Gosnell Trial Witness: Baby Abortion Survivor Was 'Swimming' in Toilet 'Trying to Get Out'

Elizabeth Harrington | April 18, 2013 | 4:01pm EDT
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Dr. Kermit Gosnell, charged with 7 counts of first-degree murder, killing babies reportedly born alive at his abortion office in West Philadelphia, Pa. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – On the last day of testimony before the prosecution rests in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, a former worker at Gosnell's clinic testified that she saw one late-term baby who survived an abortion "swimming" in a toilet and "trying to get out."

Kareema Cross, a “medical assistant” who worked at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society clinic for four-and-a-half years, testified in a Philadelphia court today, telling of the horrors of babies who survived abortions only to have their necks snipped with scissors.

“Did you ever see those babies move?” asked Prosecutor Joanne Pescatore.

“Yes, once in the toilet,” said Cross.

The baby “was like swimming,” she said.  “Basically, trying to get out.”

Adrienne Moton, an employee at the clinic, then took the baby and snipped the back of its neck while the mother was still in the room.

Cross told the jury that when Shayquana Abrams came into the clinic in July 2008 she was pregnant, “and she was big.”

“That was the largest baby I ever saw,” Cross said.

When the baby was born alive, Abrams was sleeping.  Cross said Dr. Gosnell took the baby boy, which she described as 12 to 18 inches long, and put him inside a plastic container the size of a shoebox.

“The baby was still breathing,” she said.  “He didn’t cut the neck right there.”

The baby was too big for the plastic container, with his arms and legs hanging over the sides.

“The Doctor cut the back of the baby’s neck but didn’t do suction—normally Dr. Gosnell would do suction … to suck the brains out,” Cross said.

“I called people over to come see it [the baby] and we took pictures,” she said.

Baby Boy A, allegedly killed after being born alive and then having his spinal cord cut at the abortion office of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. (AP)

The baby boy had curled himself into the fetal position and laid on his side in the box.  An image of the baby taken by Cross was shown to the court, showing him laying lifeless on his side.  (the photo of the infant, Baby A, is included in the Grand Jury Report and is posted in this article.)

“It was supposed to go upstairs in the freezer, but it was still there the next day because the janitor complained,” Cross added.

She said Dr. Gosnell told her “the baby is big enough that it could walk to the store or the bus stop.”

Eventually the baby boy went in the freezer, Cross said.

Abrams was 17 when she went to the Women’s Medical Society for a late-term abortion on July, 12, 2008.  Earlier in the trial, Abrams testified that she was 29 weeks (slightly more than 7 months) pregnant and that the abortion sent her to the hospital for two weeks with complications, including a blood clot in her heart.  Abortions after 24 weeks are illegal in Pennsylvania.

Cross also testified that she witnessed Steven Massof, an unlicensed medical school graduate who worked at the clinic, snip babies necks (spinal cords) 25 to 30 times.

Cross said she saw babies that were still breathing after botched abortions at least 10 times.  Dr. Gosnell would cut the back of their necks with scissors, she said.

“He just said they’re not breathing,” Cross said.

The abortion clinic, Women's Medical Society, operated by Dr. Kermit Gosnell at 3801-05 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, Penn. (Grand Jury Report)

“Linda’s baby,” as described by the prosecution, was also still alive following an abortion, moving its arm back and forth.  Cross said the baby was breathing for 10 to 20 minutes before its neck was cut with scissors.

On another occasion, Cross said she heard a “soft whine,” or whimper coming from a baby in another room.

Cross took photographs of the clinic in 2008 out of concern.  The photographs, shown in the courtroom, depicted over 50 jars filled with baby’s feet stored at the clinic, which Gosnell said he was keeping for “DNA purposes.”

More photos showed bloody equipment, and Gosnell’s cat sleeping on a chair at the clinic.  The cat would roam freely, even in the procedure rooms, and go to the bathroom on the first and second floor, Cross said.

The trial of Gosnell, 72, in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is currently in its fifth week.  He is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder (seven babies), one count of third-degree murder of a mother, as well as infanticide, conspiracy, abortion at 24 or more weeks, abuse of a corpse, theft, corruption of minors, solicitation and other related offenses.

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