (with one exception) all pled guilty to lesser charges. What do you learn?

Well, we already knew that prosecutors said Gosnell made millions, mostly off of impoverished women of color. (Prosecutors assert that Gosnell brought in $10,000 to $15,000 a day.)

So it only stood to reason that he could make that kind of money only if his clinic earned its reputation as “the only clinic in town that you call the day of and get an appointment and have the procedure done that day,” as abortion patients told a state Department of Health surveyor.

Likewise if you were going to mass produce abortions, it’s no surprise that unlicensed, untrained assistants would start the abortion by administering drugs to induce labor and make the women sleepy.

What is surprising is that Gosnell himself would not typically arrive before eight at night, leaving women who received these drugs hours and hours—“some six or more hours” after the woman arrived–writhing in pain.

However, today’s excerpt explains another aspect of mass production abortion of babies who got “bigger and bigger” over the years. The women were typically left unattended and very often  they delivered their babies before Gosnell arrived. “They dropped out on lounge chairs, on the floor, and often in the toilet.”

It is almost unimaginable what the report says next:

“If the doctor was not there, it was not unusual for no one to tend to the mother or the baby. In fact, several of the clinic’s workers refused to deal with the expelled babies or the placenta. So, after delivering babies, women and girls would have to just sit and wait – sometimes on a toilet for hours – for Gosnell to arrive.”

The nightmarish situation couldn’t be any worse, right? Wrong. Sometimes when the baby would be expelled into the toilet, the body would clog the pipes. One worker “described how he had to lift the toilet so that someone else – he said it was too disgusting for him – could get the fetuses out of the pipes.“

But why would Gosnell use Cytotec and other drugs to induce a premature delivery and then kill the baby, rather than use the typical dismemberment technique? According to the Grand Jury,

“[Latosha] Lewis said Gosnell told her that he preferred it when women precipitated [delivered the premature baby], often before he got to the clinic, because it made his job easier. A surgical procedure to remove fetuses, Lewis explained, could take half an hour. Whereas there was little to do – just suctioning the placenta – when babies were already expelled. In addition, by avoiding surgical abortions, Gosnell was less likely to perforate the women’s uteruses with surgical instruments – something he had done, and been sued for, many times.”

But what if the babies hadn’t come?

“Gosnell would often have his staff physically push them out of their mothers by pressing on the mothers’ abdomens.”

The aborting women would be at serious risk, according to the Grand Jury report. What then?

Gosnell—or one of his “staff”—would “snip” the baby’s spinal cord. This sounds awful but quick and relatively painless, right?

Here’s what Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Ann Ponterio told a Pennsylvania state Senate committee.

“There was one baby that when it was born one of the workers was playing with it for several minutes before the worker did exactly what Dr. Gosnell did–snip the back of the neck.

“And when we use the word ‘snip,’ it is a scissors taking a bony part of a vertebra and cutting it. This is a very, very painful thing.

“Some of these babies did not die immediately. And they described their bodies as twitching and lifeless.”

Be sure to read “Gosnell’s procedure was not only grossly out of compliance with accepted medical standards, it was ghoulish, dangerous, and criminal” and follow us here at NRL News Today as we follow the trial.

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