3 murder charges against Pa. abortion doc tossed

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm •  Published: April 23, 2013
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Despite that, the workers testified that they had never seen a woman go into distress before Mongar. Yet a 2011 grand jury report alleges that dozens of women were injured at Gosnell's clinic over the past 30 years. Some left with torn wombs or bowels, some with venereal disease contracted through the reuse of non-sterilized equipment, and some left with fetal remains still inside them, the report alleged. And the report blamed Gosnell for an earlier maternal death that was not charged.

Cameron, in defending the Mongar charge, said it stemmed from the circumstances at Gosnell's clinic. They included the repeated medication dosages given by medical assistants; the doctor's absence during most of her two-day visit; and the hour it took to open a locked side door and take her by stretcher to an ambulance.

The defense motions to dismiss the various counts Tuesday offered a preview of closing arguments, which could come within the next week, especially if Gosnell chooses not to testify. A gag order prevents lawyers from disclosing their strategy.

A string of character witnesses testified Tuesday afternoon for Gosnell's co-defendant, Eileen O'Neill. She is charged with three counts of theft for practicing medicine without a license. Minehart dismissed six additional counts of that charge Tuesday.

Eight other former co-workers, including Gosnell's wife, Pearl, have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from third-degree murder to racketeering to performing illegal, late-term abortions.

Minehart upheld charges that Gosnell violated Pennsylvania's abortion laws by performing abortions after 24 weeks and failing to counsel women 24 hours before the procedure.

Gosnell had also been charged with five counts of abuse of a corpse, for removing the feet from aborted fetuses and storing them in specimen jars. McMahon argued that his client did so to keep DNA samples, and Minehart agreed to dismiss those counts.