Gosnell’s Shocking Abortion Murder Case Proves Profound Need For Planned Parenthood

Gosnell and his “clinic:” of horrors

There is a story taking place in Pennsylvania  much like a fictional horror movie you would see, with a murderering, sociopathic doctor who drugs women and butchers babies in a an abortion mill, except this story is real. Kermit Gosnell, a 72-year old doctor, is on trial for the alleged murders of a woman and four babies, who were killed in an abortion clinic containing unlicensed staff administering dangerous drugs in dirty unsanitary facility. This is absolute proof of what can happen when abortions are inaccessible and unaffordable. Though extreme anti-chioce groups and radical Republican lawmakers continue their relentless efforts to defund/shut down licensed abortion clinics, like Planned Parenthood, they are indirectly advocating for cases like this, where illegal abortions are taking place underground and under hellish circumstances.

One of the victims, Karnamaya Mongar was a 41-year old mother of three children. Mongar survived a Bhutan refugee camp for 20 years, only to die months after arriving to the U.S., under the fatal care of Kermit Gosnell. She is said to have been 14-15 weeks pregnant when she was turned down by three clinics before turning, in desperation, to Dr. Gosnell for a two-day abortion procedure. On the first day, she was given labor-inducing drugs and pain killers. The next day after waiting hours for Gosnell to arrive for the procedure, Mongar’s daughter said her mother was in much pain. She was given Demerol, a highly dangerous and less expensive drug, then left unmonitored. Karnaaya Mongar stopped breathing and was already brain-dead when medics arrived. She was rushed to the hospital and died the next day. It was reported the staff tried to rearrange her body before medics arrived to appear she died during the procedure.


More horrifying details are emerging within this trial. Babies, allegedly  born alive, were snipped at the spine with scissors, after being delivered. Gosnell was reported to have even joked  after killing a, what looked to a witness to be a six pound infant, saying, “It could walk me to the bus.” The public Grand Jury Report contains accounts and photos so gruesome and highly disturbing I cannot bring myself to write them here, but it’s all there on record for anyone to read. Fetus body parts were found kept in jars. One witness said she saw one of the babies cry before being murdered. How do we even wrap our head around this? This is not what pro-choice advocates are fighting for. This is what they are fighting against.

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This is the “sterile” environment Gosnell performed his butchery in.

Eight employees involved in the crimes, have pleaded guilty. Gosnell continues to plead not guilty. In Pennsylvania, he could face the death penalty.

Pro-Choice advocates are outraged and stunned by this incredible case. Eric Ferrero, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood Federation said: “We have consistently said that this is a horrifying and outrageous case, that Gosnell ran a criminal enterprise, not a health care facility, and that he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

As a mother and a longtime pro-choice activist, I am sick, angered, and appalled that this could happen in this day and age, and I have to wonder how many more  illegal abortion clinics may be out there. This is why I join with the millions who continue to support and defend organizations like Planned Parenthood, where safe and legal abortions take place in regulated and licensed facilities. Women’s rights organizations, NARALUniteWomen.org, and NFA also fight diligently  for abortion safety under U.S. law. It is hard to believe Gosnell was able to get away such with atrocities for years, while licensed abortion providers were being murdered by extremist groups, at legal health clinics. Planned Parenthood facilities have been bombed, set on fire and vandalized. As recently as three weeks ago, a man axed his way into a Planned Parenthood building and vandalized it.

Perhaps the Gosnell case will bring more understanding to the importance of keeping abortion legal. And how about we start with free and accessible birth control, which leads to fewer unintended pregnancies and thus, fewer abortions; ultimately leading to less chances of a monsters like Gosnell being to get away with murder.

“If These Walls Could Talk,” is a movie starring pro-choice activist actors including, Demi Moore, Cher, and Sissy Spacek playing the parts of three different women who live in the same house at different times; 1952, 1974 and 1996. The trilogy shows what each woman had to endure  after realizing an unintended pregnancy, with on woman, a nurse, so desperate, after being unable to obtain an affordable abortion (they were illegal) she opted like many others in her day, to perform an abortion on herself, with a knitting needle. And like many she died a horrible death. This true-to-life movie will shock and remind most of why we fight so hard for to keep abortion safe, affordable, accessible and legal. Sadly today, regardless of how the Gosnell case, turns out, it is proof  –our fight is far from over.

(The author, Leslie Salzillo, is a pro-choice activist, political commentator, diarist and visual artist. Salzillo began contributing to AddictingInfo.org in March of 2013. The story is also posted in Daily Kos)