House of Horror

More than 200 pages describe the infanticide, drug violations, illegal late-term abortions, racketeering and other offenses of a Philadelphia abortionist. The grand jury report, released just last week, resulted in locking up Kermit Gosnell without bail.

For decades, this sleazy opportunist murdered beautiful, fully-formed babies – some born alive, even crying and photographed – in his dirty and decaying, yet legal back-alley abortion mill. And it was no secret. Patients, family members and even employees took numerous complaints to officials. But the babies kept dying, the mothers kept turning up in local emergency rooms—even dead, and the abortion mill kept operating.

The Gosnell investigation began almost by accident. State officials conducted a raid in February 2010, not prompted by the growing stack of abortion-related complaints, but rather a suspicion that Gosnell was selling pain prescriptions for cold, hard cash. Once inside, they found a far graver situation.

The Gosnell investigation began almost by accident. State officials conducted a raid in February 2010, not prompted by the growing stack of abortion-related complaints, but rather a suspicion that Gosnell was selling pain prescriptions for cold, hard cash. Once inside, they found a far graver situation.

News reports only touch on what investigators uncovered that day: dozens of dead babies, their remains haphazardly stored in milk jugs, juice cartons and piles of bags. Severed baby feet displayed inside glass jars. Pools of blood on the floor. Rusty instruments. The emergency exit padlocked shut. A “sedation cocktail” chart drawn by a teenage employee – the same teen left alone to administer medication to women sitting on toilets, their babies literally falling out of them. Toilets that even the janitor refused to unclog. Seeing the carnage was too disgusting, he said.

We now know that Gosnell’s patients increasingly came for illegal late-term abortions. Doped up and induced into labor, women well past 20 weeks pregnant delivered living, breathing babies. Gosnell ended their lives by plunging a pair of scissors into their necks and severing their spinal cords. Gosnell’s house of horrors could and should have been shut down years ago.

• Had the State Health Department not let 15 years go by without inspecting abortion facilities, officials would have known unlicensed staff members were medicating women solely based on ability to pay. Gosnell’s own admissions of conducting illegal late-term abortions were blatantly recorded in patient files, too. But the politics of a pro-abortion governor put an end to inspections. Abortion mills got a free pass.

• Had the Department of State paid attention to a steady stream of complaints, Gosnell’s license would have been revoked long ago. In fact, 10 years ago, a former employee “laid out the whole scope of his operation.” Others came forward, too. Family members physically prevented from calling for help. Women with perforated uteruses and bowels. A patient’s death that Gosnell hushed with a nearly million-dollar settlement. Oddly, the department deemed none serious enough to warrant further action. • Had the National Abortion Federation sounded the alarm after personally visiting the site, women they claimed to protect would not have been lying on rusty stretchers, bodies bleeding and broken. It was the worst facility the NAF representative had ever seen. NAF’s mission is “to ensure safe, legal and acceptable abortion care.” Yet she told no one.

• Had the Philadelphia Department of Public Health reported what its employees observed and enforced its own regulations, Gosnell’s filth and fraud might have stopped sooner. The city knew aborted babies were stored in the refrigerator alongside employee lunches. They knew Gosnell had no medical waste plan. They knew he defied local health regulations. But years passed with no action.

• Had a local hospital disclosed complications suffered at Gosnell’s hands, the word may have gotten out sooner. Gosnell’s patients rushed to emergency rooms with slashed intestines, some even unconscious with fetal remains still inside. Even though legally required, the hospital that treated them failed to report all but one of Gosnell’s butchery. They covered for a colleague. We’ll never know what might have been. We don’t even know how many died or suffered inside the Gosnell mill. But the grand jury investigation recognizes the harshest truth: that these babies had but a “few moments of life spent in excruciating pain” in the hands of a sadistic abortionist.

With photographs and testimony from 58 witnesses, the full report is almost too much to stomach. So many knew so much and yet did nothing. Please don’t do the same. Don’t let this story stay hidden any longer. Go to the link above and read the summarized Overview at the beginning of the Grand Jury Report. Then share what you know with others. Bog, text, email and post on twitter and Facebook. Appalled by Gosnell’s brutality, Americans have been confronted with an important reality: killing inside the womb is as grievous as killing outside the womb. That’s a conversation we all need to have.

Bradley Mattes
President, Life Issues Institute

Life Issues Institute is dedicated to changing hearts and minds of millions of people through education. For 25 years, organizations and individuals around the world have depended upon Life Issues Institute to provide the latest information and effective tools to protect innocent human life from womb to tomb.

Life Issues Institute welcomes comments relevant to columns that are civil, concise, and respectful of other contributors. We do not publish comments with links to other websites or other online material.