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Monday, June 25, 2012

Kermit Gosnell's Little House of Horrors (IMPORTED and Updated)

I would first like to say that this post was imported from my first blog, The Souvenir. For anyone to consider what Gosnell has done being "abortion", is ridiculous. This was blatant murder...plain and simple. As a mother, as a pro-choicer, I am appalled. The horrible things that happened at this "clinic" are inexcusable. For this to be disguised as an abortion clinic....a place of help for women, is despicable. So, for the record, I DO NOT support Kermit Gosnell, nor any of his workers. 

In February of last year, Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia was raided. As authorities entered, they found dozens of women slumped over, moaning, and nearly comatose sitting in bloody recliners covered in blood stained blankets. There were no licensed medical personnel present, though all the patients there were drugged. They proceeded to find the lifeless and tortured bodies of 45 babies, some of which were past the point of viability. The babies had slits in the back of their necks and their spinal cords had been severed. Welcome to the Philadelphia house of horrors, also known as Dr. Kermit Gosnell's family practice/abortion clinic. In a grand jury report released last week, there was a picture of a post viability baby boy, who medical examiners estimated to be at least 32 weeks gestation. The picture was taken by a staff member on her cell phone, who after she watched the doctor kill the baby and toss him into a rubbermaid shoe box, felt she should document it because the baby was so big..something must be off. She failed to ever report the incident or turn the picture over to authorities. Another picture showed the incision made by Gosnell on another infant where the spinal cord had been severed. Other pictures revealed specimen cups (yes, the kind you typically pee in) containing severed baby feet. Gosnell claimed he kept the feet in case an issue of paternity ever presented itself. The staff never saw him do anything with the baby feet. In the pictures, you can see corroded tubes that doubled as the suction tubes used in early trimester suction abortions and breathing resuscitation tubes. Yes, this abortion equipment is designed for one time use. The exam tables were ripped. The instruments were splattered with dried blood. There was even a thick layer of dust covering the equipment...the dust was visible in the pictures. Employees claimed that Gosnell would never arrive to the clinic before 8pm or so, after his patients were either ready to deliver, or had already delivered their babies. They also said it wasn't uncommon for him to leave the office without properly disposing of the fetuses, and that the smell of the office made it evident the morning after he would fail to do so. A flea infested cat was allowed to roam the office, and defecate wherever it felt the need. Gosnell also left a pre-signed prescription pad for anyone who came in with the money to pay for their drugs of choice (he was the third leading doctor in the state to prescribe demarol). This is what led to the raid--not the countless complaints of malpractice that had been made...not the countless women who had contracted STD's from unsanitized tools, not even because of the women who left his clinic with perforated uteruses, bowels, and cervixes. They didn't even raid the place due to the woman who had lost her life at the clinic. No, they raided due to drug trafficking. The clinic staff consisted of two unlicensed doctors (in addition to Gosnell), and 7 unlicensed "medical assistants" of which was the 15 year old daughter to the office manager. The staff reported hearing Gosnell joke frequently about the babies as he was killing them "This baby is big enough to walk me to the bus stop", or as another child was writhing as he tried to severe the spinal cord, "Now there's a chicken with its head cut off!". So, this raid happened in February of 2010. Gosnell, along with staff members, was arrested last week. He is currently being held without bond. In his home, they found a gun and $240,000 in cash. Keep in mind, no pregnancies were terminated before the procedures began. Each of these babies was killed AFTER being born. The women were still out of it as he killed them. The staff says that for a while, he would slit the base of the skull and suction out the brains (as is procedure in the now banned "partial birth abortion", those during the PBA, this is done while the head of the child is still inside of the mother) so that it would look like the babies were killed that way, instead of being killed after they were born. The staff says this practice didn't last long.

Now, will someone please explain to me why something so outrageous is getting no media attention? It's being reported on news websites, but not spoken of on actual news broadcasts.

I usually don't go along with Operation Rescue (as they tend to be a little extreme for my taste), but they've got the whole story (as it's being reported on CNN websites) all in one place. WARNING: If you choose to view the pictures, PREPARE yourself.

If you go to the OR website (one that I do not typically support), type Kermit Gosnell into their search bar and you will get VERY graphic search results. Please brace yourself if you plan to view them.
If you visit the site, 


  1. The only difference between the babies Gosnell killed and the babies Tiller/Hern/Cathart kill/killed is that they were killed in the womb. Tiller did abortions up until birth if a fetal anomaly was present. Hern and Cathhart currently do this. A woman with Down Syndrome also died at Tiller's clinic after an abortion at 27 weeks. So, why is the fact that a 32 week old baby was killed by Gosnell so shocking to you?

  2. ....I'm kind of baffled as to why you keep reading this blog when you completely disagree with every single word that's written.

    The differences between Drs. Tiller, Hern, and Carhart is that 1, They do late term abortions due to fetal anomalies. 2, There is a humane process involved where the heart is stopped BEFORE the procedure takes place (as opposed to Gosnell's routine of delivering them alive and then just stabbing them in the back of the neck and sucking their brains out). 3, Almost every patient (or former) of these doctors have nothing but praise for them and the care that they were shown during such a difficult time in their lives. And finally, 4. All three of these doctors have MEDICALLY TRAINED staff (not their daughters and her friends).

    And yes, I am aware of Cristin Gilbert's death...I also know that she was at the clinic because she had been raped and was at an advanced stage of pregnancy by the time her family realized it. And while it is devastating that Cristin did not survive, any surgical procedure is hardly fool proof. There are risks to ANY medical procedure, which means that unfortunately, a small number of people will either experience complications or worse, death.

  3.'s ok to stab a baby in the chest with an extremely long needle at 36 weeks, as long as they have Down Syndrome and/or a heart defect?
    Now, I do sympathize with this woman-she and her husband were given shitty information and resources, leading her and her husband to believe that termination was the only humane option. That is what happens when misinformation about people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities is pervasive in the medical field. But, there WERE other options available, and nothing makes it ok to kill a baby that is that far along based solely on the fact that he or she is still inside his or her mother's uterus.

    I also can't imagine that giving a baby a massive heart attack with KCL or Digoxin would not be painful, due both to the needle entering the chest cavity and the massive heart attack that follows.

    I think more disability advocates should read your blog. If you are going to spread misinformation about people with disabilities in order to defend these terminations, there should be someone on hand to refute those characterizations.

  4. Safepres, there is really no reason to get your panties in a wad here, hun. First of all, let's look at all this shock factor language. You know exactly what to say and how to say it to induce outrage on the pro-life side. That comes off as more of a pro-life advocate and not a disability advocate. By "stabbing a baby in the heart with an extremely long needle", you're referring to the shot that is administered to slow the baby's heart to a stop before the procedure so the baby does not experience any trauma during the procedure. And the very long needle that is needed to penetrate the abdomen of the mother, the amniotic sac, and actually make it to the baby.

    I don't think you realize that any of this is not "okay". It is devastating. As a mother, I can't imagine what parents that experience this must go through. But until there is a way to treat and/of cure these devastating diagnosis's without the child suffering, it is some people's only option.

    I have to ask, 1--do you have any formal medical training? Because everything that I've read online about dixogin and potassium chloride being used for a termination says that it works by slowing the baby's heart to a stop. The ONLY place I've seen that it causes a "massive, painful heart attack" is on pro-life extremist websites. However, if you honestly do have medical training to back that claim up, I'm all ears. Also, I'm not sure if you are male or female (your s/n doesn't give much in the way of an idea), but I have to ask if you have children of your own, biologically or adopted--either way? Because I can't imagine a mother or father being so eager to accept that their child may suffer greatly, go through numerous surgeries, and do it all just to have a grim outcome.

    More disability advocates (though that certainly isn't how you're representing yourself) are more than welcome to read this blog. And I would hope that they would be able to offer KIND, compassionate advice to families facing terminations who made read this blog. I think families would benefit greatly from talking to people who have the same diagnosis that their unborn child is facing. But I certainly wouldn't tolerate it in a condescending kind of way.

  5. When the needle enters the baby's body, it has to go through the skin, muscles and ribcage in order to reach the baby's heart. Think about how it would feel to have a needle stuck into your chest cavity-does that sound like something painless? It's not just a regular injection-it actually goes through layers of tissue and cartilage. I think it's irrational to assume that the baby doesn't feel pain during that procedure.

    I'm a disability advocate. I also happen to be pro life, though I'm in the minority on that one. However, I assure you, that any disability advocate, regardless of their persuasion on the issue of abortion, would be disgusted by your use of fetal anomaly to justify terminations at 36 weeks along, or to justify terminations at all.

  6. Also, I feel that some on the pro choice side, including yourself, deliberately make these injections sound like THE way to die-like they are no more painful then having a butterfly land on the baby, or something. That, in my view, is profoundly intellectually dishonest. Hence my use of the words "stabbed with a long needle." You guys make it sound like the baby has literally been given the kiss of death-with no pain whatsoever. You seem to want to believe that in order to support your ideology-that terminating a pregnancy at an advanced stage in response to the diagnosis of fetal anomaly is compassionate and courageous. Even studies pointing to the late onset of fetus' ability to feel pain set that mark at around 28-35 weeks. 36 weeks is well beyond that.

  7. Also, I'm not going to tell you if I have kids or not-would having them or not having them give my opposition to killing 36 week old fetuses credibility in your eyes? Why? A baby at that stage is irrefutably a baby-even my incredibly, militantly pro choice colleague who I mentioned such terminations to at a disability studies conference was disgusted/shocked. Why? Because most pro choice people accept that there are limits on the right to abortion just like there are limits on the right to free speech and every other right. And, like I said, the disability community does NOT regard non-fatal anomalies like Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida, or other anomalies for which surgery is available, as being cause for an exception to those limitations. To us, disability is a form of diversity, like race, gender, or sexuality. Any other disability advocate would say the same thing.

  8. And, lastly, again, why do you care about my personal characteristics, like gender? Again, these aren't first trimester abortions we're talking about here. These are done at gestational ages at which you yourself have condemned the procedure of abortion on non-disabled.(Again, this is bigotry on your part-it's "murder" if done to a nondisabled fetus, but it's an "abortion" if it's done to a disabed fetus. Why should my gender make any difference in my opposition to such acts/viewpoints?

  9. Safepres, it sounds like you are getting all of your information regarding late term abortion from strict pro-life websites instead of looking for unbiased resources. I would think that someone who considers themselves and "advocate" for anything would look for something a little less biased to go off of.

    I have never said that the injection to stop the heart was painless. I said it was the more humane option. And out of all the women I've ever talked to, I have never spoken with one who mentioned their baby having a heart attack before death. As a mother myself, I would imagine that you'd be able to feel your baby having a massive heart attack inside of you. The movements would be erratic. Regardless of how a termination is performed, whether it's at 6 weeks or 26 weeks, it is a horrible, sad thing. But it is the only option in some cases. That's the sad, but honest truth.

    Secondly, where the hell do you keep getting this 36 week thing? The only time a 36 week old baby is mentioned in this blog is in THIS post about Kermit Gosnell which I am CONDEMNING. Personally, I think if you're that far along and you find out your baby has an issue, it would make more sense to just carry to term and consider your options from there (depending on whether or not it's a fatal anomaly or whether adoption is an issue, etc. I'd hate for you to think I would consider killing a child after birth was an option).

    And never, not ONCE, in all the research I've done, have I seen any UNBIASED evidence that abortions are performed by late term abortionists up until the due date. NEVER. And any pro-lifer who actually believes that is just grasping at straws.

    I asked if you had children in an effort to relate to you as a mother, which is why I also mentioned your gender. You know, since men can't have babies and whatnot. The lack of information that you provide on yourself makes it seem that you are not confident enough in your beliefs to state them as yourself. It seems a little shady.

    I never said that abortion on a non-disabled baby is "murder", though common sense tells you that abortion is ending, at least, the potential for life. If it's a disabled baby, it is still killing. I think there's a big difference between "killing" and "murder", but that's just me.

    Finally, while I enjoy a good debate, you are here for nothing more than the sake of argument. My views are clear on this blog. And while I welcome new information (as long as it comes from an unbiased source), all you're spewing is pro-life propaganda. You're here for the personal attack. If that's not the case, I assume you'd also be lurking on our facebook page and having these debates with all of the members there, as well. So as long as you wish to come here and comment for the sake of arguments, please stop commenting. My views will not change due to propaganda. You are more than welcome to read this blog, as everyone is, but I don't think you'll be able to do so without throwing in a personal attack on nearly every article published. Your time would be much more constructive if you were writing your own blog and promoting your thoughts there.

  10. In this post, you wrote:
    “I would first like to say that this post was imported from my first blog, The Souvenir. For anyone to consider what Gosnell has done being "abortion", is ridiculous. This was blatant murder...plain and simple.” You then went on to point out:“In a grand jury report released last week, there was a picture of a post viability baby boy, who medical examiners estimated to be at least 32 weeks gestation.”The placement of the length of gestation in italics indicates that you strongly oppose abortion at this point; that it is, in your view, wrong. However, your interviews with former employees of Tiller indicate that you strongly support this if the baby is injected in the womb. Hence, your opposition seems to rest on the babys location, the method involved, and its being nondisabled. These self-tailored requirements for personhood are etymologically flimsy at best.
    I got the gestation of 36 weeks from the link I provided to a story from the “A Heartbreaking Choice” website, which recounts a family’s decision to abort at 36 weeks along because their son had Down Syndrome and would have needed several surgeries over the course of his life.

    Moreover, pain really isn’t the issue: She was 36 weeks along, yet you seem ok with that abortion. The only way to see such a procedure as falling within the bounds of acceptable behavior would be if a) you believe the woman has the right to abort for any reason as long as the baby is still inside of her, regardless of gestation , which you don’t, b) you harbor prejudice that causes you to see death as being preferable to living with Down Syndrome and a heart defect, c ) you think killing a viable baby in the womb is ok as long as it is done “painlessly.”

    The reason I chose not to divulge personal details is that I don’t think that they would enhance my argument’s credibility in your eyes. If I said, “I’m a mom with 3 kids,” you would say, “Well, you’ve never had to make that choice, so you just don’t understand.” If I said I’m a single grad student with no kids, you’d say, “well, how can you judge, you haven’t even been pregnant.” If I said I was the parent of a child with special needs, you’d say that you appreciate my perspective and that OF COURSE you aren’t saying kids with disabilities aren’t better off dead, just that it’s important to give the woman that choice.” This would still contradict your previously stated antipathy toward late abortions performed on nondisabled fetuses.

    Lastly, it's not my intention to attack anyone personally, and I don't feel that I have.

  11. The post viability baby that Kermit Gosnell killed, in this case, was perfectly healthy. As I've stated before, I do NOT agree with late term abortions "just because". I don't think I can make that any clearer.

    There is nothing in THIS blog about a woman having an abortion at 36 weeks. So I don't see why you keep going back to that.

    Finally, why would I assume that if you had children that you had never had to make that choice? I've got three children, and I've been in the position to consider abortion. I did not terminate. Don't make assumptions on whatever arguments you think I may or may not throw up at you.

    But you are right about one thing: I do not think that just because a child is disabled, it should be terminated. But YES, I think it is important for the option to be there because a special needs child could be impossible for some families, plain and simple.

  12. I'm just curious: Have you read any of the links I've provided to published essays on the subject of disability rights and abortion? Don't take my word for it-go and read the well-worded perspectives of pro choice women like yourself, who see disability as a form of diversity and therefore oppose terminations for fetal anomaly, at least morally, anyhow. I'm curious as to what your response to those essays would be.

  13. So, at your urging, I am currently reading these articles. I read the first one about the disabled woman, who had had an abortion, thinking it was a bad idea for women to terminate for disabilities. I have to say, it's a little odd to me. Most people who support abortion most definitely support it for medical reasons. And most people are more comfortable with the idea of terminating for a medical reason as opposed to just terminating for whatever random reason.

    Also, I'm wondering--because I'm sure you know that many of this disabilities have varying levels of severity...what if one of these disabilities IS, in fact, fatal? Is it acceptable to you then? I ask because I would worry, as a mother of 3, how I would handle having to carry and give birth to a child that would die in-utero or shortly thereafter, mentally. Clearly, I need to be at my best for my children, and with my history of depression, I would worry that having to watch my child die before my very eyes would be too much. Are you completely against abortion for ANY reason? Or just against it being used to eliminate disabilities?

  14. I encourage you to keep reading. In particular, Marsha Saxton's essay is excellent and provides some historical background to her discussion of the disability rights perspective on disability-selective abortion. While the article you mention is valuable, Saxton provides an academic yet accessible overview of the context surrounding this unique viewpoint. I will answer your other question but I need to do it later.

  15. To answer your question about fatal anomalies, I'm going to quote from my discussion of this matter on a debate board:

    "The fatal anomaly/ disability-causing-anomaly distinction is needed to keep the discussion from being hijacked by the conflation of prenatally diagnosed conditions like Down Syndrome and dwarfism (non-fatal skeletal dysplasia) and things which are terminal, like anencephaly. The outcome for such infants is very different. One leads to death, one leads to life with a disability. Disability scholarship rarely addresses discrimination against the literally brainless for whom nothing can be done,but we do study social attitudes toward those individuals living with disabilities, including how prenatal diagnosis and abortion reflect such attitudes. (I'm not saying this to be cold toward people whose babies are diagnosed with anencephaly, I'm just saying that that particular condition does not lend itself to the social model of disability. Concerns about the relationship between such conditions and abortion belong in a discussion on whether one should be pro life or pro choice, which is a different discussion)."

    Now, of course there are always going to be grey areas, but in short, I do oppose all terminations because I'm pro life. But, as a disability advocate, I'm morally opposed to terminations done to prevent the birth of a child with a disability. Having a pro life objection to a termination and having a disability rights objection are NOT the same thing, and it's important to recognize that.