Inside the Trial of Abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell

During a week of horrific testimony, Gosnell sat smiling in the courtroom.

Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Trial

Kermit Gosnell (left) is on trial for eight homicides related to abortion
services at his West Philadelphia clinic (right).

Kermit Gosnell sits accused of eight homicides. His alleged victims include seven newborn babies the prosecution claims he killed with surgical scissors. His eighth alleged victim, Karnamaya Mongar, is a 41-year-old woman who came to the doctor seeking an abortion and left in an ambulance, her heart stopped for good by an overdose of drugs delivered by unlicensed staff. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. Yet throughout his long trial, no matter how awful the accusations leveled against him by witnesses, Gosnell sits there smiling.

Just as the prosecution seems utterly convinced that Kermit Gosnell, the West Philly abortionist, began killing babies well past the 24-week gestational age permitted under state abortion laws, his smile suggests he seems equally sure that he has done nothing wrong.

Aspiring Doctor Steve Massof Thought He “Was Learning” at the Side of Kermit Gosnell

The prosecution has built its case with Gosnell’s former employees at the Atlantic Women’s Medical Center. To varying degrees, each has expressed feeling misled by Gosnell, who regularly re-did ultrasounds when staff produced measurements indicating the baby had reached a gestational age greater than 24 weeks.

“I thought I was learning,” declared Steve Massof, who passed medical school in Grenada but never obtained a doctor’s license, yet found a home inside Gosnell’s clinic at 3801 Lancaster Avenue. “I mean, who else would you follow around but the doctor who has been practicing family medicine for more than 30 years?”

Massof further stated that he thought his time in Gosnell’s clinic would fulfill his residency requirement, so he took the low-paying job in an urban clinic for just $300 per week. Only later did he find out that Gosnell’s clinic was not accredited.

Massof has himself already pleaded guilty to first-degree homicide, admitting to having killed babies born live and viable during botched abortion procedures.

Other staff have proven more sympathetic, including a parade of female staff, without medical degrees, who all questioned Gosnell at some point about his method of stabbing babies in the neck with surgical scissors, then “snipping” their spinal cords to separate brain from body.

“It’s standard procedure,” he told them.

Linda Williams, who had once been perhaps his most loyal staffer, told jurors last week, “If I had known then what I know now, I would never have worked for him. I would rather have lived in a box on the street.”

Almost half of the prosecution’s non-expert witnesses have cried, at least a little, on the stand.

Staffers Earned $20 Cash Bonuses for Second-Trimester Abortions

Gosnell seemingly built an empire off performing late-term abortions and operating a kind of “pill mill” out of the West Philadelphia clinic. Prosecutors allege he was making $1.8 million per year from his operation, and also claim that he owned multiple properties, including houses and apartment buildings in West Philly, Delaware and Brigantine, New Jersey.

His staff, meanwhile, seemed to be operating on the margins of life, doing what they could to support their families, working for Gosnell for maybe $10 an hour, with $20 cash bonuses thrown in for every second-trimester abortion that occurred on their shift. Their clientele, in turn, were usually poor, and turning to the abortionist because they didn’t feel they could afford to take care of a baby. And they all took refuge in euphemistic language. One former employee, Sherry West, said she referred to the babies she saw, both dead and alive, as “specimens” because the word “made it easier to deal with.”

Williams, in a written statement she provided to law enforcement authorities, expressed her desire to “help people” in Gosnell’s clinic, and described the clientele as people who could not “financially afford to take care of their fetus.”

The word “baby,” for employees and customers at the Atlantic Women’s Medical Center was often avoided.

  • feduptaxpayer

    When will we start enforcing the laws on the books and why won’t mainstream media report on such an atrocity? What wrong with the state health department? We can hardly label third world countries “barbaric” and shield behavior like this in our own country.

    • Alysia Doten

      Of course we can shield it, when if exposing it means exposing Obama (who voted to protect scumbags right to do this while in the Senate),

      • Guest

        I hate abortion, it’s wrong and should be outlawed in most circumstances, but if it is this kind of stuff will only happen more. Women will stoll seek abortions. And those wo can’t get them early will get them as late as they can. That’s why this despicable practice (under 20 weeks) needs to remain legal. B/c women will NOT stop. God help us all. They won’t stop killing their babies.

      • Joe bob

        Unfortunately abortion has to stay legal. It’s a despicable practice that should be outlawed, but these women will always find a way to kill their babies. God help us, they will. If they can’t get abortions early, then they will turn to filthy creatures like this and have late term abortions. Our society has no morals and unwanted babies have no value in these women’s minds. It’s sick, but it’s true.

    • Guest

      the mainstream media was reporting on this in January 2011. Where have you people been?

      • Natasha

        Yes, they reported the arrest more than two years ago!!! The Grand Jury horrific testimony is NOW and they ignore it. Two year old news articles are not current.

      • Patrick J Lee

        Oh please! The media have studiously blacked out coverage of this most
        eminently newsworthy case. Even the dullest of us can see that. They
        have both a financial and ideological interest in keeping the abortion
        industry wheels grinding. To give this story even half the coverage it
        deserves would so shock people that there would be an enormous demand to
        outlaw or greatly control the abortion industry. One silver lining in
        this dark cloud is that both the pro abortionists and their allies, the
        media, are now finally being stripped of their carefully crafted image of
        respectability and being exposed for what they truly are.

  • Adam Moreira

    Bob Casey Sr. has been dead for over a decade, but why hasn’t someone held Tom Ridge. Mark Schweiker, or Ed Rendell responsible? All three enabled Gosnell.

    • StanW

      I thought this was a “local issue”, Adam. Why are you involving all these people?

      • Adam Moreira

        Those 3 were the governors of PA since the last inspection of Gosnell’s clinic prior to Tom Corbett becoming governor. Enforcement would have been with either the PA Department of Health or their designee. Failure to enforce means that one endorses whatever crimes are going on, because they’re going unpunished by those that can stop it.

        • StanW

          Still waiting for you to explain how this is a local issue while Trayvon Martin is a national issue.

          • Alysia Doten

            Because Trayvon was the Presidents imaginary son remember? I guess these babies were just trash to Libtards, but a kid who tosses gang symbols and is kicked out of school for drug dealing is the picture of responsibility. Go figure, if this was a vet and these were dogs that stupid bitch from the Wash Post would cover it!

          • Pat Shalhoob

            I’m one of those “libtards” you’re talking about, and I’m NOT pro-abortion. I’m ‘PRO-LIFE’ but don’t believe we should BLANKET advance any law, ANY LAW, opposing abortion in the first trimester. Including the morning after pill . . .

            All we’re doing is ‘painting all abortions with the same brush’, which abortions AREN’T. . . THE OPPOSITION IS DOING EXACTLY THE SAME. Which is why they’re trying to ignore this

          • ChiChiLaLa

            Pat – you can’t call yourself “pro-life” if you still believe abortion is acceptable during the first trimester. All abortion is wrong – at every stage, even the earliest of stages – true pro-lifers believe that life begins at conception. All abortions should be painted with the same brush because they all result in the death of a child.

  • FairIsFair1207

    This sick son of a B**** should be tortured and killed slowly….just keep killing BABIES people! IF YOU DON’T WANT A CHILD THEN CLOSE YOUR LEGS!!!! LAZY, STUPID WOMEN!

    • Alysia Doten

      There are other reasons for doing it, but for this reason I agree.

      • FairIsFair1207

        oh yes, I agree that there are other reasons, but not many! over a million babies a year? There is no way in hell that birth control fails that many times!

    • catonine

      Another way would be for males not responsible enough to reproduce to have a vasectomy.

  • procommonsense

    Killing babies because the abortion was “botched”? Where is the sense that if he performs the same “procedure” inside the patient it is acceptable but, if the entire “fetus” is expelled from the woman’s body it is murder?

    • Alysia Doten

      It is murder after a certain gestational age period. If the baby can cry, and has been brought into the world it is now effectively a person and should be treated as such. If this was a puppy bet your ass the libtards would be frothing at the mouth over it. But its only a baby so screw it right?


      If you had common sense like you say you do you should be able to differentiate between the viability and growth rate of the first, second and third trimesters…………. This butcher was performing extremely late term “abortion” which is MURDER no matter how you slice it…no pun intended.

  • Alysia Doten

    I blame everyone of these staff member as much as I blame this Dr. Kevorkian reject. They took money for every abortion on top of their checks? They didn’t report this or feel it was strange at all? These people are disgusting, and should be ashamed of themselves. From the Doc on down, these people are murderers!


    Never heard about this until I saw it on Fox News. Have researched some details……….. Adolph Eichmann could have learned from this butcher!
    Why isn’t everyone up in arms about these atrocities of out right murder committed under the guise of “late term” abortion?
    This monster doesn’t have enough lives or pain to suffer in my opinion to even come close to achieving justice for the babies born alive that he butchered…………….
    Where are all the news stations and talking heads now while this graphic testimonial trial is being heard?
    Does the death of 7 living newborn babies who can not speak out take a back seat to “priority news” like J.Z’s trip to Cuba or yesterday’s baseball scores?
    It’s a mighty sad world we’re living in folks…………… please pass me the BARF bag!

  • Betsy

    The man is indeed a monster, however, there was no stampede of quality doctors, nurses, etc., rushing to practice at 38th and Lancaster. Sadly, when you are poor, sick, and desperate any doctor, even a repulsive creep like Gosnell, will do. He will get his punishment, but there won’t be a line to take his place to serve that community.

    • Joe bob

      Unfortunatley this is true. Women will always find a way to get abortions.

  • Clarke Aniol

    shame on HLN this should be shown to the world but the woman were poor and know money in it for them

  • Tony Irwin

    Interesting that President Obama’s Sandy Hook Rock Tour goes on and on, pleading to not let the memory die & advocating restriction of the 2nd Amendment for law-abiding gun owners. Yet nary a peep from him or his peeps about horrendous death rate in Chicago or in this doctor’s office. Quite selective. How come? Are white kids in suburbia more important than predominantly black kids in his hometown or offices of doctors sworn to the Hippocratic oath? For a guy who continues to lecture us about doing the ‘fair’ thing, how is this fair, much less right? Please explain.

  • Joe bob

    These witnesses are just as demented as he is. How could you slit a live baby’s throat and think of them as a “specimen?” I don’t care what that mad scientist told you. You are a human being before you are an employee.

  • Gerhard Dyck

    how can we call america christian when we do this?

  • Tasha

    He should suffer and so should those abortion having whores.Why in the world would you wait until youre so far along to end the babys life?A bunch of fkng selfish losers.Bastard doctor and hoes.

  • Barbara Ann

    This dude is one sick man! I think his punishment should be the same as he imposed on those little babies. Poke a hole in the back of his neck with scissors and suction his brains out until his head collapses

  • bro

    We need to give more donations to Planned Parenthood.

  • Danielle Mason

    I would just like to thank Steve Volk for writing this article without any bias towards the situation. It’s a terrible situation and if I were reporting I would have no problem stating my opinion but for journalistic purposes, opinion is not often necessary. Thanks for telling the news! You seem like a very qualified journalist.