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article imagePennsylvania abortion doctor sentenced to life

By Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi     May 14, 2013 in Crime
Philadelphia - Updated on 5-17-13, 3:10 a.m., EDT
Kermit Gosnell, 72, a Philadelphia abortion doctor, was found guilty of first-degree murder. On Wednesday, he was given a third life sentence for killing a baby he described as so big it could "walk to the bus."
He was also sentenced to double life without parole on Tuesday in exchange for a deal with prosecutors that spared his life, after a guilty verdict for murdering two other infants at the Women's Medical Society, which he owned and operated. The "rogue" clinic had not been inspected since 1993.
Gosnell was acquitted on a fourth first-degree murder charge for what he referred to as "snipping" the spinal cords of infants born live after failed abortions but was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who died of an anesthesia overdose while undergoing a second trimester abortion.
Under Pennsylvania law, Gosnell could have been executed. The sentencing phase of the trial was scheduled for May 21, and prosecutors planned to seek the death penalty, per a CBSnews.com report.
Authorities said the infants were live and viable since the failed abortions occurred during the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy. Gosnell's former staff, eight of whom are charged with third-degree murder, testified that he used scissors to sever the spinal cords the babies.
Earlier Tuesday, the jury sent the presiding judge, Jeffrey Mineheart, a note stating they were hung on two of more than 200 counts of violations against a Pennsylvania law mandating that a woman wait 24 hours before having an abortion, per Mercurynews.com. Each count had to be weighed separately.
The judge responded they should continue deliberating and try to reach a unanimous verdict, according to Fox News. He also acknowledged the case was a difficult one. Seven women and five men comprise the jury which has deliberated on the case since April 30. The trial concluded its ninth week today.
Investigators referred to the Gosnell clinic as a foul-smelling “house of horrors” with blood-stained equipment, animal fecal matter and refrigerator freezers stuffed with aborted fetuses.
Pro-life advocates said the trial exposed the truth about abortion, while pro-choice supporters said it showed why safe abortion clinics should be available to all women.
David O'Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee reportedly said he hopes states outlaw abortions, "once the unborn child can feel pain.
President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Ilyse G. Hogue said
, " . . . now let's make sure these women are vindicaed by delivering what all women deserve: access to the full range of health services including safe, high-quality and legal abortion care."
During the trial, anti-abortion groups said the media was not providing coverage, because the trial showed the horrors of abortion. Mainstream media denied this, but reporters were sent to the courtroom after the accusations.
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