I wasn’t planning on posting about this. I had a much lighter and more innocent post planned. However, when I found out about this story, and the appalling lack of media attention it’s receiving, my priorities shifted.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell was, until his arrest, the presiding doctor at the Women’s Medical Society clinic in west Philadelphia. He is currently on trial, along with his unlicensed medical assistants, on 7 counts of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, infanticide, and numerous other charges. So far (though there is so hope that public outcry will start to change this) his story has gone mostly unreported by the news media. No doubt, because he was a doctor who performed abortions, some media purveyors are afraid of seeming “anti-choice” by reporting this man’s crimes. Whatever the reason for the media’s silence, this man’s deeds need to be heard. More importantly the world needs to know about the inexcusable negligence on the part of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of State, and the National Abortion Federation, all of whom had evidence of Dr. Gosnell’s gross malpractice and yet did nothing to investigate further or shut him down.
I’m not a reporter. But if the news media won’t tell the story than I will. Because I’m not a reporter, however, I won’t write a long article about it. Instead, over the next few days, I will quote the Overview of the Report of the Grand Jury that indicted Dr. Gosnell. It shows the horrors that went on with greater authority and ability than I can on my own.
If you want to confirm these facts for yourself, or wish to read the rest of the report, you can find it here.
“SECTION I: OVERVIEW
This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.
Let us say right up front that we realize this case will be used by those on both sides of the abortion debate. We ourselves cover a spectrum of personal beliefs about the morality of abortion. For us as a criminal grand jury, however, the case is not about that controversy; it is about disregard of the law and disdain for the lives and health of mothers and infants. We find common ground in exposing what happened here, and in recommending measures to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
The “Women’s Medical Society”
That was the impressive-sounding name of the clinic operated in West Philadelphia, at 38th and Lancaster, by Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D. Gosnell seemed impressive as well. A child of the neighborhood, Gosnell spent almost four decades running this clinic, giving back – so it appeared – to the community in which he continued to live and work.
But the truth was something very different, and evident to anyone who stepped inside. The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment – such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff – was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house.
The people who ran this sham medical practice included no doctors other than Gosnell himself, and not even a single nurse. Two of his employees had been to medical school, but neither of them were licensed physicians. They just pretended to be. Everyone called them “Doctor,” even though they, and Gosnell, knew they weren’t. Among the rest of the staff, there was no one with any medical licensing or relevant certification at all. But that didn’t stop them from making diagnoses, performing procedures, administering drugs.
Because the real business of the “Women’s Medical Society” was not health; it was profit. There were two primary parts to the operation. By day it was a prescription mill; by night an abortion mill. A constant stream of “patients” came through during business hours and, for the proper payment, left with scripts for Oxycontin and other controlled substances, for themselves and their friends. Gosnell didn’t see these “patients”; he didn’t even show up at the office during the day. He just left behind blank, pre-signed prescription pads, and had his unskilled, unauthorized workers take care of the rest. The fake prescriptions brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. But this drug-selling operation is the subject of separate investigation by federal authorities.
Our focus was on the other side of the business.”
I will post the next section of the overview tomorrow, which goes into greater detail about how the clinic operated in plain sight. If you can’t wait until then, I highly recommend reading the full outline here. And if the words above stirred your sense of injustice, post this story everywhere you can. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, personal blogs, wherever you can. Individuals like you and me have little to lose from a story being politically dangerous. If we don’t get the story out, who will?