ERROL CASTENS: Gosnell: A well-protected monster

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

As of this writing, the jury is still out on whether Kermit Gosnell is a murderer, but he is a monster. And the system has protected him.
Gosnell has been on trial since March in the City of Brotherly Love, charged with murder of four babies born alive and of a woman whose “care” was botched beyond belief.
Here’s how the grand jury’s 281-page report about his abattoir opens:
“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. … [H]e regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. [His] medical practice … was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.”
Gosnell’s clinic was not inspected by state agencies for 15 years.
Even clear alarms were ignored.
One physician filed a complaint – which went ignored – after several patients he referred to Gosnell ended up with the same venereal disease. When that same physician became a public health official, he let Gosnell’s butchery continue.
A National Abortion Federation inspector rejected Gosnell’s application, noting filthy conditions, lack of patient monitoring, anesthesia abuse, broken equipment, etc., but she never reported the horrific conditions and practices to authorities.
Philadelphia Daily News reporter Morgan Zalot wrote that Planned Parenthood’s regional head admitted getting complaints from Gosnell’s former patients and encouraging the women to report their observations. But Planned Parenthood, which claims to care deeply about women’s health, never alerted authorities.
Gosnell’s house of horrors was ignored – to protect abortion’s public image – despite clear misogyny, classism and black-on-black racism.
“We think the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion,” the grand jury said.
J.D. Mullane of photographed rows of empty media seats at the trial. Major media showed up – reluctantly and sporadically – only after being shamed into doing so.
I can’t tell nearly all you need to know about Kermit Gosnell and his protectors in a 16-inch column. But in case you haven’t heard about him before, at least it’s a start.
Contact Daily Journal Oxford-area reporter ERROL CASTENS at

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