Published April 15, 2013
The Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of killing a patient and several babies failed to take basic precautions, according to an industry colleague who testified Monday as the trial of Kermit Gosnell entered its fifth week.
Dr. Charles Benjamin said he never performs abortions on women pregnant for more than 21 weeks, three weeks under the limit imposed by law in Pennsylvania. But Gosnell, who is charged with murder, is accused of terminating pregnancies much later, even causing the deaths of seven babies who were born alive. National interest in the trial, which threatens to expose the horror of the illegal abortion mills, continued to build Monday, with President Obama’s spokesman saying the commander in chief is aware of the stomach-turning allegations in the trial.
Gosnell, 72, was arrested two years ago, and faces the death penalty. Witnesses have told the court of infants being decapitated and baby feet being stored in jars at the clinic. Eight former workers at the clinic have been charged, and three have pleaded guilty to third-degree murder. Defense lawyer Jack McMahon has maintained that no babies were born alive.
Several patients and former employees have testified about conditions at Gosnell's clinic, some describing doing ultrasounds, giving intravenous drugs and helping with abortions despite having no training.
Prosecutors said Gosnell made millions over three decades by performing illegal, late-term abortions. They allegedly found about $250,000 in cash at his home in a low-income section of Philadelphia after a 2010 raid of his clinic.