Two female workers at an abortion clinic in Philadelphia have pleaded guilty to third-degree murders on Thursday, in a case that stunned the nation.
A shocking report that was released in January exposed Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who ran the business with his wife and nine employees, to have been performing illegal abortions amidst deplorable conditions at the clinic.
Seven late-term babies were found dead with scissors having been stabbed into their necks, severing their spinal cords.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who announced the charges earlier this year, dubbed the clinic a "house of horrors.”
Sherry West admitted to performing abortions on unborn babies over 24-weeks-old, as well as delivering drugs that caused the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a Bhutanese patient. Fifty-two-year-old West, who has hepatitis C, has also been accused of exposing patients to her disease without taking any precautions.
Andrea Moton, who was charged with assisting in the gruesome abortions, pleaded guilty to her involvement in the death of one baby.
Neither of the workers had any formal training for their positions, or held any license. Among the charges, the women were also accused of tampering with evidence, murder conspiracy and taking part in a corrupt organization.
The untrained staff worked full-time and were paid between $8 and $10 an hour. They performed ultrasound tests, administered anesthesia, monitored the condition of patients and assisted in other duties which require trained and experienced staff.
Gosnell, 70, has also been charged with a botched operation that killed a patient back in 2009, and with the deaths of the seven babies killed with scissors. The doctor is facing a trial but has denied the allegations.
Some staff members claimed they had repeatedly warned Gosnell that West and other workers who were later charged were untrained and were performing “sloppy” work, but no efforts were made to improve the conditions inside the clinic.