Doctor Found Guilty of Murder in Philadelphia Abortion Trial

Kermit Gosnell
Dr. Kermit Gosnell was found guilty on Monday of murdering three babies during late-term abortions at a clinic serving low-income women.

A Philadelphia abortion doctor was found guilty on Monday of murdering three babies during late-term abortions at a clinic serving low-income women.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, who ran the now-shuttered Women's Medical Society Clinic, faces the possibility of the death penalty in the case that focused on whether the infants were born alive and then killed.

He was accused of delivering live babies during late-term abortions and then deliberately severing their spinal cords.

The case focused a spotlight on the controversial practice of late-term abortions and drew national attention after anti-abortion advocates complained that it was being ignored because of media bias in favor of abortion rights.

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The jury heard five weeks of testimony in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia and deliberated for 10 days.

Gosnell also was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the case of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, of Virginia, who died from a drug overdose after going to him for an abortion.

He also was found guilty of performing 21 abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy at his clinic, which served mostly low-income women in a largely black community. It is legal in Pennsylvania to abort a fetus only up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

The jury earlier in the day said it was deadlocked on two counts, without specifying which ones. But Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Minehart ordered the seven-woman, five-man panel back to resume deliberations.

Gosnell's defense had claimed there was no evidence the babies were alive after they were aborted.

But according to witness testimony, the babies were born breathing, moving and making sounds.

Testimony also depicted a filthy clinic.

He has been in jail since his arrest in January 2011.

Eight other defendants have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges and are awaiting sentencing. They include Gosnell's wife, Pearl, a cosmetologist who helped perform abortions.


Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Lisa Von Ahn, Sofina Mirza-Reid, John Wallace and Phil Berlowitz

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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