A Pennsylvania abortion doctor accused of running a "house of horrors" is going on trial on eight counts of murder. Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, along with being charged for killing a pregnant refugee and seven newborns, is also facing a separate trial on prescription drug charges.
According to CNN, the "house of horrors," the clinic which he owned and ran, performed abortions past the 24-week limit. Sometimes, authorities say, the doctor even terminated pregnancies as late as eight months into the pregnancy. Allegedly, he used scissors to sever the spinal cords of newborns as they emerged from their mothers while they were still alive.
According to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, "A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law."
Gosnell, who has pleaded not guilty, however, doesn’t see it that way. Instead, he sees himself as a medical missionary, helping the poor, immigrants, and teens who could not get abortions elsewhere.
"I feel in the long term I will be vindicated … I aspire to perfection, certainly for my patients," Gosnell said in a March 2010 interview, following the federal drug raid that led to the revelation regarding the allegations of horrific medical abuses.
In the same interview, he added that he was "a positive force in the community" and was only helping the vulnerable teens and women get medical care.
However, it seems Gosnell failed in attaining perfection or positivity, as many of his patients were left with infections, perforated bowels, and other injuries after the "abortions" were performed by untrained and unlicensed staff.
Eight out of the nine clinic workers who were also arrested have pleaded guilty, three of them to third-degree murder. The includes an unlicensed doctor, Steven Massof, who admitted to using scissors to sever the spines of over 100 babies for a few hundred dollars a week. Gosnell’s wife, a cosmetologist, has also pleaded guilty to performing illegal and late-term abortions.
The eight deaths Gosnell is being charged for are babies born in the sixth, seventh and eight months of pregnancy who were killed, and a 41-year old mother who died of an anesthetics overdose during an abortion in her second trimester.
His federal drug charges also await him, as he made millions over the years from a side practice to his abortion clinic, where his staffers allegedly dispensed his pre-signed prescriptions for highly addictive painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet.
At the scene of the crime — Gosnell’s clinic — authorities found bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses around the building. According to CNN, jars containing severed feet of babies were lined on a shelf and the furniture and equipment was blood-stained and broken.
A gag order has been imposed on attorneys and all others involved in the case, making it unclear how court meetings went last week.
However, Philadelphia District Attorney Williams is already set in his case — "It's just homicide. It's just murder."