A timeline of events in the case against Dr. Kermit Gosnell.
Feb. 18, 2010: Agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency and detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office execute search warrants at the Women’s Medical Society.
Jan. 14, 2011: After interviewing 58 witnesses, the Philadelphia D.A.’s Office publishes a 281-page grand jury report detailing graphic allegations against Kermit Gosnell.
Feb. 9, 2011: Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes rules that the grand jury report is sufficient evidence to obviate a preliminary hearing. She also comments that given the packed courtroom and extra security, the court had to be “practically shut down” to accommodate the case.
Feb. 15, 2011: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announces sweeping changes, including the firing or resignation of seven state employees. “This doesn’t even rise to the level of government run amok,” said Corbett. “It was government not running at all.”
April 26, 2011: Gosnell is “arraigned on an amended federal indictment charging him and three employees with selling prescriptions for almost a million pills containing the narcotic painkiller Oxycodone.”
September 2011: Judge Benjamin Lerner rules that Gosnell’s employees will have to stand trial with him so that victims do not have to testify twice.
April 2011: Gag order imposed on Gosnell case.
June 19, 2012: Act 122, which requires abortion clinics in Pennsylvania to adhere to the same standards as ambulatory surgical facilities, goes into effect.
March 18, 2013: The Gosnell trial begins.
April 15, 2013: “A cadre of national reporters trooped into Judge Jeffrey Minehart’s courtroom,” Karen Heller reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Then the bombs exploded in Boston. By Tuesday, the out-of-town reporters were almost all gone, the story a one-day wonder.”
April 19, 2013: The prosecution rests. An anti-abortion rights group, the Susan B. Anthony List, says activists will now also leverage the Gosnell case to galvanize passage of “fetal pain” laws in addition to Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws.
April 23, 2013: Judge Minehart throws out three of the seven first-degree murder charges against Gosnell, as well as five counts of corpse abuse and one count of infanticide. The remaining four first-degree murder charges could still result in the death penalty.
While reproductive healthcare is embraced as a religious issue on the right and ignored by too many men on the left, actual women—particularly poor ones—get hurt in the shuffle.
Journalist Steve Lopez once wrote that Philadelphia is a city without pretense in a state without shame—and that was long before Harrisburg legislators stooped low enough to exploit murdered babies to push a bill into law that would result in what critics call a “back-door ban” on abortion in Pennsylvania.
Nine months after a grand jury concluded that the number of babies and women who died in Kermit Gosnell's women's health services clinic is “literally incalculable,” a pair of guerilla artists sent out invitations to a renegade art installation titled Regard, to be showcased by lights tonight at the former site.
Under the leadership of 44-year-old Troy Newman, Operation Rescue has become known for zeroing in on defined areas and then pressuring individual clinics and practitioners until operating becomes unreasonable or impossible.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia physician charged with murdering babies for decades, worked uninterrupted in a wide-open darkness of institutional failure. And a year-long investigation reveals how he got away with it for so long.
Last year, in the wake of the arrest of Kermit Gosnell, Operation Rescue came to town. They met in the basement of St. Agnes Church in West Chester. As PW reported in March, the militant anti-abortion organization was there recruiting volunteers to gather doctors’ names and schedules by pretending to be mothers of daughters who were seeking abortions.
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