ABORTION IN THE NEWS
"House of Horrors" Described by Clinic Staff
Stephen Massof is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to two counts of murder at the clinic owned by Dr. Kermit Gosnell and is testifying for the prosecution at Gosnell's trial.
Massof gave vivid testimony of how he routinely saw babies at Gosnell's clinic born alive and then killed with scissors. According to Massof about 100 babies were born alive and then "snipped" with scissors to cause their "demise." "It would rain fetuses," according to Massof, "Fetuses and blood all over the place."
Lynda Williams, who worked at Dr. Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic for 15 months and has admitted to third-degree murder charges and conspiracy, testified at the trial that it was "standard procedure" to snip the necks of babies that were delivered by patients before the abortion because of labor-inducing drugs.
Williams said Gosnell taught her how to flip the body of the baby over and snip its neck with a pair of scissors to ensure "fetal demise."
Williams also testified that she followed Gosnell's orders one time, when Gosnell was away and took a baby that was delivered in a toilet and snipped its neck. "It jumped, the arm," she said, showing the jury by raising her arm. Williams said that snipping the neck "gave me the creeps" and she only did it one time. "I only do what I'm told to do," she told the jury. "What I was told to do was snip their neck."
When Williams was asked about seeing Gosnell cut the necks of babies who were delivered before abortion procedures, she admitted she had seen Gosnell do this at least 30 times.
Williams said when she asked Gosnell about the baby that moved his arm, she said Gosnell told her it was only an "involuntary response" and a "last breath" because it was "already dead" because of the drugs that had been administered earlier. "I never knew it was murder," Williams told the jury.
Williams, who only had an eighth-grade education, told the jury that during her time at the clinic Gosnell often changed paperwork on patients that were too far along in their pregnancies to get an abortion in Pennsylvania to make it appear they were at the legal limit of 24 weeks. She also admitted that some pain medication was either out of date or did not work and she saw Gosnell "smack" the legs of patients that squirmed during the procedure. These "smacks" were hard enough to leave a hand print.
Concerning abortion procedures at the clinic, Williams said the monitoring of patients was by looking at them and watching for a pulse in their neck veins. She also testified that all patients received the same doses of medicine, which was outlined by a chart on the wall; and they did not make any changes due to weight, age or other medical factors.
Williams remains in custody and could receive up to 100 years in prison.
Eileen O'Neill had been a doctor in Louisiana but lost her medical license in 2000 because of "post-traumatic stress syndrome," according to her grand jury testimony. As a Gosnell employee she is facing charges of false billing and racketeering.
According to a colleague, O'Neill was increasingly upset about the people who came to Gosnell's adjacent medical clinic for painkillers. However, she continued to work at the clinic until the February 2010 drug raid, which was generated by the high-volume of Oxycontin and other painkillers dispensed to patients.
Then there is the mother/daughter combination of Tina and Ashley Baldwin. The mother, Tina Baldwin, handed out drugs to induce labor at the front desk. Her daughter, high school student Ashley Baldwin, was hired at the age of 15.
Ashley testified that she helped Gosnell to perform abortions and saw five babies moving and breathing. Ashley Baldwin testified that one baby actually screamed and they all just looked like regular babies. She went on to say that Gosnell joked about the size of one baby saying, "This baby is going to walk me home."
Ashley was often in charge of taking care of women when they were in labor, according to the grand jury report. Ashley told the grand jury that she sent the women to deliver their babies in toilets and phoned Gosnell to say he was needed at the clinic.
Ashley was also in charge of giving doses of heavy-duty pain meds, according to the grand jury report. "In truth, Ashley often worked until 2 a.m. and performed the duties of a registered nurse or a doctor," the grand jury report stated. "When asked who was in charge of the clinic before Gosnell arrived, Ashley testified: 'Me.'"
Tina Baldwin now faces at least a year in prison, and perhaps much longer, after pleading guilty to federal drug charges and state charges that include corruption of a minor since she got her daughter the job at Gosnell's clinic. Daughter Ashley isn't facing any charges.