Philadelphia doctor accused of murdering patient, newborns

Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 20th, 2011, 10:59 am

Wow. This is horrifying.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/01/19/pen ... tml?hpt=T2

Philadelphia (CNN) -- Allegedly running what the prosecutor calls "a house of horrors," a Philadelphia physician, Kermit Barron Gosnell, was charged Wednesday with murder and other offenses related to illegal, late-term abortions.

The doctor is accused of causing the death of one of his female patients and killing seven viable babies in illegal abortions, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said.

The babies were born alive in the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy, but their spinal cords were allegedly severed with scissors, Williams said in a statement.

Nine other people who worked in the west Philadelphia medical office, including Gosnell's wife and sister-in-law, also were charged, Williams said. The practice, called the Women's Medical Society, served mostly low-income minority women for years, he said.

Williams provided a grisly scenario of the shuttered abortion clinic: A search of the office last year by authorities found bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses scattered throughout the building. Jars containing the severed feet of babies lined a shelf. Furniture and equipment was blood-stained, dusty and broken.

In an interview with CNN, Williams described the abortion clinic as "horrific" and providing "botched and illegal abortions."

"It was a house of horrors beyond any type of definition or explanation I can humbly try to give," Williams told CNN. "And it's very sad for the women that were there, that were subjected to such horrific and barbaric -- I would say medical treatment but it wasn't medical -- treatment.

"My grasp of the English language doesn't really allow me to fully describe how horrific this clinic was -- rotting bodies, fetal remains, the smell of urine throughout, blood-stained," Williams continued.

He said women patients were often "very poor."

"The doctor gained a reputation. People far and wide knew that he performed abortions at any time," Williams said.

Williams described one of the alleged infant deaths.

"The baby had been born and was on a cold steel table and murdered by using -- there's no medical basis for snipping or taking scissors and putting them into the neck and cutting, severing the spinal cord. It's just homicide. It's just murder," Williams told CNN.

Gosnell's attorney, William J. Brennan of Philadelphia, told CNN he was surprised at the "length and breadth" of the grand jury's presentment and report against Gosnell and the nine other defendants. Gosnell is facing hundreds of counts, including charges for seven first-degree murders charges and a third-degree murder, according to Williams and the grand jury's 62-page presentment.

"The DA of Philadelphia, Seth Williams, is a good guy, and I have a lot of respect for him, but he played this so close to the vest that we were shocked at the number of charges," Brennan told CNN.

"I hope there is no rush to judgment in this case," Brennan continued. "Dr. Gosnell should enjoy the same presumption of innocence anyone in this country, you or me, should get if we were charged with a crime. In the process of reviewing the grand jury's presentment, which is several hundred pages, I understand that the charges are very serious, and we will need some time to read through the grand jury's presentment and its report."

Gosnell, 69, is not a board-certified obstetrician or gynecologist, Williams said.

Originally, he said, the clinic used another doctor as a consultant so it could receive a license to perform abortions in 1979.

Two primary state agencies, the Department of Health and the Department of State, have oversight, Williams said Wednesday at a news conference.

But a grand jury investigation found that health and licensing officials had received repeated reports about Gosnell's dangerous practices for two decades with no action taken, even after the agencies learned that women had died during routine abortions under Gosnell's care, the district attorney's statement said.

"What the (grand) jury found most troubling is that neither of those agencies took the time to investigate, to observe, to view, to go to the clinic itself since 1993," Williams said during the news conference.

"I am aware that abortion is a hot-button topic," Williams said in his statement. "But as district attorney, my job is to carry out the law. A doctor who knowingly and systematically mistreats female patients, to the point that one of them dies in his so-called care, commits murder under the law.

"A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law."

Gosnell is also accused of reusing unsanitary instruments; performing procedures in filthy rooms, including some having litter boxes and animals present during operations; and allowing unlicensed employees to perform operations and administer anesthesia, including a teenage high school student, Williams said.

Gosnell's wife, Pearl, 49, of Philadelphia, is also facing charges of providing an abortion at 24 or more weeks, conspiracy and other related charges, Williams said. She has no medical license and is accused of performing illegal abortions at the clinic, he said.

Elizabeth Hampton, 51, of Philadelphia, who is Gosnell's sister-in-law, is facing charges of hindering prosecution, perjury, false swearing and obstructing administration of law.

Donald Schwarz, Philadelphia deputy mayor for health and opportunity and city health commissioner, said the city doesn't have jurisdiction over abortion clinics. The state has authority to regulate abortion providers, he said.

"For the city we view this as a terrible thing and a tragedy for the women and the families involved," Schwarz said.

"It's really frightening for women in the city. It highlights for many women what it must have been like to go into that exam room," he continued. "The way we deal with abortion is in secret, and for many, it's perceived as shameful and I'm sure that many of the women felt they didn't have other options.

"The message I want to get out is that reproductive health services in the city are safe. I don't want this to change women's views of the services," Schwarz said. "This was an unusual provider."

Law enforcement officers came upon "the medical abuses" while investigating tips that the doctor had been illegally selling thousands of prescriptions for OxyContin and other narcotics to "patients" that he never examined, Williams said.

The doctor himself was seldom present, the district attorney charged. In his absence, untrained, unsupervised workers, including the teenage girl, routinely injected sedatives into women undergoing illegal late-term abortions, he alleged.

Among numerous charges, Gosnell is accused of third-degree murder in the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, Williams said.

Mongar died on November 20, 2009, when she was overdosed with anesthetics prescribed by Gosnell, he said.

Gosnell is also facing seven murder charges in the deaths of infants allegedly killed after being born viable and alive during the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy in illegal, late-term abortions, Williams said.

Gosnell is also charged with infanticide, conspiracy, abortion at 24 or more weeks of pregnancy, corpse abuse, theft, corruption of minors, solicitation and other related offenses, he said.

Seven other employees at the clinic were also charged, according to the district attorney's statement:

-- Lynda Williams, 42, of Wilmington, Delaware, also is charged with third-degree murder in Mongar's death. Williams is accused of being an unlicensed worker who routinely performed illegal operations and administered anesthesia. She is also facing murder charges for the death of a viable baby born alive, abortion at 24 or more weeks and other related offenses.

-- Sherry West, 51, of Newark, Delaware, is charged with third-degree murder. She was allegedly an unlicensed worker at the clinic who routinely performed illegal operations and administered anesthesia. She is also facing a charge of providing an abortion at 24 or more weeks and other related offenses.

-- Adrienne Moton, 33, of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, is charged with murder in the death of a viable baby born alive. She was allegedly an unlicensed worker at the clinic who routinely and illegally administered anesthesia to patients.

-- Steven Massof, 48, of Pittsburgh, is facing murder charges for the deaths of two viable babies born alive. Massof, a medical school graduate without a license or any certification, allegedly worked as a doctor at the clinic. He is also facing conspiracy and other related charges.

-- Eileen O'Neill, 54, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, is a medical school graduate who allegedly worked as a doctor at the clinic without a license or certification. She is facing theft by deception, conspiracy, perjury and false swearing charges.

-- Tina Baldwin, 45, of Philadelphia, is facing charges of racketeering, conspiracy and corruption of a minor. She was allegedly an unlicensed worker at the clinic who illegally administered anesthesia to patients and allowed her 15-year-old daughter to administer anesthesia to patients as well.

-- Office manager Maddline Joe, 53, of Philadelphia, is charged with conspiracy.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 20th, 2011, 11:26 am

Oh...oh my god. I have tears just reading this...it's like a horror movie. To think that women thought that they had no other choice...that just makes it even worse. I'm glad they're going after all of the "workers" though, and not just the ringleader.
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Postby LMM » January 20th, 2011, 11:30 am

I literally have bile in the back of my throat right now.
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Postby AllAmericanPUP » January 20th, 2011, 12:05 pm

This makes me sick beyond words :puke:
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Postby mnp13 » January 20th, 2011, 1:30 pm

And knowing how long my good friend waited to find a baby to adopt... all of those babies had places to go. ALL of them. And most states have safe haven laws, the mother could have dropped the baby off at any hospital and left it there no strings attached.

The worst part, outside of the obvious horror of all of it, is that this is going to be used by the anti-abortion people as another reason for abortions to be made illegal. The problem is, there will be MORE clinics like this if it's illegal, not less.
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Postby mnp13 » January 20th, 2011, 1:33 pm

http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/ ... ehaven.cfm

Infant Safe Haven Laws: Summary of State Laws
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Series: State Statutes
Author(s): Child Welfare Information Gateway
Year Published: 2010

Current Through May 2010

This brief introduction summarizes how States address this topic in statute. To access the statutes for a specific State or territory, visit the State Statutes Search.

Many State legislatures have enacted legislation to address infant abandonment and infanticide in response to a reported increase in the abandonment of infants. Beginning in Texas in 1999, "Baby Moses laws" or infant safe haven laws have been enacted as an incentive for mothers in crisis to safely relinquish their babies to designated locations where the babies are protected and provided with medical care until a permanent home is found. Safe haven laws generally allow the parent, or an agent of the parent, to remain anonymous and to be shielded from prosecution for abandonment or neglect in exchange for surrendering the baby to a safe haven.

To date, approximately 49 States and Puerto Rico have enacted safe haven legislation.1 The focus of these laws is protecting newborns. In approximately 13 States, infants who are 72 hours old or younger may be relinquished to a designated safe haven.2 Approximately 16 States and Puerto Rico accept infants up to 1 month old.3 Other States specify varying age limits in their statutes.4
Who May Leave a Baby at a Safe Haven

In most States with safe haven laws, either parent may surrender his or her baby to a safe haven. In four States, only the mother may relinquish her infant.5 Idaho specifies that only a custodial parent may surrender an infant. In approximately 11 States, an agent of the parent (someone who has the parent's approval) may take a baby to a safe haven for a parent.6 In California and Kansas, if the person relinquishing the infant is someone other than a parent, he or she must have legal custody of the child. Seven States do not specify the person who may relinquish an infant.7
Safe Haven Providers

The purpose of safe haven laws is to ensure that relinquished infants are left with persons who can provide the immediate care needed for their safety and well-being. To that end, approximately 12 States require parents to relinquish their infants to a hospital or health-care facility.8 Other States designate additional entities as safe haven providers, including emergency medical services, police stations, and fire stations. In seven States, emergency medical technicians, including personnel responding to 9-1-1 calls, may accept an infant.9 In addition, four States and Puerto Rico allow churches to act as safe havens, but the relinquishing parent must first determine that church personnel are present at the time the infant is left.10 Generally, anyone on staff at these institutions can receive an infant; however, many States require that staff receiving an infant be trained in emergency medical care.
Responsibilities of Safe Haven Providers

The safe haven provider is required to accept emergency protective custody of the infant and to provide any immediate medical care that the infant may require. In 12 States, when the safe haven receiving the baby is not a hospital, the baby must be transferred to a hospital as soon as possible.11 The provider is also required to notify the local child welfare department that an infant has been relinquished.

In 25 States, the provider is required to ask the parent for family and medical history information.12 In 17 States, the provider is required to attempt to give the parent or parents information about the legal repercussions of leaving the infant and information about referral services.13 In four States, a copy of the infant's numbered identification bracelet may be offered to the parent as an aid to linking the parent to the child if reunification is sought at a later date.14
Immunity From Liability for Providers

Safe haven providers are given protection from liability for anything that might happen to the infant while in their care, unless there is evidence of major negligence on the part of the provider.
Protections for the Parents

In approximately 12 States, anonymity for the parent or agent of the parent is expressly guaranteed in statute.15 In 24 States and Puerto Rico, the safe haven provider cannot compel the parent or agent of the parent to provide identifying information.16 In addition, 13 States provide an assurance of confidentiality for any information that is voluntarily provided by the parent.17

In addition to the guarantee of anonymity, most States provide protection from criminal liability for parents who safely relinquish their infants. Approximately 33 States and Puerto Rico do not prosecute a parent for child abandonment when a baby is relinquished to a safe haven.18 In 16 States, safe relinquishment of the infant is an affirmative defense in any prosecution of the parent or his/her agent for any crime against the child, such as abandonment, neglect, or child endangerment.19

The privileges of anonymity and immunity will be forfeited in most States if there is evidence of child abuse or neglect.
Consequences of Relinquishment

Once the safe haven provider has notified the local child welfare department that an infant has been relinquished, the department assumes custody of the infant as an abandoned child. The department has responsibility for placing the infant, usually in a preadoptive home, and for petitioning the court for termination of the birth parent's parental rights. Before the baby is placed in a preadoptive home, 13 States require the department to request the local law enforcement agency to determine whether the baby has been reported as a missing child.20 In addition, five States require the department to check the putative father registry before a termination of parental rights petition can be filed.21

Approximately 20 States have procedures in place for a parent to reclaim the infant, usually within a specified time period and before any petition to terminate parental rights has been granted.22 Five States also have provisions for a nonrelinquishing father to petition for custody of the child.23 In 16 States and Puerto Rico, the act of surrendering an infant to a safe haven is presumed to be a relinquishment of parental rights to the child, and no further parental consent is required for the child's adoption.24

To see how your State addresses this issue, visit the State Statutes Search.

To find information on all of the States and territories, view the complete printable PDF, Infant Safe Haven Laws: Summary of State Laws. (PDF - 447 KB)

1 The word approximately is used to stress the fact that the States frequently amend their laws. This information is current only through May 2010. Nebraska, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands currently do not address the issue of abandoned newborns in legislation. back
2 Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. back
3 Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and West Virginia. back
4 Other limits include 5 days (New York), 7 days (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Oklahoma), 10 days (Maryland), 14 days (Delaware, Iowa, Virginia, and Wyoming), 21 days (Alaska), 45 days (Indiana and Kansas), 60 days (South Dakota and Texas), 90 days (New Mexico), and 1 year (Missouri and North Dakota). back
5 Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, and Tennessee. Maryland and Minnesota do allow the mother to approve another person to deliver the infant on her behalf. back
6 Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wyoming. back
7 Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Vermont. back
8 Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. back
9 Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Virginia. back
10 Arizona, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Vermont. back
11 Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Wyoming. back
12 Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. back
13 Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin. back
14 California, Connecticut, Delaware, and North Dakota. back
15 Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. back
16 Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. back
17 California, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. back
18 Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. back
19 In a State with an affirmative defense provision, a parent or agent of the parent can be charged and prosecuted, but the act of leaving the baby safely at a safe haven can be a defense to such charges. The States with an affirmative defense provision include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. back
20 California, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. back
21 Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Utah, and Wyoming. back
22 California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. back
23 Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, South Dakota, and Tennessee. back
24 Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. back

This publication is a product of the State Statutes Series prepared by Child Welfare Information Gateway. While every attempt has been made to be as complete as possible, additional information on these topics may be in other sections of a State's code as well as agency regulations, case law, and informal practices and procedures.
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Postby mnp13 » January 20th, 2011, 1:47 pm

Don't look at this unless you want to know the real details... and they are far worse than the CNN story.
http://media.philly.com/documents/Grand ... edical.pdf
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Postby BigDogBuford » January 20th, 2011, 1:51 pm

This guy is a serial killer and he just found a convenient way to get his kicks. He would have been killing women and babies whether or not abortion was legal or illegal.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 20th, 2011, 2:42 pm

mnp13 wrote:Don't look at this unless you want to know the real details... and they are far worse than the CNN story.
http://media.philly.com/documents/Grand ... edical.pdf


Well that was one of the most horrible things I've ever read. I read about 100 pages of it. The pictures are gruesome. It blows my mind that something like this could happen.
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Postby mnp13 » January 20th, 2011, 3:56 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:This guy is a serial killer and he just found a convenient way to get his kicks. He would have been killing women and babies whether or not abortion was legal or illegal.


Very true. He kept trophies.
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Postby BigDogBuford » January 20th, 2011, 4:02 pm

mnp13 wrote:
BigDogBuford wrote:This guy is a serial killer and he just found a convenient way to get his kicks. He would have been killing women and babies whether or not abortion was legal or illegal.


Very true. He kept trophies.



Yep. The feet in the jars. :nono:
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Postby furever_pit » January 20th, 2011, 5:32 pm

:sad2: :sad2: :puke:

I am speechless.
There is a special place in hell for this douchebag.

I vote the state kills him in the same manner in which he killed those babies.
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Postby Tubular Toby » January 20th, 2011, 8:18 pm

I have spent all day thinking about this. I am just sick. A lot of times, I don't let things really get to me.

This is cruel beyond my understanding. I cannot wrap my head around it at all.

What I want to know is who are these SICK people working for him? Where do you find people to work for you in a situation like that that are willing to go through with these "procedures" and not one of them ratted him out (that I've read...). One sick, twisted bastard is believable. But from what I have read, several people worked in this "office" and not only that, but participated.

Psychology astounds me.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 20th, 2011, 8:44 pm

Tubular Toby wrote:I have spent all day thinking about this. I am just sick. A lot of times, I don't let things really get to me.

This is cruel beyond my understanding. I cannot wrap my head around it at all.

What I want to know is who are these SICK people working for him? Where do you find people to work for you in a situation like that that are willing to go through with these "procedures" and not one of them ratted him out (that I've read...). One sick, twisted bastard is believable. But from what I have read, several people worked in this "office" and not only that, but participated.

Psychology astounds me.


I'm hung up on this too...and told some of the details to John...and we both can't grasp that there were SO many people helping out, and carrying out the same gruesome things that he was doing...I just don't get it. How do so many people fall in line with this awful stuff?
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Postby BigDogBuford » January 20th, 2011, 8:48 pm

That's what gets me.....there were so many people involved that not only thought nothing about killing babies but also thought they could get away with it forever.
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Postby Tubular Toby » January 20th, 2011, 8:50 pm

I'd be super interested in hearing a psychological evaluation of all of these people.
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Postby TinaMartin » January 20th, 2011, 10:27 pm

When I first read about this on a friends facebook I thought I was going to puke! I simply can not wrap my mind around it.
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Postby CinderDee » January 21st, 2011, 4:29 am

I'm hung up on this too...and told some of the details to John...and we both can't grasp that there were SO many people helping out, and carrying out the same gruesome things that he was doing...I just don't get it. How do so many people fall in line with this awful stuff?


That's the thing I couldn't get over as well. What are the odds of that? This is beyond horrifying.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 21st, 2011, 9:34 am

I haven't seen anything yet about whether or not the 15 y/o old is being charged with anything. What do you guys think should happen with her, if anything?
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Postby TinaMartin » January 21st, 2011, 9:52 am

I think the 15 year old should go through some serious counseling. No one knows what morals and ethics that child learned.
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