[Editor's note: This news story is being re-posted on the two-year anniversary of the conviction of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell. On May 13, 2013, Gosnell was convicted of three counts of murder -- he had snipped the spinal cords of babies aborted alive -- one count of involuntary manslaughter, and other charges. This story includes graphic photos and was first published on March 20, 2013, as the Gosnell trial was underway in Philadelphia.]
(CNSNews.com) – Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist now on trial in Philadelphia charged with seven counts of first-degree murder--he allegedly cut the spinal cords of late-term aborted babies who were born alive--apparently used to joke about the large size of some the infants he aborted and in one case, according to what a co-worker told the grand jury, said, “This baby is big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop.”
Gosnell, 72, who ran a multi-million dollar abortion business in West Philadelphia, was arrested on Jan. 19, 2011, and his trial started Monday, Mar. 18, 2013. The first-degree murder counts refer to seven late-term aborted babies who were born alive and then killed, their spinal cords cut with scissors.
Gosnell is also charged with the third-degree murder of a pregnant woman, Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who died after being given a pain killer at Gosnell’s office. He also faces several counts of conspiracy and violation of Pennsylvania’s law against post-24-week abortions.
In testimony on Monday, Adrienne Moton, who used to work for Gosnell at the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia, said she recalled one baby – “Baby Boy A” – who was aborted in July 2008. Baby A was so large, Moton took a photo of the child with her cell phone before Gosnell took the baby out of the room.
"I just saw a big baby boy. He had that color, that color that a baby has," Moton said in court. "I just felt he could have had a chance. … He could have been born any day.”
In the grand jury report from Jan. 19, 2011, it states that Baby Boy A was born to a 17-year-old girl who went to Gosnell’s office with her aunt. Gosnell charged $2,500 for the abortion. An ultrasound conducted by Kareema Cross, who worked for Gosnell, “recorded a gestational age of 29.4 weeks,” according to the report, or about 7.5 months pregnant.
The 17-year-old girl was given the drug Cyotec to induce labor and was also “heavily sedated” over a period of 13 hours. “Eventually she gave birth to a large baby boy” and “Cross estimated that the baby was 18-19 inches long,” reads the report.
It continues: “After the baby was expelled, Cross noticed that he was breathing, though not for long. After about 10 to 20 seconds, while the mother was asleep, ‘the doctor just slit the neck,’ said Cross. Gosnell put the boy’s body in a shoebox. Cross described the baby as so big that his feet and arms hung out over the sides of the container. Cross said that she saw the baby move after his neck was cut, and after the doctor placed it in the shoebox. Gosnell told her, ‘it’s the baby’s reflexes. It’s not really moving.’”
According to the report, “the neonatologist testified that what Gosnell told his people was absolutely false. If a baby moves, it is alive. Equally troubling, it feels a ‘tremendous amount of pain’ when its spinal cord is severed. So, the fact that Baby Boy A continued to move after his spinal cord was cut with scissors means that he did not die instantly. Maybe the cord was not completely severed. In any case, his few moments of life were spent in excruciating pain.”
Other witnesses included workers Adrienne Moton and Ashley Baldwin who, along with Cross, “took photographs because they knew this was a baby that could and should have lived,” reads the grand jury report.
“The neonatologist viewed a photograph of Baby Boy A,” states the report. “Based on the baby’s size, hairline, muscle mass, subcutaneous tissue, well-developed scrotum, and other characteristics, the doctor opined that the boy was at least 32 weeks [8 months], if not more, in gestational age.”
The report further states, “Gosnell simply noted the baby boy’s size by joking, as he often did after delivering a large baby. According to Cross, the doctor said: ‘This baby is big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop.’”
At the trial in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Moton testified that she recalled Gosnell joking about the baby being so big he could have walked to the bus stop. Moton also testified that she personally cut – “snipped” – the spinal cords of at least 10 babies after they were delivered, as Gosnell reportedly had instructed.
The grand jury report states that the mother of Baby Boy A was released by Gosnell but she was in pain and got sick. A few days later she was taken to the Crozier-Chester Hospital and doctors “found that she had a severe infection and blood clots that had travelled to her lungs.” She stayed in the hospital for more than a week and eventually recovered, according to her aunt.
The grand jury report also states that Baby Boy A was not the only large child that Gosnell allegedly killed. Ashley Baldwin, who worked at the abortion office, “remembered Gosnell severing the neck of a baby that cried after being born,” reads the report.
After the baby had “precipitated,” it was placed in a basin on the counter. “Ashley heard the infant cry,” reads the report. “She saw the baby move while it was on the counter. She estimated the infant was at least 12 inches long. When Gosnell arrived at the clinic, she recalled, ‘he snipped the neck, and said there is nothing to worry about, and he suctioned it.’”
Gosnell has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, Jack McMahon, said the district attorney’s office was engaging in “a prosecutorial lynching” of his client. In the court room on Tuesday, McMahon told the jurors, “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.”