PHILADELPHIA — Former employees of a run-down West Philadelphia abortion clinic described a chaotic and horrific workplace under the direction of a 72-year-old doctor who is facing capital murder charges in the deaths of a patient and seven babies allegedly born alive.
In testimony during the past month at the capital murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, eight former employees said they performed grueling, often gruesome work for little more than minimum wage, paid by Gosnell under the table. Three have pleaded guilty to third-degree murder.
Gosnell, once a gifted student in his working-class black neighborhood, had put his medical degree to work as a 1970s-era champion of drug treatment and legal abortions. But 30 years later, conditions inside his bustling clinic and his old neighborhood had deteriorated, according to trial testimony.
“Gosnell recklessly cut corners, allowed patients to choose their medication based on ability to pay, and provided abysmal care — all to maximize his profit,” prosecutors wrote in the 2011 grand jury report. “He was not serving his community. Gosnell ran a criminal enterprise, motivated by greed.”