Alleged Victim Calls Philadelphia Abortion Doc Kermit Gosnell a 'Monster'

Woman says Gosnell told her,"This is the same care I would give my daughter."

January 21, 2011, 12:42 PM

Jan. 25, 2011 — -- When Robyn Reid heard that abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, had been charged with killing viable babies with scissors and giving a woman a lethal dose of painkillers, she felt sick.

"I didn't know that he was such a monster doing this to everyone," Reid said. "I didn't think it'd happened to somebody else. I thought it was just me."

Gosnell, 69, and nine employees from his West Philadelphia Women's Medical Society were arrested Jan. 19 and charged with several offenses. Gosnell was charged with eight counts of murder for allegedly killing babies born alive and giving a lethal dose of Demerol to a woman.

Gosnell "induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord," Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has said.

For 13 years, Reid said that she lived with the horror of Jan. 31, 1998. Then 15 and three months pregnant, she said that her grandmother took her to Gosnell's clinic.

"I'll never forget that triangle-shaped building," Reid said. "There was a woman coming out of the building and she looked dazed and confused. No one was helping her. It was scary to me as a child. I remember looking at the lady thinking, 'Is this what I'm going to look like?'"

Reid said she planned to tell Gosnell that she didn't want the abortion and was going to sneak out of the clinic.

"When I said no, the doctor got upset and he ended up taking my clothes off, hitting me, my legs were tied to the stirrups," Reid said.

The 87-pound teen struggled with the man for 30 minutes, fighting him alone in the room, she said.

Gosnell's chilling defense of his alleged behavior haunts Reid. She said that he repeatedly told her, "This is the same care that I would give to my own daughter."

"I was fully dressed. He actually managed to get all of my clothes off and tie me down to the medical bed," she said. "I just remember my very last thought ... looking up at the light and thinking, 'Don't fall asleep.'"

Alleged Victim of Abortion Doc: 'What if I Had Died?'

Reid said that she fell asleep for 12 hours and never gained consciousness at the clinic. She said her mother and aunt carried her to the car and later to her aunt's home, where it would be hours before she awakened.

According to the grand jury report, in the cases for which he has been charged, Gosnell allegedly prepared a list of preset dosage levels to be administered in his absence. But no allowances were made for individual patient variations or for any monitoring of vital signs.

"What would you give somebody that small that would knock me out for 12 hours? What if I had died?" Reid asked.

Nicole Gaither, 38, was five months pregnant when she said she visited Gosnell in 2001 . Her cousin and others that she knew had used the clinic.

Since it was Gaither's first and only abortion, she didn't know what to expect.

Following the abortion, Gaither said that she was in excruciating pain.

"When I finally went back to work I could barely sit down at the stool," Gaither said. "The pain started to get worse."

Gaither returned to Gosnell. He did an ultrasound and told her that he had left fetal remains in her, Gaither said.

Without any anesthesia, Gaither said that Gosnell sucked the fetal remains out of her.

"I was just laying on the table and crying and I just asked the Lord to get me through it," Gaither said.

Gaither said that Gosnell told her to "stand up, you aren't in that much pain."

Gaither and Reid never filed suit against Gosnell, but prosecutors from the District Attorney's office said that at least 46 civil lawsuits have been filed against Gosnell in the past.

Since the arraignment of Gosnell and members of his staff, they've received several calls from women claiming to be victims, District Attorney Christine Wechsler said.

"Phones are ringing off the hook. There are scores of women," Wechsler said.

Wechsler said that the claims of Reid and Gaither sound very similar to the behavior documented in the grand jury report and in the phone calls they've received since late last week.

Gosnell is being held without bail. Gosnell's lawyer at the beginning of the investigation recently removed himself from the case.

Prosecutor: Abortion Doc's Clinic A 'Baby Charnel House'

It is unknown at this time if Gosnell has acquired another attorney.

When the investigation began last year, Gosnell spoke to the Philadelphia Daily News. He said, "I feel in the long term, I will be vindicated."

Prosecutors allege that Gosnell didn't just kill babies, but he was also a "deadly threat" to mothers, according to the grand jury report.

On Nov. 20, 2009, Karnamay Mongar died after an alleged overdose of Demerol prescribed by Gosnell, said Williams, the district attorney.

Mongar was a refugee from Nepal. After signing paperwork that she couldn't read, Gosnell's staff began doping her waiting for Gosnell to arrive to perform the abortion, according to the grand jury report.

By the time Gosnell arrived, Mongar had stopped breathing. The abortion doctor attempted to perform CPR. His clinic's defibrilator was broken, according to the grand jury report.

The paramedics were called, but Gosnell and his team lied about how much Demerol they had given her and she died the next day, according to the grand jury report.

Williams said that Mongar was one of many patients victimized by Gosnell.

"There were scores more. At least one other mother died following an abortion in which Gosnell punctured her uterus and then sent her home. He left an arm and a leg of a partially aborted fetus in the womb of another woman, and then told her he did not need to see her when she became sick days later, having developed a temperature of 106degrees. He perforated bowels, cervixes, and uteruses. He left women sterile," Williams said in the grand jury report.

Williams said that the death of Mongar should have been a red flag for oversight committees to investigate Gosnell's clinic.

"Pennsylvania is not a third-world country. There were several oversight agencies that stumbled upon and should have shut down Kermit Gosnell long ago. But none of them did, not even after Karnamaya Mongar's death," Williams said.

Police officers went to investigate complaints about illegal prescription selling at the clinic last year and stumbled upon what the prosecutor called a "house of horrors" and a "baby charnel house." The clinic was shut down and Gosnell's medical license was suspended after the raid.

Gosnell catered to minorities, immigrants and poor women, and made millions of dollars over 30 years performing illegal and late-term abortions in squalid and barbaric conditions, prosecutors said.

The clinic reeked of animal urine. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood, and instruments were not properly sterilized, according to the grand jury report.

"There were bags, and bottles holding aborted fetuses were scattered throughout the building," Williams said. "There were jars lining shelves with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose."

Prosecutors say that none of Gosnell's staff were licensed nurses or doctors and that a 15-year-old student performed anesthesia with potentially lethal narcotics.

According to the grand jury report, Gosnell catered to women who were too late in their pregnancies to get legal abortions elsewhere. Most doctors refuse to perform abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy because of the risks involved.

Abortions after the 24th week are illegal. However, Gosnell allegedly aborted and killed babies in the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy and charged more for bigger babies.

Women paid $325 for first-trimester abortions and $1,600 to $3,000 for abortions up to 30 weeks. The clinic took in up to $15,000 a day, authorities said.

Gosnell took extra precautions with white women from the suburbs, according to the grand jury report. He allegedly ushered them into a slightly cleaner area because he thought they would be more likely to file a complaint.

The abortions of the biggest babies allegedly were scheduled for Sundays, when the clinic was closed. The only person allowed to assist with such cases was Gosnell's wife, Williams said. Pearl Gosnell, the doctor's wife, was one of the nine employees charged with Gosnell. She has not obtained a lawyer. Gosnell allegedly took home the files for those patients and disposed of them.

Reid, now 28, says that she never went back to Gosnell after the abortion. She said that for five years, she thought about the incident every day.

"For years, I felt like my life was ruined from the event and the doctor," Reid said. "I used to think about committing suicide."

Today, Reid has a college degree and has moved past the incident.

"Seeing him finally be caught is also a relief because finally, people see what really happened to me," Reid said. "I do hope he gets the death penalty."

Linsey Davis and Seniboye Tienabeso contributed to this report.

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