April 23, 2013

Judge rejects three charges against Pennsylvania abortion doctor

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Karnamaya Mongar is shown with her husband, whose first name was not given. Mongar, 41, died after seeking an abortion and is the subject of one murder count in the ongoing Philadelphia trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

AP Photo/Philadelphia District Attorney

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Dr. Kermit Gosnell

2011 AP file photo/Philadelphia Daily News/Yong Kim

McMahon has accused officials of "a targeted, elitist and racist prosecution" and "a prosecutorial lynching" of his client, who is black, and of applying "Mayo Clinic" standards to Gosnell's inner-city, cash-only clinic. He said Gosnell performed as many as 1,000 abortions per year, and at least 16,000 over his long career, with a lower-than-average complication rate.

THE TRIAL

After about a week of jury selection, seven woman and five men were chosen along with six alternate jurors. The trial began March 18 and is expected to last about two months.

Gosnell's former employees have testified that they were just doing what their boss trained them to do and described long, chaotic days performing gruesome work for little more than minimum wage paid under the table. An assistant testified she snipped the spines of at least 10 babies at Gosnell's direction, sobbing as she recalled taking a cellphone photograph of one baby she thought could have survived, given his size and pinkish color.

Mongar's 24-year-old daughter testified about the labor-inducing drugs and painkillers her mother was given as she waited hours for Gosnell to arrive for the procedure. She said her mother was later taken to a hospital, only after firefighters struggled to cut bolts off a side door of the clinic, but she died the next day.

Prosecutors wrapped up their five-week case with a former worker at Gosnell's clinic who testified that she saw more than 10 babies breathing before they were killed. The defense was slated to begin presenting its case Monday but Gosnell's attorney told the judge he was sick and went to a hospital for tests.

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