The Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of the grisly murders of at least seven babies and one woman has cast a long shadow into Wilmington.


The Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of the grisly murders of at least seven babies and one woman has cast a long shadow into Wilmington.

The Philadelphia district attorney charged Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D. with killing seven infants born alive after late term abortions as well one woman who overdosed from anesthesia administered for a late term abortion. The district attorney’s report to the grand jury also mentions the death of another woman under Gosnell’s care.

Gosnell’s work in Delaware was confirmed in the grand jury report, which stated that he had worked once a week at the Atlantic Women’s Medical Services clinic in Wilmington. Atlantic also operates a clinic in Dover.

In response to the district attorney’s recommendation, the National Abortion Federation has suspended the membership of Atlantic Women’s Medical Services and its affiliated clinics in Baton Rouge, La., pending the outcome of current criminal investigations. The Executive Committee of NAF’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to immediately suspend the clinics at its Friday, Jan. 28 meeting, NAF President Vicki Saporta said.

“As a result of this suspension, we will no longer be referring patients to these facilities,” Saporta said.

The suspension does not mean the clinic has to close or stop offering client services.
Staff members at the Atlantic Women’s Medical Services Wilmington office declined to comment on the implications of the suspension as well as Gosnell’s exact role with the clinic. The woman who answered the phone Monday also declined to say whether the clinic was even open and operating as usual. She referred questions to Philadelphia attorney Nino Tinari.

Tinari was unavailable for comment Monday. His secretary indicated he would be available at the end of the week, once he had a chance to meet with his client.

The Delaware Department of State’s Division of Professional Regulation oversees healthcare and other professionals including doctors and nurses, Department of State Spokesman Christopher R. Portante said. In addition to licensing professionals, the Division investigates complaints against those licensees.

Gosnell obtained his Delaware license to practice medicine April 12, 1994, Portante said. But the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline suspended Gosnell’s medical license and registration for controlled substances on March 3, 2010 for violating state law.

The state Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health has no regulatory authority over abortion clinics, spokeswoman Heidi Truschel-Light said. But the agency would refer complaints to the appropriate agencies and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, she said.

Gosnell is the subject of a wide-ranging investigation involving the Delaware Department of Justice and law enforcement and regulatory authorities in Delaware, Department of Justice spokesman Jason P. Miller said.

The Delaware Right to Life organization had called for a widespread investigation into abortion clinics throughout the state in light of Gosnell’s connection to Wilmington.

Delaware Right to Life President Nicole Collins called on Attorney General Joseph R. “Beau” Biden to help fulfill the 2006 campaign promise he made to protect Delaware’s young. Collins made the request during a rally held Thursday, Jan. 27 in front of the Lancaster Avenue clinic.

“Now is the time to fulfill that promise,” she said. “If Mr. Biden is serious about cracking down on crime in Delaware, there’s no better place to start right here…in the building behind me.”

Miller said the investigation is in its early stages.

“We have also met with authorities who conducted the Pennsylvania investigation,” Miller said. “Delaware agencies are working together to determine whether any of Delaware's regulations affecting medical professionals or criminal laws were violated."

The Delaware Family Policy Council commended Biden’s office Monday for the investigation, but also called on U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III to investigate Leroy Brinkley, the owner of both the Delaware and Louisiana clinics.

On Jan. 19, Philadelphia authorities arrested Gosnell and charged him with third degree murder in the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar and with the murder of seven viable infants who were born alive. The grisly details of the Gosnell case were laid out in Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams’ report to a grand jury.

“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women,” Williams said in the grand jury report. “…He regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.

“The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths,” he said on page one of the report. “Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.”

In addition to Gosnell, police also arrested his wife and eight employees. Gosnell and his wife remain in custody without bail.