Kermit the Killer?: Abortion “Doctor” and Staff Charged With Murders

by Alissa Griffith

Would you put your lunch next to THIS in the refrigerator at your job?The picture above is a fridge in Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic. Workers put their lunch in there…squeezed next to bags of dozens of frozen dead babies!

In Pennsylvania alone there are  30-40-thousand (reported) abortions performed per year and authorities say the above gruesome picture is just a snapshot into the horror that has been going on uninspected for 17 years in one Philadelphia clinic. Gosnell allegedly slit the necks, severed the spinal cords, and suctioned the brains of hundreds of born, living, viable babies, sometimes joking along the way.

Gosnell targeted poor minorities in his disgusting clinic offering them cheap, illegal underground partial-birth abortions performed by unlicensed and untrained staff. He even employed a local high-school student as an anesthesiologist! Gosnell, not licensed or trained himself, put white women in one waiting room and black women in the other commenting to his staff that white women are more likely to complain to authorities and authorities are more likely to listen to their complaints.

According to reports, Gosnell left patients sterile, passed venereal diseases with dirty instruments, punctured their intestines, left fetal parts inside of their stomachs and in some cases killed his patients. Gosnell even saved body parts of the babies and displayed them in glass bottles like trophies.

Still the abortion clinic was only stumbled upon by authorities during a prescription drug-related investigation.

How did something like this go on undetected for so long? The grand jury slammed the Pennsylvania Health Department and blamed race (most of his patients were low-income minorities) and politics (the governor of PA was pro-choice and officials concluded that regular inspections of abortion clinics would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions).

In fact, according to the grand jury report, when the Department of Health’s chief lawyer was asked about the Gosnell clinic and their inaction, she responded, “People die.” People also make money too; Gosnell reportedly brought in 1.8 million dollars in one year.

MaryClaire Dale and Patrick Walters of the Associated Press report
A doctor who gave abortions to minorities, immigrants and poor women in a “house of horrors” clinic was charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, made millions of dollars over 30 years, performing as many illegal, late-term abortions as he could, prosecutors said. State regulators ignored complaints about him and failed to inspect his clinic since 1993, but no charges were warranted against them given time limits and existing law, District Attorney Seth Williams said. Nine of Gosnell’s employees also were charged.

Gosnell “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord,” Williams said.

Patients were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, where Gosnell performed dozens of abortions a day, prosecutors said. He mostly worked overnight hours after his untrained staff administered drugs to induce labor during the day, they said.

Early last year, authorities went to investigate drug-related complaints at the clinic and stumbled on what Williams called a “house of horrors.”

Bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses “were scattered throughout the building,” Williams said. “There were jars, lining shelves, with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose.”

The clinic was shut down and Gosnell’s medical license was suspended after the raid.

Gosnell and four workers were charged with murder, while five others were charged with controlled drug violations and other crimes. None of the employees had any medical training, and one, a high school student, performed intravenous anesthesia with potentially lethal narcotics, Williams said.

All 10 defendants were taken into custody, authorities said.

Two listed numbers for Gosnell in Philadelphia have been disconnected. Defense lawyer William J. Brennan, who represented Gosnell during the investigation, noted that the doctor served patients in a low-income city neighborhood for decades.

“Obviously, these allegations are very, very serious,” Brennan said.

The grand jury said the woman who died was a patient who came to Gosnell’s clinic for an abortion and died of cardiac arrest because she was given too much Demerol. Gosnell wasn’t at the clinic at the time, but directed his staff to administer the drug to keep the woman, a healthy 41-year-old woman, sedated until he arrived, prosecutors said.

Gosnell has been named in at least 46 malpractice suits, including one over the death of a 22-year-old mother who died of sepsis and a perforated uterus in 2000. Many others also involve perforated uteruses. Gosnell sometimes sewed up the injury without telling women their uteruses had been perforated, prosecutors said.

Gosnell charged $325 for first-trimester abortions and $1,600 to $3,000 for abortions up to 30 weeks. Abortions are legal up to 24 weeks gestation in Pennsylvania, although most doctors won’t perform them after 20 weeks, prosecutors said.

Some women came from across the mid-Atlantic for the illegal late-term abortions, authorities said. White women from the suburbs were ushered into a separate, slightly cleaner area because Gosnell believed they were more likely to file complaints, Williams said.

“People knew near and far that if you needed a late-term abortion you could go see Dr. Gosnell,” Williams said.

Few if any of the sedated women knew their babies were born alive and then killed, prosecutors said. Many were first-time mothers who were told they were 24 weeks pregnant, even if they were further along, authorities said.

Gosnell got his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and is board certified in family practice. He started, but did not finish, a residency in obstetrics-gynecology, authorities said.

“He does not know how to do an abortion. He’s not board certified,” Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said. “Once he got them there, he saw dollar signs and did abortions that other people wouldn’t do.”

The Pennsylvania Health Department is an accomplice in this crime and every single member of that department should be forced to stand trial right alongside of Gosnell and his associates.

Further, if Gosnell went unmonitored for 30 years how many more clinics just like his are being run in inner cities all over the country? We trust health departments to monitor what citizens cannot and to investigate complaints. The health department in Philadelphia failed its constituents and we can only hope that health departments across the country aren’t doing the same.

Undoubtedly pro-choice advocates will use this story to further their own stance that abortion should remain legalized in this country and that the  partial-birth abortion ban should be overturned. Keep in mind that former President G.W. Bush signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban in 2003 and Gosnell has been performing these abortions since the late 1970s. This story clearly pokes a gaping hole in the argument that legalized abortion prevents underground clinics and dangerous activity.

Alissa serves as Managing Editor for She enjoys reading, writing, shopping, Facebooking, Tweeting and all things PINK Follow her on Twitter: