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US doctor charged with killing seven babies

Kermit Gosnell, 72, is accused of killing seven babies and a 41-year-old woman in an unsanitary clinic called the Women’s Medical Society.

The Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia, where abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell worked (file photo).
The Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia, where abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell worked (file photo).
Image: Matt Rourke/AP/Press Association Images

Warning: Graphic.

GRUESOME ALLEGATIONS ARE emerging in Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial.

Gosnell, 72, is accused of using unfathomable abortion procedures on inner-city patients who were well into their third trimester at an unsanitary, bloody, and utterly gruesome clinic called the Women’s Medical Society.

While he’s only charged with killing seven live babies, prosecutors believe Gosnell killed hundreds of infants and destroyed related records, according to a grand jury report.

During the trial, ex-clinic employee Stephen Massof testified he “snipped” babies’ spinal cords to kill them after delivering them live.

“It would rain foetuses,” Massof said, according to NBC10 Philadelphia. “Foetuses and blood all over the place.”

Sherry West, another clinic employee, testified last Monday that one newborn at the clinic was 18 to 24 inches long when it was killed, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“It didn’t have eyes or a mouth but it was like screeching, making this noise. It was weird. It sounded like a little alien,” she reportedly testified.

Gosnell is accused of killing seven newborns and a 41-year-old refugee from Nepal who was getting an illegal late-term abortion. He was charged with murder in January 2011 after a grand jury handed down a graphic and disturbing 281-page report on his case.

Gosnell – who wasn’t licensed to practice obstetrics and gynecology – illegally peddled pain killers during the day and murdered babies at night, according to the report.

He allegedly had his staff give women pills to induce labor and showed up around 8pm or 9pm. Often, the women had already given birth.

Here’s how he dealt with the aftermath, according to the grand jury’s report.

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 Women’s Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them.

Gosnell ran his abortion clinic for decades, and he “snipped” hundreds of babies’ necks over the years, according to the grand jury report.

His clinic hadn’t been inspected since 1993 though. That’s when Philadelphia officials stopped inspecting abortion facilities so women wouldn’t face extra barriers when getting abortions, according to the report.

In Feburary 2010 the FBI and other law enforcement finally raided his facility following reports that he’d been writing illegal prescriptions.

Here’s what they found, according to the grand jury’s report:

There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat faeces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets.

Most disturbingly, investigators say they found a row of jars with the severed feet of babies, which the grand jury said defied explanation.

Gosnell could get the death penalty. His lawyer says no babies were ever born alive, the AP has reported.

- Erin Fuchs

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