Also at least two women died at his clinic
By Dave Andrusko
Yesterday I was caught up in a dozen different tasks, so even though May 13 was the sixth anniversary of the conviction of Kermit Gosnell, we are revisiting this historic case in two separate posts today.
Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first degree murder in the deaths of three nearly full-term babies. But he was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, the mother of three, who died in 2009.
Only those, like National Right to Life, who followed the case closely know that two women (that we know of) died at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society. The first was Semika Shaw, the 22-year-old mother of two who died following an abortion procedure at Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” in March 2000; the second was Mrs. Mongar nine years later.
But I’d like to clear up something else that persists to this day. Knowledgeable people insist that Gosnell is serving three consecutive life sentences in a state prison in Huntington, Pennsylvania for “botched” abortions.
He is not. Those babies died after they were deliberately delivered alive, not as the result of a “failed” abortion.
Here’s what the Grand Jury wrote
When you perform late-term “abortions” by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the Women’s Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn’t call it that. He called it “ensuring fetal demise.” The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that “snipping.”
Over the years, there were hundreds of “snippings.” Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the “snipping” was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff.
But all the employees of the Women’s Medical Society knew. Everyone there acted as if it wasn’t murder at all. Most of these acts cannot be prosecuted, because Gosnell destroyed the files. Among the relatively few cases that could be specifically documented, one was Baby Boy A. His 17-year-old mother was almost 30 weeks pregnant — seven and a half months — when labor was induced. An employee estimated his birth weight as approaching six pounds. He was breathing and moving when Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. The doctor joked that this baby was so big he could “walk me to the bus stop.” Another, Baby Boy B, whose body was found at the clinic frozen in a one-gallon spring-water bottle, was at least 28 weeks of gestational age when he was killed. Baby C was moving and breathing for 20 minutes before an assistant came in and cut the spinal cord, just the way she had seen Gosnell do it so many times. And these were not even the worst cases.
There are numerous theories why Gosnell delivered the babies alive before killing them. For starters, and this may be the most likely, sheer incompetence.
Aborting a late-late term baby is very dangerous…to the mother. His staff said Gosnell stopped using Digoxin to attempt to poison the child in utero, because he was so incompetent.
Reporter Steve Volk turned a story he’d written for “Philadelphia” magazine– “Kermit Gosnell’s Babies”– into a small e-book about which I wrote many posts . Volk was the first reporter Gosnell talked to.
Volk offers his own bevy of explanations which begins with Gosnell’s insistence that he was looking for more “merciful” ways to abort.
According to Volk, Gosnell had convinced himself that the babies weren’t really alive. Why was that important to Gosnell?
“He said he’d never actually seen a baby move, beyond a ‘reflex’ when the scissors snipped the spinal cord. He snipped the necks of dead babies, he claimed, merely to prevent any possible pain reception—as if dead babies feel any pain at all.”
Volk pressed him down but Gosnell continued to bob and weave.
“I pressed him on this, explaining that it simply didn’t seem credible for a medical doctor to be worrying about the pain experienced by a fetus he felt sure was dead. …He could never explain himself. And his answers seemed carefully couched: ‘I never saw anything I took as fetal movement.’”
The piece comes to a preliminary climax when Volk provided Gosnell with a rationale for what he had done in a direct and more eloquent way than Gosnell could possibly have articulated. It simultaneously convicted Gosnell and exonerated him.
In an email, Gosnell tells him, in effect, you got it, buddy, only to double-back and tell Volk [“in a slow, weary voice”], “No, I’m innocent.”
Gosnell wasn’t, isn’t, and never will be an outlier, no matter what the Abortion Industrial Complex insists to this day. And he didn’t “botch” late-term abortions. He murdered these huge babies—probably hundreds of these babies– after they were born.