Wednesday, 09 November 2011

Another Guilty Plea in "House of Horrors" Abortion Case

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Another employee of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s (picture, left) “House of Horrors” abortion clinic has entered a guilty plea in the murders of babies born alive at the facility. Steven Massof, a 49-year-old medical school graduate who was never issued a license to practice, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the deaths of two babies who were killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors, reported the Associated Press. “Massof testified to a grand jury that he snipped the spines of more than 100 babies after seeing them breathe, move, or show other signs of life,” according to the AP story.

Massof told the grand jury investigating Gosnell and his employees that severing the spinal cords of viable babies outside their mothers’ wombs was “standard procedure.” The report, issued in January of this year, said that “Gosnell encouraged his staff to kill babies born alive….” As previously reported by The New American, in late October, Adrienne Moton, another of Gosnell’s employees, pleaded guilty to killing at least one baby born alive at the clinic, while a third worker, Sherry West, admitted to administering a lethal dose of painkillers and anesthesia to a 41-year-old woman who had come to the clinic for an abortion. A fourth employee, Lynda Williams, has also been charged in the woman’s death.

The 70-year-old Gosnell, the only licensed physician involved in the abortion clinic’s grisly business, could face the death penalty in the deaths of seven babies, who were killed using the same method employed by Massof. In addition, the elderly doctor is charged in the death of the woman, an immigrant named Karnamaya Mongar.

The 260-page grand jury noted that, according to Massof, “Gosnell taught him and showed the scissors-in-the-neck technique to ‘ensure fetal demise.’ Gosnell’s students parroted his grisly techniques.” In addition to Gosnell and his wife, a total of eight clinic employees have been arrested in the case.

According to LifeSite News, “Massof told investigators that about 40% of the second trimester ‘abortions’ performed by Gosnell were past 24 weeks, at which point the babies would be viable outside the womb. He also said that he believed Gosnell would perform even later term abortions on Sundays, when the rest of the staff were away.” The report added that another clinic worker, Tina Baldwin, “told the investigators that Gosnell once joked about a baby that was writhing as he cut its neck: ‘that’s what you call a chicken with its head cut off.’”

While Massof could face life in prison for the two confessed murders, legal experts expected him to receive a reduced sentence for his plea and cooperation in the investigation. Among the charges against Massof that were dropped in exchange for his pleas was theft by deception for billing as a licensed physician.

As reported in another article in The New American, in their initial raid on Gosnell’s clinic, “federal agents discovered, among other horrors, the remains of 45 infants dumped in milk jugs, juice cartons, and pet food containers — all stored in a refrigerator and freezer on the premises. Agents also found jars containing the severed limbs of babies, and conditions they called ‘by far, the worst’ they had ever seen, with blood on the clinic floors, ‘filthy and unsanitary’ surgeries, broken and dirty medical instruments and equipment, along with a ‘stench of urine’ and even cat excrement.”

According to the grand jury report, Gosnell often did not arrive at the clinic until late at night to perform abortions, leaving untrained staff in charge to monitor patients, administer drugs, and perform other functions that required medical training.

In addition, state medical regulators had not inspected the clinic for many years, a revelation that led to the resignations or terminations of seven health department officials, and prompted Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to initiate sweeping changes in how the state supervises the abortion industry — including subjecting abortionists and their clinics to both annual and random inspections.


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