FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Robyn Reid didn't want an abortion. But when her grandmother forcibly took her to an abortion clinic one wintry day in 1998, Reid figured she'd just tell the doctor her wishes and then sneak away.Because of the stigma attached with abortion, some of these young women had no where to turn, and the state authorities were unresponsive.
Instead, Kermit Gosnell barked: "I don't have time for this!" He then ripped off her clothes, spanked her, wrestled her onto a dirty surgical stretcher, tied her flailing arms and legs down and pumped sedatives into her until she quit screaming and lost consciousness, she told the Daily News yesterday.
Nicole Gaither got an abortion from Gosnell in 2001. After four days, she said, the pain was so bad she could barely walk. She returned to the clinic, where, she said Gosnell blithely told her he'd left fetal remains in her.
"Stand up! It don't hurt that bad!" he yelled at her, she said, before suctioning - without any medication - her insides.
In 2001, Davida Johnson changed her mind about aborting her 6-month fetus after seeing Gosnell's dazed, bloodied patients in his recovery room, she said. But in the treatment room, Gosnell's staffers ignored her protests, smacked her, tied her arms down and sedated her into unconsciousness, she said. She awoke no longer pregnant.
As I noted yesterday, Gosnell's case would not have come to light except for an independent investigation into Gosnell operating a pill mill. It was when investigators searched his offices, that the horror show came to light.
Former employees said that Gosnell at least nominally complied with state notification requirements, but that by 2008 Gosnell was ignoring the rules, and was carrying out illegal late-term (3d trimester) abortions with no regard for the patient's lives.
The Inquirer's editorial is stinging in its rebuke of Gosnell and the state:
The grand jury said that a man who can only be described as a back-alley abortionist pulled in as much as $15,000 per night. His patients were mostly low-income, minority women who lacked health insurance. Many came from out of state.Now Gosnell and several of his employees stand accused of multiple counts of murder, and the DA says that he likely committed hundreds of murders by delivering hundreds of babies alive, and then killing them in a ghastly, immoral and illegal manner to perform the late-term abortions.
If the charges are true, Gosnell and several former employees at his Women's Medical Society should have the book thrown at them. The doctor also is under federal investigation for an allegedly illegal prescription-drug operation.
It's even more disturbing that the state, which could have shut down the clinic or revoked Gosnell's medical license, ignored complaints repeatedly. Gosnell's clinic was inspected in 1989, 1992, and 1993. Deficiencies were found each time. Yet state evaluators reapproved it without requiring corrective action.
The state Health Department decided after 1993 to stop inspecting abortion clinics for "political reasons," the grand jury concluded. That occurred during the administration of Gov. Tom Ridge, a supporter of abortion rights.
As a result, nail salons in Pennsylvania received tougher government scrutiny than Gosnell's clinic.
The grand jury recommended that the state Health Department license abortion clinics, obviously a needed step. Abortion services are medical care, and providers should be held to the same standards as nonhospital, ambulatory surgical facilities.
The judge denied Gosnell and his cohorts bail, which is entirely sensible considering the alleged crimes - multiple murders, and the fact that he amassed a significant fortune in carrying out those abortions.
Yet, he had the audacity to ask why he wasn't able to post bail. Moreover, he doesn't consider the late term abortions - illegal under then (and current) Pennsylvania law - or the delivery of live babies and killing them outside the womb - to be murder:
"Is there some cause to believe I'm a risk or might flee?" he asked District Judge Jane Rice.
Rice explained to Gosnell, 69, that there is no bail for murder - and he was facing eight counts of it.
"Is it possible you could explain the seven counts?" he asked, while on closed-circuit television from Police Headquarters. "I understand the one count because of the patient who died but not the others."
The others were for babies who were born alive and viable, well past the state law allowing abortions for the first 24 weeks, and whose spinal cords he allegedly cut with scissors.