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What I Saw at the Gosnell Trial

pavone-trialI spent the day yesterday 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 yesterday 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.


Fr. Frank Pavone is the National Director of Priests for Life.
  • Noel Fitzpatrick

    Has Dr Gosnell been convicted of murder, as implied in this article?

    In Ireland, as I have written before, there is the presumption of
    innocence, and one is innocent until proved guilty. In the US I had thought
    that the same applied.

    I note that the Sixth Amendment requires juries to be
    impartial. Impartiality has been interpreted as requiring individual jurors to
    be unbiased. I hope this applies for Dr Gosnell and that he
    will have a fair trial

  • Noel Fitzpatrick

    Was anyone else as appalled and disgusted with this article
    as I was?

    I read “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?” Is Fr Pavone suggesting that trials might be replaced
    with the views of school children? I hope it was explained to the child that one is entitled to judgement by one’s peers.

    I am also horrified that children should have been
    subjected to such appalling accusations.
    I wonder did the parents of the children know what the children were doing? Did their teachers? There was huge irresponsibility and callous disregard for children to subject them to such mental abuse.

    Is it fair to have children hearing “that at one point, when
    using a plunger to unclog the drain, body parts – particularly little arms –
    came up out of the waste”?

    • Anne Gomes

      Yes, we have the presumption of innocence. Dr Gosnell has admitted killing theses babies but doesn’t see anything wrong with it. In the US these girls could get an abortion without parental consent, so, no, I have no problem with them hearing the testimony. I’ve found that the most squeamish are usually those most committed to abortion rights. From the inside I can tell you there is nothing neat, clean or wholesome about it. About time people are told what’s really going on.

  • Noel Fitzpatrick

    Anne,
    many thanks for your reply to me. I appreciate your balanced and thoughtful opinions.

    In Ireland we differ from the US, but both countries believe in the right to a fair trial.

    We disagree with exposing children to horrible experiences, but these disagreements are healthy and constructive. I consider bringing children to the trial was an abuse of the children.

    • Anne Gomes

      High school ages are from 14 to 18. As I said, they can get an abortion by walking into a clinic. Even though the girls may have been sexually exploited. As a nurse, I say, it is time to be honest about what happens. Children should be protected. High school students aren’t considered children any more, unfortunately.