Some stories just slip through the cracks. Although it’s been almost three years in the works, the story of (ex) Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion clinic, The Women’s Medical Society, has just now been brought to our attention (and horror).
The details are tragic and not for the faint-hearted. I sifted through the 280+ pages of the Grand Jury report, compiled by the courts, and I am still reeling. The gruesome details include:
- Free-roaming and flea-infested cats, complete with feces and urine
- Dirty and blood-soaked furniture
- Un-sanitized instruments and filthy surgical conditions
- The frozen remains of dozens of aborted fetuses
- Reports of rampant racial discrimination and patient abuse
- An unlicensed staff, without proper medical training
- Late term abortions, often resulting in the birth of viable infants
The clinic turned into a strictly profit-driven business. Women were charged more costly fees as their pregnancies progressed past the late term abortion cut-off and if they wanted adequate anesthesia. The clinic turned into a prescription mill, offering blank prescriptions for a price, which alerted authorities to the case. What they found, as a consequence of their 2010 drug raid, was so much more than prescription drug hustling…
The media has largely ignored the story, until now. The virtual radio silence brings up issues on both sides of the great abortion debate, with both sides citing the case as a worst-case-nightmare-scenario. There have been claims of a great media cover-up conspiracy, rooted in fear mongering and racism.
What we are left with is a story of rampant greed, corruption and victimization. Conservative pro-lifers cite the case as a perfect example of the horrors of abortion. Pro-choice supporters look at the case as the tragic result of limiting women’s options so severely that an exploitable market arises.
The case is entering the third week of trial. Gosnell, charged with eight counts of murder, is facing the death penalty. A documentary, based on the horrors found at 3801 Lancaster Street is already available.
Images via: Washingtonpost.com, businessinsider.com, theatlantic.com
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.