Friday marked the close of the second week of trial for Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell who is charged with 8 counts of murder.
The jurors heard testimony describing how Gosnell conducted his late-term abortion business for decades without inspection or accountability. Elinor Barsony, a Pennsylvania Department of Health employee, told the court that in 2010, she conducted the first inspection of Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic since the early 1990s. What she found there was appalling. Barsony said she witnessed women drugged into stupors and left unmonitored for hours. She noted that the staff on hand for questioning seemed nervous about their qualifications, and properly so.
Arguments on evidence relating to the cause of death of Karnamaya Mongar went on for hours. The womas is described as “a tiny, petite refugee from Bhutan,” and prosecutors argued Gosnell’s untrained staff gave her multiple doses of Demerol and other drugs during her November 19, 2009 abortion.
Dr. Gosnell’s counsel challenged Ms. Mongar’s Certificate of Death on the grounds that the medical examiner switched the stated cause of death from “accident” to “homicide” after new information became available to him several months after the death.
Dr. Gosnell’s case was a wake-up call to Pennsylvania health authorities who passed laws in 2011 that put building standards more in line with outpatient surgery centers. Requirements now include doors and elevators that can accommodate a stretcher in case something goes wrong. Perhaps related, five abortion clinics have closed since those laws passed.
The official Grand Jury Report of findings regarding Dr. Gosnell’s clinic is available to the public.