WARNING: This is a descriptive story pretty much avoided by Mainstream Media during the last few years. In this story, we share the horrors of the treatment of women, young girls, and babies pre and post-birth by medical professionals in a Philadelphia clinic that practiced in abortions over a period of years. The descriptions are graphic but are not enhanced in any way. We don’t share this story for any reason other than to illustrate just how commonplace the abortion process has become. This story is important. I cannot understand why it did not make national headlines at all other than that those in the media who knew of it were afraid to report it to Americans, most of who would have shuddered at the many atrocities perpetrated on the most innocent among us. And I think members of the media were afraid that revealing these events to the public may have initiated a new national opinion of the abortion process itself.
If you are squeamish you may want to turn this podcast off or not read the rest of this story.
Roe v. Wade is again front and center in American conversation, largely in part due to the confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. In the Wednesday hearing answering questions posed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Judge Kavanaugh made it clear that (paraphrased), “Roe v. Wade has been determined legal by the U.S. Supreme Court, has been re-affirmed in multiple additional cases that have come before the Court, and is set by precedence and confirmation of those repeated precedence instances. Roe v. Wade is the law regarding the legality of abortion in the U.S.”
That being said, tens of millions of Americans still view abortion as the taking of the life of a baby. To those, the term “Pro-Choice” literally means “Pro-Abortion.” It is often mentioned by those who are “Pro-Life” that the baby (or “fetus”) does not have any say-so in an abortion procedure.
It is within that context we share today’s story which chronicles the operation of an abortion center in Philadelphia that conducted thousands of abortions over a very long time. The circumstances surrounding the operation of that clinic came under the scrutiny of Philadelphia law enforcement agencies that resulted in subsequent prosecutions of clinic operators.
In the course of that investigation, horrendous details of operating practices in that clinic were brought to light. The following information comes directly from those involved in the investigation: law enforcement officials and others looking in. There is NO opinion in their recollections of what they saw. Please consider that fact objectively as you read on. We will re-convene in summary after the story.
Kermit Barron Gosnell is an American former abortion-provider who was convicted of murdering three infants who were alive during attempted abortion procedures.
Gosnell owned and operated the Women’s Medical Society clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he was a prolific prescriber of OxyContin. In 2011, Gosnell and various co-defendant employees were charged with eight counts of murder, 24 felony counts of performing illegal abortions beyond the state of Pennsylvania’s 24-week time limit, and 227 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. The murder charges related to an adult patient, Karnamaya Mongar, who died following an abortion procedure and seven newborns said to have been killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors after being born alive during attempted abortions. In May 2013, Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three of the infants and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell was also convicted of 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. After his conviction, Gosnell waived his right to appeal in exchange for an agreement not to seek the death penalty. He was sentenced instead to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Kermit Gosnell was born on February 9, 1941, in Philadelphia, the only child of a gas station operator and a government clerk in an African-American family. He was a top student at the city’s Central High School from which he graduated in 1959. Gosnell graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a bachelor’s degree. Gosnell received his medical degree at the Jefferson Medical School in 1966. It has been reported that he spent four decades practicing medicine among the poor, including opening the Mantua Halfway House, a rehab clinic for drug addicts in the impoverished Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia near where he grew up, and a teen aid program. He became an early proponent of abortion rights in the 1960s and 1970s and, in 1972, he returned from a stint in New York City to open up an abortion clinic on Lancaster Avenue in Mantua. Gosnell told a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter in October 1972: “as a physician, I am very concerned about the sanctity of life. But it is for this precise reason that I provide abortions for women who want and need them.”
In the same year, he also performed fifteen televised second-trimester abortions, using an experimental “Super Coil” method invented by Harvey Karman. The coils were inserted into the uterus, where they caused irritation leading to the expulsion of the fetus. However, complications from the procedure were reported by nine of the women, with three of these reporting severe complications. The super coil experiment by Gosnell has been dubbed the “mother’s day massacre” by some.
In 2011, he was reported to be well known in Philadelphia for providing abortions to poor minority and immigrant women. It was also claimed that Gosnell charged $1,600–$3,000 for each late-term abortion. Dr. Gosnell was also associated with clinics in Delaware and Louisiana. Atlantic Women’s Services in Wilmington, Delaware, was Dr. Gosnell’s place of work one day a week. The owner of Atlantic Women’s Services, Leroy Brinkley, also owned Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and facilitated the hiring of staff from there for Gosnell’s operation in Philadelphia.
Details of the Case
Conor Friedersdorf wrote this about Gosnell’s actions after they were first exposed to the public in The Atlantic:
“Until April 11, 2013, I wasn’t aware of this story. It has generated sparse coverage in the national media, and while it’s been mentioned in RSS feeds to which I subscribe, I skip past most news items. I still consume a tremendous amount of journalism. Yet had I been asked at a trivia night about the identity of Kermit Gosnell, I would’ve been stumped and helplessly guessed a green Muppet. Then I saw Kirsten Power’s USA Today column. She makes a powerful, persuasive case that the Gosnell trial ought to be getting a lot more attention in the national press than it is getting.
Inducing live births and subsequently severing the heads of the babies is indeed a horrific story that merits significant attention. Strange as it seems to say it, however, that understates the case.
For this isn’t solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth in toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers. Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn’t make national headlines?
But it isn’t even solely a story of a rogue clinic that’s awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions! If I were a city editor for any Philadelphia newspaper the grand jury report would suggest a dozen major investigative projects I could undertake if I had the staff to support them. And I probably wouldn’t have the staff. But there is so much fodder for additional reporting.
There is, finally, the fact that abortion, one of the most hotly contested, polarizing debates in the country, is at the center of this case. It arguably informs the abortion debate in any number of ways, and has numerous plausible implications for abortion policy, including the oversight and regulation of clinics, the appropriateness of late-term abortions, the penalties for failing to report abuses, the statute of limitations for killings like those with which Gosnell is charged, whether staff should be legally culpable for the bad behavior of doctors under whom they work …
There’s just no end to it.
To sum up, this story has numerous elements any one of which would normally make it a major story. And setting aside conventions, which are flawed, this ought to be a big story on the merits.
The news value is undeniable.”
How Bad Was It?
The Philadelphia District Attorney described it this way:
“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.
The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment — such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff — was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house. The people who ran this sham medical practice included no doctors other than Gosnell himself, and not even a single nurse. Two of his employees had been to medical school, but neither of them was a licensed physician. They just pretended to be. Everyone called them “Doctor,” even though they, and Gosnell, knew they weren’t. Among the rest of the staff, there was no one with any medical licensing or relevant certification at all. But that didn’t stop them from making diagnoses, performing procedures, administering drugs.
Gosnell’s approach, whenever possible, was to force full labor and delivery of premature infants on ill-informed women. The women would check in during the day, make payment, and take labor-inducing drugs. The doctor wouldn’t appear until evening, often 8:00, 9:00, or 10:00 p.m., and only then deal with any of the women who were ready to deliver. Many of them gave birth before he even got there. By maximizing the pain and danger for his patients, he minimized the work, and cost, for himself and his staff. The policy, in effect, was labor without labor. There remained, however, a final difficulty. 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 [clinic] 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 Dr. 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.
After reviewing extensive and compelling evidence of criminal wrongdoing at the clinic, the Grand Jury issued a presentment recommending the prosecution of Gosnell and members of his staff for criminal offenses including: Murder of Karnamaya Mongar, Murders of babies born alive, Infanticide, Violations of the Controlled Substances Act, Hindering, Obstruction, and Tampering, Perjury, Illegal late-term abortions, Violations of the Abortion Control Act, Violations of the Controlled Substances Act, Abuse of Corpse, Theft by Deception, Conspiracy, Corrupt Organization, Corruption of Minors.”
There has never been a previous atrocity and subsequent discovery of abortion abuse in America like this one. As horrendous and unspeakable as the acts are perpetrated by these people, why hasn’t the American media spent any time and newspaper space in reporting it to America? It can be for one and only one reason: to protect the practice of abortion in the U.S. Mainstream Media as a whole is operated by liberal writers, editors, and publishers who daily allow personal and political prejudices to determine stories, columns, and editorials. Even in very conservative towns and cities across this nation, most newspapers and broadcast outlets are owned and operated by Mainstream Media companies. It is unusual to read or hear a story or editorial anywhere that is not colored by a liberal perspective on all things. That is sad and deplorable. Such practices have tainted American journalism for decades.
This case illustrates the frustration of many with the Media: reporting MUST be just that — reporting. How can we make that happen again?
We don’t need government intervention. Americans who believe in the Rule of Law, administration equally of implementation of all laws and making offenders accountable for lawbreaking, need to simply express their rights to disagree with these print and broadcast practices and stop partaking in their media offerings.
Cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Turn-off radio and television stations that promote these practices. Make sure and let local, regional, and national sponsors of these media sources that you will not support those news outlets or any commercial sponsors they print or air. If contacted by a ratings or polling entity, participate in their polling and be honest when responding to your reading, watching, and listening habits.
The American free market works. Supply and demand work. We have seen as local radio and newspapers have shuttered their doors and windows the last decade because the public in droves has walked away from their media products. That is the consumer’s way to vote.
Finally, how horror-stricken must have been each of those young women who watched the slaughter of their babies? It is unexplainable that law enforcement in Philadelphia did not look-in and stop the butchering years earlier. Think about the millions of families in the U.S. that are fighting the adoption system to find babies that would have gladly adopted those babies, given them good families, and protected the very thing the U.S. guarantees all: “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
I bet those aborted babies would vote to live if they were given a chance.