During the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the owner of a West Philadelphia abortion clinic dubbed the “house of horrors”, his defense attorney claimed Gosnell was “lynched” by the state because he’s black, not because he ran a grossly sub-standard abortion clinic where the remains of aborted fetuses were found stored in jars.
The Associated Press is reporting that the long-awaited trial of Kermit Gosnell, who is facing 26 charges including the killing a female patient and seven babies who were born alive, has gotten underway and the fireworks began almost immediately.
“This is a targeted, elitist and racist prosecution of a doctor who’s done nothing but give (back) to the poor and the people of West Philadelphia,” said Jack McMahon, Gosnell’s attorney, to the predominantly black jury. “It’s a prosecutorial lynching of Dr. Kermit Gosnell.”
The conditions at Gosnell’s clinic were so bad as to warrant the title “house of horrors” because of what investigators found when they raided the place in 2010. Dried blood was found on examination tables, chairs, walls and the floor. The freezer was described as being stuffed to capacity with the remains of aborted babies. The feet of aborted babies were found in jars of formaldehyde throughout the clinic.
Gosnell is said to have made a fortune performing late term abortions where babies were born alive, then had their vertebra snipped with a scissor to kill them. Clinic staff who were not licensed or trained medical professionals were permitted to administer sedation. In one case the “anesthesiologist” was a teenager.
Women who had labor induced would often give birth in the bathroom causing the janitor to be called numerous times to remove the aborted bodies from the plumbing.
In spite of this and a myriad of other grisly offenses, defense attorney Jack McMahon insisted his client was being unjustly held to “Mayo Clinic” standards in a West Philadelphia clinic where he served the urban poor.
As for the killing of 41 year-old Karnamaya Mongar, a newly-arrived refugee from Bhutan, during a botched abortion, McMahon argued that all doctors lose patients but that the prosecution is redefining medical complications as murder: “It fits their needs, this elitist, racist prosecution, to make this a homicide.”
Prosecutor Joanne Pescatore was just as forceful when she told jurors “The standard practice here was to slay babies. That’s what they did.”
As for the staff who helped Gosnell, they went along with the illegal practices because they were nearly as desperate as the women they served, she said. Pescatore pointed out that two other “doctors” on the staff did not have medical licenses and the woman giving anesthesia was a sixth-grade dropout who could barely read or write while a 15 year-old high school student helped out in the surgical suite and recovery room.
As for the racism charges, Pescatore reminded the jurors about staff complaints concerning Gosnell’s habit of giving white women better treatment than minorities. Apparently, he would meet with white women face-to-face in a separate office before services, a kind of attention he did not give to black women or other minorities. When staffers questioned him about it, Gosnell told them, “It’s the way of the world.”
Gosnell’s abortion clinic horrors were discovered during a 2010 FBI drug raid concerning a high volume of pain killer distribution at the clinic. When they arrived, they found several women who appeared heavily medicated and in pain who were then taken by ambulance to local hospitals. Gosnell arrived only in time for deliveries. Agents allowed him to finish with his patients.
Afterward, he returned to speak with agents and to eat his dinner – all the while still wearing his bloody latex gloves.
“They had some holes in them. And he ate his dinner. He didn’t take them off,” FBI agent Jason Huff testified.
Gosnell faces the death penalty if he is convicted of first-degree murder in the infant deaths.
The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks.
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