Abortion provider won't testify, call witnesses

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm •  Published: April 24, 2013
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Minehart on Tuesday also threw out three of the original seven murder charges involving babies, apparently concluding that the prosecution had not presented enough evidence for the jury to find they were viable, born alive and then killed.

"There is not one piece — not one — of objective, scientific evidence that anyone was born alive," defense lawyer Jack McMahon argued Tuesday, in what is likely a preview of his closing arguments.

McMahon did most of his work by grilling prosecution witnesses, including former clinic workers. Although several said they had seen babies born alive, McMahon suggested the brief movements or breaths they saw were actually involuntary spasms during the death process. He argued that each of the babies had purportedly moved, breathed or whined just once.

"These are not the movements of a live child," McMahon said Tuesday.

One employee, though, has pleaded guilty to killing a baby that was alive for about 20 minutes.

Expert witness testimony has been another key portion of the case. Prosecutors called neonatologists who estimated that some of the babies were nearly 30 weeks gestation, far past the state's 24-week limit for abortions.

McMahon argued that such dating is imprecise, and that the margin of error is at least two weeks on either side.

The only employee to go on trial with Gosnell, medical school graduate Eileen O'Neill, is charged with theft for allegedly practicing medicine without a license.

Her attorney called a string of witnesses this week, most of whom testified about her character. O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, didn't take the stand.