Philly Abortion Doc Charged With 8 Counts of Murder

Prosecutors say he killed fetuses who were born alive
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Suggested by Slurge
Posted Jan 19, 2011 1:47 PM CST
This undated photo provided by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office shows a procedure room at the Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia.   (Anonymous)
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(Newser) – A Philadelphia 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. Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, made millions of dollars over 30 years, performing as many illegal, late-term abortions as he could, prosecutors said.

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," said DA Seth Williams. Patients were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell's Women's Medical Society, where he 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. 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." Nine of Gosnell's employees also were charged.

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