One of the prosecution's final witnesses in abortionist Kermit Gosnell's “House of Horrors” murder trial stepped to the stand April 18 to tell jurors that she saw no less than 14 babies born alive at Gosnell's Philadelphia Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic, only to be assured by the abortionist that the infants weren't really alive, even as they were breathing and whining in their final moments.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kareema Cross admitted that although she was an unskilled medical assistant, she nonetheless performed ultrasounds, administered anesthesia, and helped with illegal late-term abortion procedures during her 2005 to 2009 employment at Gosnell's clinic. She said that during that time she witnessed at least 10 babies born during the procedures whose chests appeared to be moving up and down. “I thought they were breathing,” Cross said during testimony, but Gosnell “would say they're not really breathing.”
Cross also told jurors that she saw three other babies moving after being “aborted,” and heard the “soft whine” of a fourth. Gosnell assured her that the movements were nothing more than final reflexes of the aborted babies.
While Gosnell is charged with killing seven babies who were born alive at the facility, as well as a 41-year-old woman, Karnamaya Mongar, who had gone there for an abortion, multiple employees of the abortionist testified at the trial that they saw scores of babies killed after being born alive. Stephen Massof, a 50-year-old former medical student who worked for Gosnell between 2003 and 2008, estimated during his testimony that he had witnessed the births of some 100 babies, whose spinal cords were then snipped with a surgical scissors — “literally a beheading,” he said. He said the procedure was nothing less than “separating the brain from the body.” Massof has pled guilty to third-degree murder in the deaths of two infants born alive at the clinic.
Federal agents raided and closed Gosnell's clinic in February 2010, and a grand jury later indicted the abortionist and several employees for the eight murders, along with conspiracy, corruption, and over a score of other charges. In a 260-page report that documented filthy conditions and worse at the clinic, the grand jury speculated that Gosnell and his staff had killed hundreds of babies outside the womb after they were delivered at the clinic, with Gosnell or one of his employees performing the procedure described by Massof — plunging a surgical scissors into the back of a baby’s neck and severing the spinal cord.
LifeNews.com described a portion of Cross's more horrific testimony, noting how once “in Gosnell’s absence, Cross saw a large baby delivered into the toilet. She saw his little arms and legs moving in a swimming motion as he struggled to get out of the toilet bowl. Cross held her hands 12-16 inches apart to demonstrate to the jury how big the baby was.” Adrienne Moton, the first of Gosnell's employees to turn state's evidence and testify against him, then “snipped the baby’s neck in front of the mother while she sat bleeding into the toilet,” continued LifeNews. “Moton then took the body away and put it into a container.”
Cross also testified that in 2009 another co-worker, Lynda Williams, “called Cross over to see a baby that had just been born,” reported LifeNews, recalling Cross's testimony. “Cross saw the baby’s chest heaving up and down in steady breathing motions. Linda reached down and lifted the baby’s hand up, but the newborn pulled it away on its own strength. Cross said she saw the baby breathing for about 20 minutes before Williams murdered the child by severing its spinal cord with scissors. Cross demonstrated again with her hands that the baby was about a foot long.” Williams has also pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder in the case.
In her testimony, Cross recalled another late-term abortion that particularly stuck in her mind because of the size of the baby boy, who was born alive before being dispatched by Gosnell. According to a CNSNews.com report of Cross's testimony, the baby's mother, 17-year-old Shayquana Abrams, was 29 weeks (seven months) pregnant and “she was big,” Cross testified. The baby was born alive and “was the largest baby I ever saw” born at the clinic, Cross told the jurors.
She recalled that Gosnell also remarked on the size of the baby boy, which Cross said was between 12 and 18 inches long, allegedly telling Cross that “the baby is big enough that it could walk to the store or the bus stop.” (Note: The graphic image of the baby here was included in the grand jury report.)
Cross recalled that Gosnell picked up the still-living infant and placed him in a shoe box, which was too small for him. At first the baby's legs and arms hung out over the box, but, Cross testified, he then suddenly, under his own power, pulled his limbs inside the box, after which Gosnell took him to another part of the room and snipped the baby's spinal cord.
While the baby's body was supposed to be taken to a clinic freezer and stored, Cross testified that when clinic custodian Jimmy Johnson came in the next morning to “take out the trash” — which included removing the remains of aborted babies from the facility — he found the fully formed baby still lying in the shoe box in the procedure room. Johnson complained about the horrific discovery, but then took the body down to the basement where other remains were stored.
In 2008, as Cross became increasingly disturbed by the conditions at the clinic, she began to document what she observed, taking photographs that became part of the grand jury report and the evidence presented against Gosnell. Included in the trial were images of over 50 jars filled with baby's feet, which Gosnell claimed to be keeping for “DNA purposes.” Other photos showed equipment caked with blood and filth, along with a picture of Gosnell's cat, which Cross said stayed at the clinic and which she testified would relieve itself on the floors of the facility.
While several other clinic employees face lengthy prison terms after pleading guilty to murder in the case, Cross has pleaded guilty only to federal drug charges for illegally administering medications at the clinic, and is expected to receive probation in exchange for her testimony against Gosnell. The prosecution rested its case and the defense portion of the trial was expected to begin April 22.