Abortion "house of horrors": doctor charged with killing babies with scissors

Abortion "house of horrors": doctor charged with killing babies with scissors January 19, 2011

He’s charged with numerous counts of murder for performing illegal late-term abortions.


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.

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6 responses to “Abortion "house of horrors": doctor charged with killing babies with scissors”

  1. You’d think these gruesome revelations would lead progressive reformers to demand changes in law and policy, especially since this was a clinic that targeted minorities and the poor. But that is not at all likely. Here in Atlanta in 1998, an infamous abortion clinic called Midtown Hospital was shut down by the state after an investigation (triggered by pro-lifers) revealed very similar conditions. Somewhat grudgingly, the Saturday edition of the Atlanta paper did a cover story on it, but nothing more was heard of the matter from what we now cynically describe as “the mainstream media.” The only place Atlantans could read in detail what legal abortion in our state allowed was in the Catholic paper here. The information is still available on the Georgia Bulletin‘s website, and it’s really instructive to see how little has changed in “abortion care”:


  2. As a pro-choice woman, I find this situation totally unacceptable and horrible and am glad that the “medical society” has finally been closed and those responsible arrested. Legal terminations were supposed to put a stop to butchers, among other things. He was a butcher. Also, as a pro-choice woman, I feel a woman should be able to make up her mind before her 3rd month, otherwise go to term. I would really rather see more education on birth control, personal responsibility, sex education etc., and not have anyone face the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy. If that should occur, there should be other options offered and explained.
    Gosnell is indeed a murderer.

  3. Pagansister,

    I don’t know how else to ask this without it sounding like I’m trying to bait you. Please accept me at my word that I am sincerely trying to understand your position. While I am heartened by your outrage, I am also a little surprised. Had Gosnell done the exact same thing but while the baby was still inside the mother’s body, would this also have been outrageous? It is exactly this arbitrary (at least for me) dividing line between inside the mother’s body OK, outside the mother’s body, murder that I find very difficult to understand.

  4. This butcher was allowed to continue his murdering for eighteen years before anyone decided to take the complaints against him seriously. And, the complaints they acted on had nothing to do with the fact that he was killing children, but with his abuse of drugs. It was only when they received complaints of drug abuse that they bothered to investigate at all and found the evidence of his murder.

    This perfectly illustrates the unwillingness of states to regulate the abortion industry. So many of these clinics are given a free ride when it comes to oversight. How many more women and children have to die or suffer injury before the MSM starts reporting on this? How many more before the states start regulating these clinics?

  5. Worm: No problem with asking. However, I’m not sure that my answer will make sense to you. 3 months and before that, there is not a viable being that could live outside the womb. Actually, not at 4 either. After that, with much medical help I have heard of 5 month deliveries living outside the womb and most certainly after that time frame. To kill when a live being has entered the world, is murder. Killing the then baby, inside the womb of those in the 4th-5th month is also wrong, yes, as outrageous as after the birth. To some a live being is at conception. Yes, the cells are working towards that, but those cells are not viable outside the womb environment. I have 2 grown children, and a grandchild, but if I had had to make that decision, it would have been rapid, not any time after 3 months. What was done in this article is most certainly murder in all meanings of the word. What is also truely sad is the women who went to him after waiting as long as they did and then wanted to terminate. To me they also allowed the murder of what could have been and apparently many were, live births.
    This may not help explain my position, but it’s the best I can do.

    BobRN, I agree. More regualtion should most certainly be done. This situation should never have happened to begin with, but the fact that it went on for as long as it apparently did? “Unreal.

  6. Some information, that I find interesting, about Seth Williams, the Philadelphia DA who is prosecuting this case:

    In 2009 with more than 75 percent of the vote became the first African American District Attorney in Philadelphia. He was born to an unwed mother, who gave him up and he was placed in foster care. He was adopted by Imelda Williams and the late Rufus O. Williams, who, it is said, emphasized the importance of community service. He grew up in West Philadelphia. He graduated from Georgetown University’s law school with distinction as a Public Interest Law Scholar in 1992. He serves on the board of several community organizations (Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, St. Cyprian Catholic Church, the St. Martin de Porres Foundation) and is adjunct professor at Neumann University, founded and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.

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