Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Monday, May 2, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Nation and World
Grand jury report likens Gosnell's clinic to a 'baby charnel house'
Catholic News Service photo
Dr. Kermit Barron Gosnell is pictured in an undated mug shot from the Philadelphia Police Department. Gosnell is on trial in Philadelphia and has been charged with murder and other offenses related to illegal, late-term abortions.
Catholic News Service photo
Dr. Kermit Barron Gosnell is pictured in an undated mug shot from the Philadelphia Police Department. Gosnell is on trial in Philadelphia and has been charged with murder and other offenses related to illegal, late-term abortions.

Catholic News Service


WASHINGTON — When a team of health officials and investigators looking into illegal drug use raided Dr. Kermit Barron Gosnell's Women's Medical Society Feb. 18, 2010, they happened upon what many are calling a "house of horrors."

"There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs," said a grand jury report about the conditions found in the clinic Gosnell ran in West Philadelphia.

The two surgical rooms resembled a "bad gas station restroom," according to Agent Stephen Dougherty of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. The team went on to recover the remains of 45 fetuses "in bags, milk jugs, orange juice cartons, and even in cat-food containers," the report explained.

Three days later, the Pennsylvania Department of Health suspended Gosnell's license. He was arrested in January 2011 and charged with seven counts of infanticide and one count of murder in the case of a Nepalese woman who died during an abortion.

Gosnell's trial on those charges began March 18 of this year. By the fifth week, beginning April 15, prosecutors were continuing to call witnesses, including several patients and several former employees, who testified about the squalid conditions they saw at the clinic. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Gosnell.

Several pro-life leaders in interviews with Catholic News Service or in statements emailed to CNS discussed the Gosnell case and the attention it brings to what they said are deplorable conditions all too common at abortion clinics.

It was a "meat-market-style of assembly lines of abortions," Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the Susan B. Anthony List, said April 15, referencing the words of two nurses who recently left a Delaware clinic for similar reasons. "The Gosnell case is a lot more common than people realize," Quigley said.

Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life Education & Defense Fund, said that "Americans as a whole think that abortion clinics are sanitary decent clinics," but the "majority of abortion clinics in our country are held to very minimal standards: legally the same standards as beauty parlors and vet clinics."

According to Pennsylvania Department of Health spokeswoman Kait Gillis, because of "tougher regulation and new leadership, today, abortion facilities are being held accountable to higher standards to better protect the health and safety of women."

"We have a far deeper understanding of these facilities now than we did then (when Gosnell's abuses were uncovered) and conduct regular annual and unannounced inspections, not only because the law tells us to, but because we are committed to doing what is right," she said.

While Pennsylvania's Abortion Control Act prohibits some forms of abortion, not all clinics performing ambulatory surgical procedures at the time of Gosnell's arrest in 2011 were subject to the same standards of care for women.

The state's Abortion Facilities Control Act that came into effect late that year now holds abortion clinics to the same standards of health and safety as other outpatient clinics, such as eye care or urgent care facilities.

"Prior to the passage of this legislation, it was clear that the law favored the abortion industry -- not women's health, as is so often claimed," the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference said in a statement on the law.

State law requires that abortions be done under 24 weeks of pregnancy because of the risks to the mother, but the grand jury report showed Gosnell routinely flouted that law. "The bigger the baby, the more he charged," it said.

He is accused of sticking a pair of medical scissors into the back of the necks of prematurely born babies and cutting the spinal cord, a procedure he called "snipping." Court records show he destroyed most of the documentation on his use of "snipping," but pictures taken by employees and other evidence are being used by prosecutors.

"Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it," the report explained. The clinic went unchecked by the Department of Health for 16 years until its horrors were accidentally uncovered by the drug raid.

Several employees face similar charges. The grand jury report said Gosnell hired untrained, uncertified nurses, and taught them to view ultrasound pictures at an angle so that unborn babies to be aborted looked smaller than they actually were. It also said Gosnell and his wife performed late-term abortions on Sundays when no other staff was present.

In an April 16 statement Dayle Steinberg, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, said that Gosnell "is a criminal who preyed upon vulnerable women, and committed illegal acts."

"As health care providers who work every day to protect women's health and safety, we are outraged by his criminal behavior and hope he is held accountable," she continued. "All health care providers must be regulated, and these regulations should be based on health care needs -- not on politics.

"Planned Parenthood insists on the highest standards of patient care and has rigorous safety guidelines in place," Steinberg added.

Lila Rose, president of Live Action, told CNS in an emailed statement that "as long as these clinics enjoy such privileges -- privileges no health department would ever grant to any hospital -- we will never know how many Kermit Gosnells are out there. And every time we find the next one, it will be too late."

Rose, a 24-year-old Catholic convert, officially became involved with the abortion cause at 15 when she founded Live Action, a pro-life nonprofit specializing in investigative journalism. Since then she has received national recognition for her hidden-camera exposes of the Planned Parenthood abortion industry, which she calls "reckless (and) unregulated."

Kristan Hawkins, executive director Students for Life of America, said that "just because abortion is legal doesn't make it safe."

Said Quigley, "Abortion doesn't help women." She explained that the pro-life movement operates more than 3,000 pregnancy resource centers for mothers and families in need, offering them assistance so they do not feel abortion is their only alternative.

"Those are the places we need to be building up," she said, noting that more than 90 percent of the funding for such centers is private.

While Monahan acknowledged the Gosnell case is a somewhat extreme case, she said that it highlights the violence of the abortion procedure, which she describes as being "deeply invasive" to the woman. She said it also shines a light on what she termed is the sad reality of the abortion business.

"There is no constitutional right to maim and kill women and girls nationwide," said Kristi Hamrick, spokeswoman for Americans United for Life. "One woman's death is too many. ... The mere existence of protective laws is not enough. State officials must also consistently enforce these laws."





Advanced Search













Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved