Kareema Cross worked for West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell for roughly four years, drawing blood, giving medications and working in the procedure room where abortions were performed. But over time she could tell something was wrong. And her conscience drove her into action.
One day, in October 2008, Cross took pictures. She got shots of piles of syringes left lying unpackaged in the open air, awaiting use; of blood-stained leg rests on Gosnell’s gynecological table; of severed baby’s feet, preserved in specimen jars, 50 of them, their tiny toes poking out delicate and recognizeable from the murk of formaldehyde solution. This was her second photo session. In her first, conducted that July, she took photos of a dead baby boy she had seen, just minutes earlier, born alive.
Gosnell, Cross testified this morning, killed this baby with his preferred method: jabbing surgical scissors into the soft flesh at the back of his neck, then severing his spine.
The baby was so big, maybe 18 inches long and well past 24 weeks of gestation, that his arms and legs lay draped over the sides of the shoe-box-sized plastic container Gosnell stuck him in. The baby drew his legs and arms together, she says, as if to fit into the box. And, minutes later, she crept over to the box and took a picture. That photo was shown to the jury this morning, depicting the baby after death—limbs drawn together and eyes shut tight.
[UPDATE 5:41 p.m. 4/18/13: This is a version of an earlier post, updated to include the afternoon session of court.]
During testimony, it emerged that Cross eventually took information to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.
The Gosnell clinic was later raided by federal agents investigating Gosnell for overprescribing pain medication.
Defense attorney Jack McMahon questioned Cross for most of the afternoon, probing for inconsistencies. At one point, she said she couldn’t remember if she saw the baby move before or after Gosnell “snipped” his neck. But the Assistant District Attorney led her back through her grand jury testimony, in which she stated she saw the baby breathing for 10 to 20 seconds before Gosnell sliced into his neck with scissors.
“He snipped so many,” she said, explaining her own inconsistency, and why it was hard to keep one baby straight from another.
McMahon also elicited testimony from Cross that her relationship with Gosnell had “deteriorated” over the years, and that he “yelled at her like her father.”
Cross got into a dispute with him over her own pregnancies, one she said she aborted elsewhere because Gosnell’s clinic—the clinic in which she worked—was so “filthy,” and another she embraced.
Gosnell, she said, asked her if she was sure she really wanted to keep the baby, and also questioned how she could work in an abortion clinic while pregnant. “Just because other people aren’t happy about being pregnant doesn’t mean I can’t be happy about mine,” she said.
Cross was on the stand for around four hours total today. At one point, she also testified that she watched another baby be born into a toilet. She said the baby was “swimming, like it was trying to get out” and that another staff member cut its neck with surgical scissors, killing it.
Cross is set to receive probation on a federal drug charge in connection with her role at Gosnell’s clinic. She faces no charges in relation to the abortion practice. Moton pleaded guilty to third degree homicide in exchange for her cooperation with federal and local law enforcement authorities.
The prosecution rested at the end if the day. The defense will begin calling witnesses on Monday.