Philadelphia doctor charged in abortion-related slayings

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 31, 2011

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A Philadelphia physician killed seven babies with scissors after delivering them and one abortion patient who went into cardiac arrest because of an analgesic overdose, prosecutors charged in January.

Kermit Gosnell, MD, faces charges of murder, performing illegal late-term abortions and violating the Controlled Substances Act.

Dr. Gosnell made a practice of performing abortions after 24 weeks' gestation, which is illegal in Pennsylvania, delivering babies live and then killing them by cutting their spinal cords with scissors, according to the charges filed by prosecutors (link).

Authorities said nine employees were indicted on charges that included murder, racketeering and conspiracy in helping Dr. Gosnell carry out his alleged crimes at the Women's Medical Society clinic he operated.

Dr. Gosnell, 69, employed staff with no formal medical training to administer drugs to induce labor, according to the charges. He also was charged with abuse of corpses for storing dead babies, aborted fetuses and severed babies' feet in plastic jugs and glass jars, prosecutors said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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