Philly Board Wants More Free Abortions

Wednesday, 20 Feb 2013 07:18 PM

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Image: Philly Board Wants More Free Abortions
Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell catered to minorities, immigrants and poor women at the Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia. (AP Photo)
The Philadelphia Board of Health wants to kill more poor babies.

The same Philadelphia Board of Health that ignored abortionist Kermit Gosnell's alleged "house of horrors" is at it again! After ignoring demands from local citizens and outraged pro-life civil rights leaders calling to end the terrors of abortion in their city, the board of health passed a new resolution on Feb. 15 calling for the federal government and the state of Pennsylvania to fund all abortions for poor women.

Haven't they harmed enough women already?

They want you to forget that they turned a blind eye to Gosnell's abortion killing center until the whistle blew so loud in 2011 that they had to take action on the doctor, whose abortion clinic was described as a filthy, foul-smelling "house of horrors" that was overlooked by regulators for years.

Gosnell was charged with murder — accused of delivering seven babies alive and using scissors to kill them. He was also charged in the death of one of the mothers in a case that is now scheduled for March.

According to Brenda Green, executive director of CHOICE, a nonprofit that connects the underinsured and uninsured with health services, the Pennsylvania Department of Health did nothing when it became aware of the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a woman who underwent an abortion at Gosnell’s hands, and then died as a result of a drug overdose.

Green tried to report complaints from clients, but the health department wouldn’t accept complaints from a third party. Instead, the patients had to fill out a daunting five-page form — available only in English — that required them to reveal their identities up front. They also had to be available to testify in Harrisburg, which is not an easy commute from Philadelphia.

Even with CHOICE staffers there to help, only two women initially agreed to fill out the form, but both changed their minds. The Department of State and the Philadelphia Public Health Department also had ample warning of dire conditions and took no action.

Now the Philadelphia Board of Health wants to expand this same system that ignores the problems associated with abortionists — to kill more babies, and put the health and well being of more mothers in jeopardy.

Hundreds of other babies likely died in the squalid clinic that Dr. Gosnell ran from 1979 to 2010, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said at a news conference.

Even though Pennsylvania law prohibits abortion in the case of pregnancies lasting more than 24 weeks — except to save the life of the mother or avoid serious health risks to the mother — Gosnell was charged with murder, infanticide, conspiracy, abortion at 24 or more weeks and other charges. The Board of Health ignored these facts as long as they could.

They want you to forget that they were in league with Gosnell, at least to the extent that they turned a blind eye to his alleged heinous practices.

In a nearly 300-page grand jury report that some have described as being filled with ghastly stomach-turning detail, prosecutors said Pennsylvania regulators ignored complaints of barbaric conditions at Gosnell's clinic, which catered to poor, immigrant and minority women in the city's West Philadelphia section. Prosecutors called the case a "complete regulatory collapse."

What do you call the audacity to now push more abortions on poor women and their unsuspecting babies?

"Pennsylvania is not a third-world country," according to the grand jury report. "There were several oversight agencies that stumbled upon and should have shut down Kermit Gosnell long ago."

Scores of women were injured from perforated bowels, cervixes and uteruses, authorities said.

In a typical late-term abortion, the baby is chopped apart in the uterus and then removed in pieces. That is more common than the procedure opponents call "partial-birth abortion," in which the baby is only partially extracted before being destroyed. Prosecutors said Gosnell instead delivered many of the babies alive.

He "induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord," District Attorney Seth Williams said.

Gosnell referred to the practice as "snipping," prosecutors said.

Prosecutors estimated Gosnell ended hundreds of pregnancies by cutting the spinal cords, but they said they couldn't prosecute more cases because Gosnell destroyed files.

"These killings became so routine that no one could put an exact number on them," the grand jury report said. "They were considered 'standard procedure.'"

Authorities raided Gosnell's clinic in search of controlled drug violations and stumbled upon "a house of horrors."

Bags and bottles holding aborted babies "were scattered throughout the building. There were even jars found on shelves that contained severed feet for no apparent medical purpose.

Prosecutors said the clinic reeked of urine because cats appeared to roam freely. In addition officials found that medical instruments were not properly sterilized, and that disposable medical supplies were used over and over.

White women from the suburbs were ushered into a separate, slightly cleaner area because Gosnell apparently believed they were more likely to file complaints, Williams said.

Few if any of the unconscious patients knew their babies had been born alive and then killed, prosecutors said. Many were first-time mothers who were told they were 24 weeks pregnant, even if they were much further along, authorities said.

According to authorities, state regulators ignored complaints about Gosnell and the 46 lawsuits filed against him. They made just five annual inspections — most concluded as satisfactory — since the clinic opened in 1979. The inspections stopped in 1993 because of what prosecutors said was the pro-abortion rights attitude that set in after Gov. Robert Casey, an abortion foe, left office.

Williams accused Pennsylvania Health Department officials of "utter disregard" for the safety of women undergoing abortion, and said the testimony of agency officials "enraged" the grand jury. He said, however, that he could find no criminal offenses with which the officials could be charged, in part because too much time had elapsed.

Pennsylvania’s regulators would have us gloss over the Gosnell chapter of the city's abortion history? Don't buy it.

Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open housing movement. Read more reports from Dr. Alveda C. King — Click Here Now.

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