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Priests for Life National Director -- what I witnessed in courtroom at Kermit Gosnell trial

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March 8, 2010: In this photo, Dr. Kermit Gosnell is seen during an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News at his attorney's office in Philadelphia.AP/Philadelphia Daily News

I spent the day today in Philadelphia at the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

The prosecution in the Gosnell murder trial seems to be nearing the conclusion of its work. A small courtroom, able to hold about 70 people, but mostly empty throughout the day, was the site today of this ongoing trial that looks and sounds like something out of Nuremburg.

Gosnell sat there -- just a few yards away from me -- with a great deal of composure during the whole thing, sometimes smiling, sometimes whispering to his attorney, sometimes taking notes.

Just in front of the witness stand were various silent witnesses, namely, various instruments from Gosnell’s clinic. I saw the suction machine, and the plastic cannulae (which were a stained orange color). Likewise an ancient looking ultrasound machine was there, again with stains on it -- one of those things that looks like a dinosaur computer that might be in an old closet in your garage.

The morning was taken up with the tearful testimony (spoken through a translator) of the daughter of Karnamaya Mongar, one of Gosnell’s murder victims. She described how her mom was given medication by the staff, began to experience pain and drowsiness, and was eventually taken away by ambulance. Interestingly, she got to Gosnell’s mill via three other facilities -- two in Virginia and one in DC -- all of whom said they could not do the abortion on her.

In the afternoon, one of the witnesses was a man employed by Gosnell and who had various cleaning responsibilities in the facility, including taking care of clogged pipes and toilets. He testified that at one point, when using a plunger to unclog the drain, body parts -- particularly little arms -- came up out of the waste.

Later, an employee of the state testified about how, in making an official visit to Gosnell’s facility, found vaccinations that had expired.

As I said, the courtroom was mostly empty. I was there with a couple of other pro-life leaders, and various reporters. At one point during the morning, a high school class from a local girls’ school came in to watch the proceedings. One of the girls later was asking why it would take so much time and effort to convict this man…. Wasn’t the wrong that he did obvious?

We shall see.

Father Frank Pavone is National Director of Priests for Life and Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. He is president of the National Pro-life Religious Council and Pastoral Director for Rachel's Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels throughout the country, to an average of four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion.