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Jurors Deliberating Controversial PA Abortion Case

By: CBS
By: CBS

The fate of a veteran Philadelphia abortion provider is now in the hands of a jury.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell faces the death penalty if convicted of murdering four babies who were born alive at his clinic.

Jurors have begun deliberating the charges against abortion provider Kermit Gosnell.

The 72 year old doctor could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering four babies allegedly born alive at his Philadelphia clinic.

Prosecutors say he would cut their spinal cords to ensure their deaths.

Gosnell is also accused of killing a patient, Karnamaya Mongar, during a botched procedure in 2009.

Gosnell’s lawyers say her death was a tragic accident and the babies were stillborn. They say his now-shuttered clinic served desperate women in the poor community.

Besides murder, jurors also have to consider a host of other charges against Gosnell including performing illegal, late-term abortions, and performing abortions without following the 24-hour waiting period.

Cheryl Sullenger of the Pro-Life group Operation Rescue says, “There's going to be convictions in this case, in my opinion. Whether the first and 3rd degree charges will hold is anybody's guess.”

Sullenger has followed the trial closely. She says clinics like Gosnell’s are common. “We’ve seen many many clinics like Gosnell’s around the country as far as the filthy conditions, the unlicensed workers, the unqualified staff.” She adds.

Eight former employees including Gosnell’s wife have already pleaded guilty in connection with the case.

Abortion rights supporters say it highlights the need for safe and legal abortions.

The jury is also considering theft and racketeering charges against Gosnell’s co-defendant, 57 year old unlicensed doctor Eileen O’Neill.


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