By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. We are reprinting this story that we wrote last year because Sherry West was sentenced yesterday to five to 10 years in prison for her role in administering some of the Demerol that killed 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar during an abortion that took place 2009. In her testimony, West explained the grim reality that resulted in Kermit Gosnell being found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter.
Just when you thought the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell could not be more stomach-turning, Sherry West, a former employee, testified Monday that she recalled hearing one child “screaming” after the baby was delivered alive during an abortion at Gosnell’s West Philadelphia Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Joseph A. Slobodzian reported that four years ago West was asked to help out with a problem. Questioned by Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, West explained.
“There was this clear glass pan and I saw it and I thought, ‘What do you expect me to do?’” West testified today at Gosnell’s murder trial.
“It wasn’t fully developed,” West told the Common Pleas Court jury, referring to the 18- to 24-inch long newborn in the pan. It didn’t have eyes or a mouth but it was like screeching, making this noise. It was weird, it sounded like a little alien.”
So what happened to the baby (whom West testified she called the “specimen” because “it was easier to deal with mentally”)? West said she didn’t know. The child was one of the largest babies she had seen delivered during abortion procedures at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic, West told the jury.
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“It really freaked me out and I said call Dr. Gosnell and I went back out front,” West added.
West said that although she lacked training, she learned to perform ultrasound exams on pregnant women, and administer oral and IV sedatives and medication. (She said she learned from other staff members, including a 16-year-old.) According to Slobodzian, when 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, of Virginia, went into cardiac arrest during an abortion procedure on November 19, 2009, West was there. Mongar died that night at a local hospital, because of an overdose administered by Gosnell’s untrained staff, the prosecution charges.
West testified about what happened when paramedics were called. It took time to get into the building because no one had the key to the back door which was padlocked. Sean O’Sullivan of The [Delaware] News Journal reported
“Prosecutor Pescatore also walked her through the incomplete and conflicting medical records from Gosnell’s clinic where it is not clear what drugs were administered, by who and when. She testified that at least one notation by Gosnell – that Mongar was feeling no pain afterward – was completely wrong.
“However, West, who now has long hair pulled back in a ponytail and uses glasses to read, often answered ‘I don’t know’ to prosecution questions and often had to re-read previous statements she made to police before recalling important details.”
West also testified that there was a staff meeting several days after Mongar died.
But “It was not to review medical protocols to prevent a reoccurrence,” Slobodzian reported. “Instead, Gosnell instructed them on what to say to police or other investigators. West did as she was told and also relayed back to Gosnell information about what was asked of her during police interrogations.”
Gosnell is also on trial on seven counts of 1st degree murder in the deaths of seven viable babies allegedly aborted alive and then killed when their spinal cords were cut.