Warning: Story contains graphic references
Two women who were employees of an abortion clinic called the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder on Thursday. One woman was involved in the deaths of babies who were both alive and then killed when their necks were cut with scissors, and the other, in the death of a woman who overdosed on pain medication.
The clinic was operated by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who along with his wife and nine other employees, were charged earlier this year of performing illegal, late-term abortions and killing babies by cutting their spinal cords with scissors. Gosnell is denying the allegations and is being held on $2 million bail.
Sherry West, 52, entered a guilty plea in the February 2009 death of Karnamya Mongar, an immigrant who was 19 weeks pregnant. It is believed that West administered a portion of the fatal dose that killed Mongar since she was the only employee to accompany Mongar to the hospital as she was dying.
“The evidence presented to the grand jury established that Karnamaya Mongar died of cardiac arrest because she was overdosed with Demerol,” the grand jury wrote.
The grand jury report also said that Mongar, who had come to the United States only four months prior, overdosed on sedatives and lost consciousness, spending more than three hours in a recovery room before an ambulance was called. Once paramedics arrived, it took them 20 minutes to move through cluttered hallways and cut through a padlocked emergency door.
West was hired by Gosnell after she was dismissed from the Philadelphia VA Medical Center “after being diagnosed with hepatitis C,” said the grand jury’s 260-page investigative report.
Adrienne Moton, 34, meanwhile, pleaded guilty in the stabbing death of one baby after she pulled it from a toilet and cut the baby’s throat.
Neither West nor Morton was licensed or trained to perform any type of medical work in a medical clinic.
Prosecutors have described the clinics conditions as “decrepit and unsanitary.” Due to a court-issued gag order, attorneys for the defendants have declined to comment. Seth Williams, the Philadelphia District Attorney, called the clinic a “house of horrors,” at a January press conference when he announced the charges.
“Many women who find themselves with an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy don’t realize the options they have,” said Sue Parker, CEO of Life Choices of Memphis in an interview with The Christian Post. Abortion is a traumatic experience to a young woman. We’re constantly hearing stories of young women having to endure a botched pregnancy.”
“One of the big things for us is giving women the truth about abortions and to allow them to make an informed decision about the life they are carrying,” said Parker.
Seven more defendants, including Gosnell are facing charges in the case. When the indictments against Gosnell were handed down in January, the grand jury said Gosnell and his staff “killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.”
Judge Benjamin Lerner has set sentencing for December. The maximum sentence for Moton’s offenses is 120 years and 140 years for West’s.