This post will make you sick – the Grand Jury Report on Dr. Kermit Gosnell


These are the opening paragraphs of the Grand Jury report on Dr. Kermit Gosnell:

This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.

Let us say right up front that we realize this case will be used by those on both sides of the abortion debate. We ourselves cover a spectrum of personal beliefs about the morality of abortion. For us as a criminal grand jury, however, the case is not about that controversy; it is about disregard of the law and disdain for the lives and health of mothers and infants. We find common ground in exposing what happened here, and in recommending measures to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.

The “Women’s Medical Society”

That was the impressive-sounding name of the clinic operated in West
Philadelphia, at 38th and Lancaster, by Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D. Gosnell seemed impressive as well. A child of the neighborhood, Gosnell spent almost four decades running this clinic, giving back – so it appeared – to the community in which he continued to live and work.

But the truth was something very different, and evident to anyone who stepped inside. The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment – such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff – was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house.

The people who ran this sham medical practice included no doctors other than Gosnell himself, and not even a single nurse. Two of his employees had been to medical school, but neither of them were licensed physicians. They just pretended to be. Everyone called them “Doctor,” even though they, and Gosnell, knew they weren’t. Among the rest of the staff, there was no one with any medical licensing or relevant certification at all. But that didn’t stop them from making diagnoses, performing procedures, administering drugs.

Because the real business of the “Women’s Medical Society” was not health; it was profit. There were two primary parts to the operation. By day it was a prescription mill; by night an abortion mill. A constant stream of “patients” came through during business hours and, for the proper payment, left with scripts for Oxycontin and other controlled substances, for themselves and their friends. Gosnell didn’t see these “patients”; he didn’t even show up at the office during the day. He just left behind blank, pre-signed prescription pads, and had his unskilled, unauthorized workers take care of the rest. The fake prescriptions brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. But this drug-selling operation is the subject of separate investigation by federal authorities.

Our focus was on the other side of the business.

Murder in plain sight

With abortion, as with prescriptions, Gosnell’s approach was simple: keep volume high, expenses low – and break the law. That was his competitive edge.

Pennsylvania, like other states, permits legal abortion within a regulatory framework. Physicians must, for example, provide counseling about the nature of the procedure. Minors must have parental or judicial consent. All women must wait 24 hours after first visiting the facility, in order to fully consider their decision. But Gosnell’s compliance with such requirements was casual at best. At the Women’s Medical Society, the only question that really mattered was whether you had the cash. Too young? No problem. Didn’t want to wait? Gosnell provided same-day service.

The real key to the business model, though, was this: Gosnell catered to the women who couldn’t get abortions elsewhere – because they were too pregnant. Most doctors won’t perform late second-trimester abortions, from approximately the 20th week of pregnancy, because of the risks involved. And late-term abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy are flatly illegal. But for Dr. Gosnell, they were an opportunity. The bigger the baby, the more he charged.

There was one small problem. The law requires a measurement of gestational age, usually done by an ultrasound. The ultrasound film would leave documentary proof that the abortion was illegal. Gosnell’s solution was simply to fudge the measurement process. Instead of hiring proper ultrasound technicians, he “trained” the staff himself, showing them how to aim the ultrasound probe at an angle to make the fetus look smaller. If one of his workers nonetheless recorded an ultrasound measurement that was too big, it would just be redone. Invariably these second ultrasounds would come in lower. In fact, almost every time a second ultrasound was taken, the gestational age would be recorded as precisely 24.5 weeks – slightly past the statutory cutoff. Apparently Gosnell thought he would get away with abortions that were just a little illegal. In reality, of course, most of these pregnancies were considerably more advanced.

But the illegal abortion business also posed an additional dilemma. Babies that big are hard to get out. Go snell’s approach, whenever possible, was to force full labor and delivery of premature infants on ill-informed women. The women would check in during the day, make payment, and take labor-inducing drugs. The doctor wouldn’t appear until evening, often 8:00, 9:00, or 10:00 p.m., and only then deal with any of the women who were ready to deliver. Many of them gave birth before he even got there. By maximizing the pain and danger for his patients, he minimized the work, and cost, for himself and his staff. The policy, in effect, was labor without labor.

There remained, however, a final difficulty. When you perform late-term “abortions” by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the Women’s Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn’t call it that. He called it “ensuring fetal demise.” The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that “snipping.”

Over the years, there were hundreds of “snippings.” Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the “snipping” was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff. But all the employees of the Women’s Medical Society knew. Everyone there acted as if it wasn’t murder at all.

That was just the beginning. There is lots and lots more. 281 pages more.

The worst part is the lack of oversight. Pennsylvania state officials did not inspect Gosnell’s clinic for eighteen years, even though there were complaints, lawsuits and at least two patient deaths. The atrocities were discovered by accident when the police raided the clinic looking for evidence that Gosnell was running a “pill mill.” If he had stayed out of drug dealing his clinic might still be open for business.

Gosnell’s victims:

kermit-gosnell_003 kermit-gosnell_005


Freezer full of fetal remains

Freezer full of fetal remains


This is really a sensational scandal. When you think about it this case is tailor-made for tons of television coverage. Lots of gore and lurid details, drugs, a rich defendant, and hundreds of dead babies. The only things missing are sex and dead white girls. This is way better than Casey Anthony or Jody Arias. So where is the news media? The television networks are conducting a near black-out of news reporting on the case.

You don’t have to be pro-life to be outraged by this case and the lack of media coverage thereof.

Reserved for media section at the Gosnell trial

Reserved for media section at the Gosnell trial

About Myiq2xu

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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81 Responses to This post will make you sick – the Grand Jury Report on Dr. Kermit Gosnell

  1. votermom says:

    tweeting the #Gosnell tag is my project this morning

  2. driguana says:

    If some things can be seen as gauges or meters of the temperament and health of our society and this would be one of them, we are indeed in a bad condition. It seems as though our American culture does not want to look into a mirror that reflects our true visage. Ignore, lie and blame someone else for our troubles has become the norm. This is really a disgusting example of that. How people and the media are not outraged by this is beyond any ethical comprehension.

  3. DeniseVB says:

    Planned Parenthood and State Senator Obama supported infanticide, probably why the media is ignoring this. It gets sicker…..

    PP uses the excuse it’s a backdoor to banning abortion, and we all know Obama doesn’t want our daughters “punished with a baby”.

  4. Mary says:

    For what it’s worth, Fox News has been reporting this story. To my knowledge , they are the only network that has.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Nobody can accuse Fox for exploiting dead babies since MO and BO have been doing that since December to push their political agenda 😉

  5. votermom says:

    Another shop of horrors in Delaware

    from local DE abc affiliate

    April 9, 2013 (WPVI) — A local abortion clinic is under fire, facing allegations of unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

    A series of emergency calls made from the Planned Parenthood of Delaware this year are raising concerns about what’s happening behind the closed doors.

    Two former nurses who both quit are speaking exclusively with Action News about what they saw inside.
    Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, former employee said, “It was just unsafe. I couldn’t tell you how ridiculously unsafe it was.”
    Werbrich alleges conditions inside the facility were unsanitary.

    He didn’t wear gloves,” said Werbrich.

    Another former employee, Joyce Vasikonis told Action News, “They were using instruments on patients that were not sterile.

    The former nurses claim that a rush to get patients in and out left operating tables soiled and unclean.

    Werbrich said “It’s not washed down, it’s not even cleaned off. It has bloody drainage on it.”

    “They could be at risk of getting hepatitis, even AIDS,” added Vasikonis.

    Both of these nurses said, they quit to protect their own medical licenses, stunned by what they called a meat-market style of assembly-line abortions.

    Vasikonis said, “I felt I could be held liable if a patient was harmed.”

    “Planned Parenthood needs to close its doors, it’s needs to be cleaned up, the staff needs to be trained, said Werbrich.”

    In Delaware, abortion clinics are not subject to routine inspections. The state only steps in when they have a patient complaint. Planned Parenthood is essentially in charge of inspecting itself.

    Mary Peterson from the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services said, “I am not going to lie to you, we don’t have the manpower to do routine inspections.”

    She says, her investigators went into the facility in October of last year after a complaint.

    We asked Peterson, did they find any problems with the sterilization of utensils. She told us “no, no.” We then asked if blood was being left after one patient had surgery and another one came in, she replied, “absolutely none.”

    Investigators say, they have not found evidence to support the claims raised by Vasikonis and Werbrich.

    Since January 4th, five patients allegedly have been rushed from the facility to the emergency room, again placing the clinic in the spotlight.

    Peterson says, it raises concerns and they are in the process of looking into what is causing the issues to occur.

    Action News has learned during our investigation that one doctor and two more nurses at the clinic have mysteriously left.

    Planned Parenthood would not confirm if they were fired or resigned.

  6. yttik22 says:

    This is another atrocity where so many people knew what was going on and looked the other way. There where so many women that had to be rushed in to the emergency room, have hysterectomies, part of their intestines removed, infections, death. Doctors would have noticed a pattern. People who worked at the clinic would have noticed. Some former patients tried to file reports. Public Health, the medical board, law enforcement, they all knew.

    • votermom says:

      Can’t understand that either – did he pay people off to look the other way? Or is it really just a culture of “abortion clinic are untouchable”?

      • yttik22 says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he paid a few people off, but mostly it was probably the same thing that has rendered the media silent, abortion is untouchable. These were also black and immigrant women and we tend to not value them much, to look the other way. Then there is the whole black on black crime thing, which we don’t like to address. I imagine some people didn’t want to be accused of being anti-abortion or racist. Others probably convinced themselves he was providing a much needed service that no one else would provide, so they had to ignore the problems.

        • votermom says:

          The grand jury report that lays out allegations against Gosnell has an entire section called “How did this go on so long?” The simple answer is politics.
          Pennsylvania’s health department stopped routine inspections of abortion facilities in the state after Tom Ridge, a pro-choice Republican, became governor in 1995.
          Health department lawyers “changed their legal opinions and advice to suit the policy preferences of different governors,” health department official Janet Staloski said in grand jury testimony. In this case, she said the state didn’t want to be “putting a barrier up to women” who wanted abortions.
          In 1999, high-level Pennsylvania officials met to consider starting up regular inspections again but decided not to, state lawyer Kenneth Brody testified, according to the grand jury report. He told the grand jury that officials were concerns that abortion clinics wouldn’t meet inspection standards and then there “would be less abortion facilities.”
          The state’s politics-driven policy continued until the gruesome allegations regarding Gosnell came to light.
          Inspections finally resumed in 2010 after more than 15 years. When pro-life Republican Gov. Tom Corbett took office in 2011, he asked officials to issue a report on the state’s failure to inspect facilities for so long, the AP reported.
          By February 2011, Corbett had announced sweeping changes at the health department — including routine, unannounced inspections of abortion facilities.

        • gxm17 says:

          I think if Gosnell were white this case would be all over the news. IMO, the reason he got away with it for so long is because he was preying on the most vulnerable and invisible in our society, and he was probably paying off anyone who happened to take notice. MOO, JMO, OMO, etc. etc.

  7. votermom says:

    OT, good post on North Korea

  8. gxm17 says:

    I disagree with you on the “lots of gore.” IMO, people like pretend “movie” gore, but they can’t stomach the real thing.

    • That’s true. I don’t mind watching a gory movie, but I almost posted a request to move the dead fetus pics to “under the fold” here on TCH. I didn’t, ultimately, because I figure it’s Myiq’s place, so his choice, and I can just quickly scroll down. Also, I question my own discomfort with the pictures. I just really don’t want to see newborn babies with hair with holes in their necks. Fetuses don’t even get hair until very late in the third trimester. Prima facie, as they say.

  9. t says:

    The really amazing thing is this was essentially a back-alley abortion clinic. This gives you an idea of what abortion would be like if it were made illegal. These types of operations would grow, not shrink.

    The pro-choice media folks should be all over it.

    • elliesmom says:

      A lot of people were brought on board to support making abortion legal by arguing that women were having abortions anyway, and making it legal would guarantee them safety. Obviously, it doesn’t. With the pro-abortion crowd so loud about any restrictions or control on abortions being a loss of “rights” for women, women are still at the mercy of the abortion providers. Some of the providers will take good care of the women who come to them and some will not. Just like in the “back-alley” days. While “legal” might mean doctors are not at criminal risk if they choose to do abortions, it’s not a medical procedure doctors fall all over themselves to do. My OB/GYN will not perform an abortion unless the woman’s life is at stake.

    • gxm17 says:

      Exactly. IMO, legal abortion should not be marginalized but that’s exactly what has happened.

    • swanspirit says:

      Exactly!!!!!!!! And we also very much need to know who the women were who were subjected to this abuse . Because if this is going on in a few places , this is happening in many more places to many more women and babies .

  10. HELENK says:

    Isn’t odd how the murders of some children seem to be more important then the deaths of others?

    the murders of ALL children should create outrage

  11. votermom says:


  12. HELENK says:

    Iowa Hawk

    When the media gets around to covering the #Gosnell story, it’ll be to push for scissors control.

  13. votermom says:

    So, allow me to ask the impolitic question I have hinted at elsewhere: in choosing to look away, in choosing to under-report, in choosing to spin, minimize, excuse, and move-along when it comes to Kermit Gosnell—and to this whole subject of under-regulated abortion clinics, the debasement of women and the slaughter of living children—how are the press and those they protect by their silence any better than the Catholic bishops who, in decades past, looked away, under-reported, spun, minimized, excused, moved-along, and protected the repulsive predator-priests who have stolen innocence and roiled the community of faith?

    or the PSU officials who looked away from Sandusky

  14. HELENK says:

    this is about the silence of Americans on many things that are happening today.
    but it does fit in on the very loud silence about gosnell and his actions

  15. HELENK says:

    funny how pro abortionists think.
    we want you to have an abortion, but we will not speak out if the conditions where you get one are unsanitary and filthy and a real horror pit. that is the price you pay for getting one. We will keep those conditions very very quiet.

    • gxm17 says:

      I completely disagree. I don’t know any pro-choicer who “wants” women to have abortions. They want women to have reproductive choice which includes good reproductive healthcare. All the pro-choicers I know support the availability of birth control including plan b contraceptives that would prevent abortion.

      IMO, it’s the anti-choice crowd who have worked to marginalize abortion and, sadly, have succeeded at a horrific cost. I think what the anti-choice crowd is not seeing is that the Gosnell case illustrates that when we marginalize women’s reproductive health care we end up with terrible tragedy.

      • votermom says:

        I think that it’s turned into an industry – just witness the freakout that Planned Parenthood had when Komen almost decided not to give them money anymore. It’s about money and power and “women’s right to choose” is just marketing.

      • elliesmom says:

        I disagree. I know a lot of pro-choice men who want women to have abortions. Toure is one of them. He said “Abortion saved my life.” Not her life – his. This sick commercial celebrating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade wasn’t made by people who don’t want women to have abortions. I support keeping abortion legal, but I don’t have any illusions about what it really means for women.

        • myiq2xu says:

          I think you’re both right. I don’t think there are many people who are generically pro-abortion (as opposed to pro-choice). But when it becomes personal, lots of women and girls are pressured into abortions by boyfriends/husbands and parents.

        • How very PETA-esque of the creators of that video. Disgusting.

  16. angienc (D) says:

    So basically Roe v. Wade made back alley abortions *legal.* Just like the pre-Roe days, women with money (i.e., the “important” ones) are able to get abortions in reputable practices in a sterilized environment.

  17. HELENK says:

    Do you support any other restrictions on abortions. No. — and that includes partial birth abortions.

    this is from the obama files. as a state senator some answers to questions asked.

    I am surprised he does not inviite gosnell to the whtie house so they can discuss how to get obamacare to pay the dr for his services

  18. myiq2xu says:

    Mollie Z. Hemingway:

    So when a private foundation privately decides to stop giving money to the country’s largest abortion provider, that is somehow a policy issue deserving of three dozen breathless hits. When a yahoo political candidate says something stupid about rape, that is a policy issue of such import that we got another three dozen hits about it from this reporter. It was so important that journalists found it fitting to ask every pro-lifer in their path to discuss it. And when someone says something mean to a birth control activist, that’s good for months of puffy profiles.

    But gosh darn it, can you think of any policy implications to this, uh, “local crime” story? And that’s all it is. Just like a bunch of other local stories the Washington Post also refuses to cover — local crimes such as the killing of Trayvon Martin and the killing of Matthew Shepard and the killing of students at an elementary school in Connecticut. Did the Washington Post even think of covering those local crime stories? No! Oh wait, they did? Like, all the time? Hmm. That’s weird. But did they cover them in terms of policy implications? Asking politicians for their views and such? Oh they did that, too? Hmm. So weird. Oh, and Sarah Kliff herself wrote one of those stories? Well, gosh, I’m so confused.

    And what policies could possibly be under discussion with this Gosnell trial? Other than, you know, abortion clinic hiring practices? And enforcement of sanitary conditions? And laws on abortion practices that extend to killing live infants by beheading them? And the killing of their mothers? And state or federal oversight of clinics with records of botched abortions? And pain medication practices? And how to handle the racist practices of some clinics? And how big of a problem this is (don’t tell anyone but another clinic nearby to Gosnell was shut down this week over similar sanitation concerns)? And disposal of babies’ bodies? And discussion of whether it’s cool to snip baby’s spines after they’re born? And how often are abortion clinics inspected anyway? What are the results of inspections? When emergency rooms take in victims of botched abortions, do they report that? How did this clinic go 17 years without an inspection? Gosh, I just can’t think of a single health policy angle here. Can you?

    • DeniseVB says:

      I’ve done much reading today and it’s going well beyond just the dead babies, the treatment of young, poor minority girls underwent some pretty horrific treatment. Almost puts that tin foily “abortion as genocide” theory to the test. 😦

  19. SHV says:

    “So basically Roe v. Wade made back alley abortions *legal.* Just like the pre-Roe days, women with money (i.e., the “important” ones) are able to get abortions in reputable practices in a sterilized environment.”
    I suspect a lot more of these “back alley” late term abortions (infanticides) are going on then anyone is willing to admit or investigate.
    About 15 years ago I did a little minor heart surgery on a 26 week “aborted fetus”. Mother was 14, induced in “doctor’s” office, baby born alive. The baby, cord and placenta were put in a paper grocery bag and the family was told to take “it” home a bury it in their yard. While driving home, the baby was making a lot of noise in the bag so they went to a local hospital and baby was air transported to a children’s hospital.

    The “doctor” lost his license but nothing more was done. Got minimal media coverage. BTW the baby did fine and was discharge after about two months.

  20. HELENK says:

    off topic

    Johathan Winters one of the funniest men ever. Thank you for the laughter and may you RIP

  21. DeniseVB says:


  22. DeniseVB says:

  23. HELENK says:

    something to think about

    with so many jobless and lost insurance benefits more and more women will be going to doctors just like gosnell. Apparently the state health dept is not checking up on these doctors and are using the excuse of no money so there will be more abortion mills.
    It seems the money is good and the risk for these doctors is minimal.

  24. myiq2xu says:

    Just to be clear, I remain pro-choice (safe, legal and rare). But pro-choice does not mean “anything goes”. Abortion clinics need to be regulated and regularly inspected.

    • myiq2xu says:

      The procedures performed by Dr. Kermit Gosnell were not safe, legal, nor rare.

    • swanspirit says:

      Absolutely , and I am so proud of the nurses in Delaware that spoke up . I also wonder how many of these abortions are performed on prostitutes via orders from their pimps .We have to know who these vulnerable women are .

    • HELENK says:

      the decision to have an abortion is one of the hardest choices a woman will ever have to make. It is a choice she will live with for her whole life. If she makes the choice to have an abortion she has the right to the same care as a woman who chooses to have her baby in a hospital.

  25. votermom says:

    I just got a robocall from Gifford’s husband. Ugh.

    “I’m calling to thank your senator, Pat Toomey ..”

  26. myiq2xu says:


    Last night on “Special Report,” Bret Baier of Fox News listed the number of times each of the five major networks covered the capital murder trial Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor accused of murdering seven born alive babies and a patient.

    Here are the staggering results:

    NBC: 0

    MSNBC: 0

    ABC: 0

    CBS: 0

    CNN: 1

  27. HELENK says:

    off topic

    isn’t this just peachy. done on Friday, the law was to go into effect on Monday

  28. HELENK says:

    what I do not understand is why the pro-abortionists do not want medical standards at the same level as hospitals. that makes no sense. why no concern for the health and safety of the women?

    • gxm17 says:

      Here are some important things to know about the tragedies committed in Gosnell’s clinic, based on the sources you missed. This week, as Virginia-based pro-choice activist Michelle Kinsey Bruns noted on Twitter, “Fitting that the right is trying to whip folks into a frenzy over #Gosnell the same day VA is trying to put safe abortion care out of reach.” She’s referring to so-called TRAP laws, which are regulations aimed at abortion clinics that have nothing to do with safety — say, the size of parking lots — to seek to drive them out of business, and which expected to go forward in a vote today. According to Tara Murtha, a Philadelphia-based reporter who has been covering the Gosnell case from the start, in the aftermath of Pennsylvania’s own TRAP laws, the state went from 22 freestanding clinics to 13. As Murtha puts it, “The bottom line is that politicizing abortion led to Gosnell. Their answer? Politicize it more.”

      After all, the question is not just why the state failed to respond to the complaints of women and advocates who visited the clinic, although that matters hugely. It’s why women kept going there anyway: Because they felt they had no alternative. Read this account from Jeff Deeney, a social worker from Philadelphia, who points out that the lack of public funding for abortion is a big factor leading desperate women to Gosnell: “It’s worth noting for outsiders that Health Center #4 which serves the same neighborhood is the best in town, providing quality care for the uninsured poor. But Health Centers don’t do abortions, and Medicaid, where a TANF mom’s insurance coverage would come from, if she had any at all, doesn’t pay for them. And for these women the cost of paying for an abortion out of pocket breaks the budget, leaving mom scrambling to make next month’s rent or possibly wind up on the street.” Cost is also how women often get past the legal gestational limit, as they struggle to save up enough money — and Gosnell’s willingness to break the law was what made him their last chance. To everyone who thinks his case was a reason for more abortion restrictions: What he did was already illegal.

      I don’t think the opposition to these measures is a desire for unsafe abortions. Just as I don’t believe the politicians who approve these measures are concerned with women’s health. They, like Stupak, are meant to marginalize, and limit access to, abortion. Legislation like this drives the cost of an abortion up while legislation like Stupak puts a safe abortion out of financial reach for many women. It’s so sad that even though abortion is legal, women are being pushed into the hands of back alley butchers like Gosnell.

    • swanspirit says:

      The Vile Progs do not really care about the “downtrodden” ; they are simply political chess pieces . They do not interact / socialize with /vacay with women from the class that would have these abortions . They may occasionally employ them .
      The people who care are not in power in the Obamacrat party anymore.

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