Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart dismissed three of the eight murder charges against Dr. Kermit Gosnell Tuesday morning, leaving five counts that will eventually go to the jury. The three first-degree-murder counts dismissed Tuesday relate to the accused murder of three newborn babies, birthed during late-term abortions only to have their spinal cords severed.
Operation Rescue has been in the courtroom reporting on the trial.
"I am shocked that these counts have been dismissed. I have heard testimony by very credible witnesses to the effect that these babies were murdered in cold blood by Gosnell as they cried and struggled for life. We pray that justice will be done in the remaining five victims of Gosnell's horrific slayings," says Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue, who has observed the trial and published firsthand accounts of the proceedings.
The remaining charges are related to the death of four newborns and one patient, Karnamaya Mongar, who died from a drug overdose during a second-trimester abortion by Gosnell.
Testimony from the medical examiner and toxicologist has indicated there was no evidence the babies were injected with digoxin to ensure the babies were dead prior to the abortion, as the defense has claimed.
The medical examiner testified that tests were inconclusive as proof that the babies were born alive. However, the tests also did not prove that the babies were dead prior to birth. Those inconclusive test results were overshadowed by the weight of testimony from witness after witness, who detailed how the babies were, in fact, living prior to being murdered through what one witness described as a "virtual beheading."
"If Gosnell gets off scot-free, that will send a message that murdering live babies and abortion patients is now acceptable behavior in America and that abortionists who engage in such depraved practices are above the law," Sullenger explains. "This would put women and babies in grave danger—more than they already face—at abortion clinics throughout the nation."
Sullenger is set to return to the courtroom Monday to hear and report on the remainder of the defense case.