"Reknown is no guarantee of skill. Skill is no safeguard against cruelty. Patients are utterly vulnerable to the mental health of their helpers. The helpers should, therefore, be watched like potential enemies." -- prochoice author Magda Denes,
In Necessity and Sorrow
I am using the
Grand Jury Report
on the crimes of Philadelphia abortionist
as the basis of this Wiki. I will add material to place his practice in the greater context of abortion practice and activism in the United States.
In order to distinguish between my own writings and those of the Grand Jury, I will use a different font that makes the Grand Jury Report appear to be typed in Courier font.
This page presents an overview of the sections of the Grand Jury Report.
Table of Contents
Section I: Overview
Section II: The Raid
Section III: Gosnell’s Illegal Practice
Section IV: The Intentional Killing of Viable Babies
Section V: The Death Of Karnamaya Mongar
Section VI: How Did This Go On So Long?
Section VII: Criminal Charges
Section VIII: Recommendations
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
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
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
On February 18, 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office executed search warrants at the
Women’s Medical Society
, a clinic operated by Dr. Kermit Barron Gosnell at 3801-05 Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Philadelphia Police Department, and the District Attorney’s Dangerous Drug-Offender Unit had been investigating Gosnell and his clinic for months, based on reports of
illegal prescription drug activity
.... When the team members entered the clinic, they were appalled, describing it to the Grand Jury as “
,” “deplorable,” “disgusting,” “very unsanitary, very outdated, horrendous,” and “by far, the worst” that these experienced investigators had ever encountered.
Gosnell’s Illegal Practice
Gosnell’s “medical practice” was not set up to treat or help patients. His aim was not to give women control over their bodies and their lives. He was not serving his community. Gosnell ran a criminal enterprise, motivated by greed.
The Intentional Killing of Viable Babies
left dozens of damaged women in his wake. .... However, if their fate was entirely foreseeable, it was not necessarily the product of specific intent to kill. The same cannot be said of untold numbers of babies – not fetuses in the womb, but
, born outside their mothers – whose brief lives ended in Gosnell’s filthy facility. The doctor, or his employees acting at his direction, deliberately killed them as part of the normal course of business.
Gosnell and his staff severed the spinal cords of viable, moving, breathing babies who were born alive.
Section V: The Death Of
Karnamaya Mongar died because
unlicensed employees excessively drugged her.
How Did This Go On So Long?
The callous killing of babies outside the womb, the routinely performed
, the deaths of at least two patients, and the grievous health risks inflicted on countless other women by
and his unlicensed staff are not the only shocking things that this Grand Jury investigation uncovered. What surprised the jurors even more is the official neglect that allowed these crimes and conditions to persist for years in a Philadelphia medical facility.
Gosnell and his staff showed consistent disregard not only for the health and safety of their patients, but also for the laws of Pennsylvania.
This Grand Jury’s responsibilities are not limited to recommending
against those directly responsible for the death of
killing of babies born alive
, and other criminal activity at the
Women’s Medical Society
clinic. The jurors assume, as well, the task of proposing institutional and legal reforms – to address the systematic flaws exemplified by this case, and to reduce the likelihood that similar crimes will recur.
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