UPDATED — PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — A Philadelphia jury May 13 found Dr. Kermit Gosnell guilty of murder in the deaths of three babies born alive during abortions and acquitted him of a fourth similar charge. He also was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death by a drug overdose of a patient who had an abortion.
Gosnell, 72, was accused of snipping the spines of babies born alive during illegal late-term abortions. Pennsylvania law prohibits abortions after 24 weeks of gestation.
In a plea bargain with prosecutors May 14, Gosnell accepted a sentence of life in prison without parole. By accepting the sentence he avoided the death penalty that prosecutors had sought, and he agreed to waive appeals of his convictions.
Archbishop Charles Chaput said in a statement earlier in the day that Gosnell’s convictions “will surprise very few. But nothing can bring back the innocent children he killed, or make up for the vulnerable women he exploited. We should keep the repugnance of his clinic conditions sharp in our memories, and we should remember the media’s inadequacy in covering his case, because Kermit Gosnell is not an exception. Others just like him run abortion mills throughout our country.”
“We need to stop cloaking the ugliness of abortion with misnomers like ‘proper medical coverage’ or ‘choice,'” the archbishop said. “It’s violence of the most intimate sort, and it needs to end.”
Gosnell was arrested in 2011 and charged with seven counts of infanticide and one count of murder in the case of a woman from Virginia who died during an abortion.
Several patients and former employees testified about squalid conditions at the clinic, described by some as “a house of horrors.”
Several former workers in the clinic, including Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, a cosmetologist by training, earlier pleaded guilty to charges including third-degree murder, racketeering and performing illegal, late-term abortions.
Prosecutors said one of the babies Gosnell killed was at nearly 30 weeks of gestation and was so big that Gosnell joked it could “walk to the bus,” reported The Associated Press.
The involuntary manslaughter charge came in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, of Woodbridge, Va., who was given repeated doses of powerful drugs to induce labor and sedate her.
The jury also found Gosnell guilty of infanticide, racketeering and more than 200 violations of Pennsylvania laws, for performing abortions past 24 weeks or failing to counsel women seeking abortions 24 hours before providing the procedure.
He still faces federal drug charges over abuse of prescriptions for OxyContin and for letting staff members make out prescriptions to patients who paid cash.
The case against Gosnell took shape after a team of health inspectors and investigators looking into drug trade raided Gosnell’s clinic, known as the Women’s Medical Society, in February 2010.
A grand jury report that followed reported on filth throughout, including blood on the floor, cat feces on the stairs and surgical rooms that resembled a “bad gas station restroom.” The investigators gathered the remains of 45 fetuses stored in bags, milk jugs, juice cartons and cat food containers.
Gosnell’s license was suspended and he was arrested in January 2011.
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