August 15, 2012 — Prosecutors in the case of a Philadelphia abortion provider who is charged with killing a patient and seven infants want to introduce evidence showing that breaking the law was "standard operating procedure" for him, the AP/USA Today reports.
Kermit Gosnell, 71, is charged in the death of a 41-year-old woman after an alleged overdose of drugs during an illegal abortion procedure and in the deaths of seven infants after they were born alive. Nine other clinic workers have been charged, and several have pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for their roles. Gosnell could face the death penalty if convicted.
Gosnell also faces a second trial on federal drug charges. The prosecutors in the murder trial want the jury to hear evidence from that case that Gosnell ran a so-called "pill mill" to distribute illicit prescriptions and let unskilled employees practice medicine, according to AP/USA Today.
A hearing on the evidence issue is schedule for Oct. 29. However, Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Minehart on Monday asked attorneys to resolve as much as they can through negotiations, given the complex nature of the case (Dale, AP/USA Today, 8/13).
Since Gosnell was indicted last year, Pennsylvania enacted a new law requiring abortion clinics to comply with the same requirements as ambulatory surgical facilities, including building standards, staff credentialing, quality assurance plans and more.
Proponents of the law said it was in response to the Gosnell case. Opponents have said the case is a result of the state not enforcing existing rules and that the new regulations are unnecessary (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/19).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership