May 14, 2013

Pennsylvania abortion doctor gets life in prison

By Maryclaire Dale / The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Dr. Kermit Gosnell is escorted to a waiting police van upon leaving the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia on Monday after being convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies and a women at his clinic.

The Associated Press

Supporters of legalized abortion said the case offered a preview of what poor, desperate young women could face if abortion is driven underground with more restrictive laws.

"Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty and will get what he deserves. Now, let's make sure these women are vindicated by delivering what all women deserve: access to the full range of health services including safe, high-quality and legal abortion care," said Ilyse G. Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

During the trial, Gosnell proved a solitary figure from beginning to end, with no friends or relatives in the courtroom, despite the fact he's been married three times and has six children, nearly all of them adults.

Gosnell did not testify, and called no witnesses in his defense. But McMahon branded prosecutors "elitist" and "racist" for pursuing his client, who is black and whose patients were mostly poor minorities.

"I wanted to be an effective, positive force in the minority community," Gosnell told The Philadelphia Daily News in a 2010 interview. "I believe in the long term I will be vindicated."

Gosnell was also convicted of infanticide, racketeering and more than 200 counts of violating Pennsylvania's abortion laws by performing third-term abortions or failing to counsel women 24 hours in advance.

The defense also contended that the 2009 death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar of Woodbridge, Va., a Bhutanese immigrant who had been given repeated doses of Demerol and other powerful drugs to sedate her and induce labor, was caused by unforeseen complications and did not amount to murder, as prosecutors charged.

Bernard Smalley, a lawyer for the woman's family, said he now hopes to bring "some sense of justice and quiet to this family that's been through so much."

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