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April 12th, 2013
07:30 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Doctor’s 'House of Horrors'

We’re Keeping Them Honest tonight with a report on an abortion doctor on trial in Philadelphia on eight counts of murder. That’s for the deaths of seven babies and one 41-year-old woman seeking an abortion, who allegedly died after receiving too much anesthesia.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is accused of performing illegal abortions past the 24-week limit allowed by law. According to the grand jury report, Gosnell “regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns.”

In January 2011, shortly after Gosnell was charged, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams told CNN, "It was a house of horrors beyond any type of definition or explanation I can humbly try to give.”

Keeping Them Honest, the question is how did these alleged practices go on with no one stopping it? Tonight you’ll see how the grand jury laid out several oversight failures over two decades.

One glaring example in its report details a former employee of Gosnell who filed a complaint with the State Board of Medicine and exposed “the whole scope of his operation: the unclean, unsterile conditions; the unlicensed workers; the unsupervised sedations; the underage abortion patients; even the over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street.”

It turns out in 2010, the FBI raided Gosnell’s facility after reports that painkillers were being improperly distributed. But what they allegedly found was much more gruesome.

Several clinic employees have already pleaded guilty to charges. Gosnell insists he’s innocent. His fate will be decided by a jury. If convicted, prosecutors say they’ll seek the death penalty.

Tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET, we’ll talk about this case with CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, David Altrogge, writer and director of 3801 Lancaster, a documentary about the clinic and Joseph Slobodzian, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer who’s been in court covering the trial.

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Filed under: Abortion • Crime & Punishment
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Brian Case

    What's interesting is that this story doesn't mention the gruesome methods used to murder the live born children. It doesn't mention anything that would damage the abortion rights agenda. The press is absolutely fielding cover on this story. Get ahold of the real information and you will see much more about what is really going on all over America.

    April 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  2. Leslie B.

    Anderson – Thank your for this report. Please keep on top of this and make sure it continues to get the publicity it deserves. If anyone had been doing this to kittens, people would have shut the place down years ago.

    April 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  3. Steve M

    Everyone in the country should be shocked and stunned by this case. There is no background or political view that can defend the practices this man appears to have done. This is straight up dehumanization. He used and abused everyone for his own gain. This is what evil really looks like no matter what your source of values.

    April 14, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  4. Denise R

    What's amazing is that this trial started March 18 and it's just now coming to a tv station near you! Regardless of if your pro life or pro choice; if you are a human, a person who has one ounce of compassion running through you, one iota of common decency; you should be outraged that this is happening and it is something that is swept under the rug. You want more gun control against the lunatics out there and yet here is a man murdering babies and it's not that important. This should have been reported the second the man was arrested!

    April 14, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  5. Nichole

    Thank you, CNN, (and Anderson Cooper!) for being one of the first major news networks to report on this horrific story- but please don't let it end here! This is not an isolated incident- the Kermit Gosnell's of the world need to be identified and stopped- your continued coverage could mean thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands...) of lives saved and an awareness brought to a horrific holocaust going on right under our noses. Be the voice for those who cannot speak and of those who were and still are being so brutally silenced.

    April 13, 2013 at 3:30 am |
  6. Woody Pfister

    I hope Anderson Cooper and CNN follow up on Mr. Cooper's statement in this segment that Pennsylvania authorities who had, or should have had evidence of the horrors occuring at this clinic need to be investigated,

    April 13, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  7. Tracey Knight

    This story is horrific , the most highly disregard for human life . Accountability by that state government should be enforced . Regardless, whether or not how the patients paid for healthcare service @ that clinic or any clinic . Everyone deserve the right to treated with the best of care . The State Of Philadelphia should of did investigations on all reports they received prior to the raid by FBI . Hospitals and Clinics are suppose to go through annual inspections . The State dropped the ball too ! It is very easy to just point the finger @ the doctor & staff . Which is clearly GUILTY ! But all of the above is responsible ! For this doctor to get away with this type of sickening behavior for over two decades. There's no way that someone wasn't getting paid under the table, and palms greased . And it's a matter of time, All who was doing dirt in the dark . Sooner or later the light will shine on them . And no telling how many women were subjected to those conditions & horrifying services . From in the state and other states . No one has the right to play devil advocate to others life . Regardless of their beliefs and opinions . I pray for all the women and underage girls who went and still go through clinics like this . Cause no one knows the lifelong mental/physical affects it will have on them .

    April 12, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  8. Amy in LA

    Dig deeper Anderson.
    I think you will find a major social issue. Incest and rape of poor underage girls who have no other options and no voice. Not saying this is right, but clearly there is a demand for this service despite deplorable conditions and risks. Keep the baby and she will be a teenage mom on welfare for the rest of her life. Color is a variable, but there are poor white families too, who would be referred to this house of torture.

    April 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
  9. B. Maguire

    "A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope"
    Pope John Paul ll

    April 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • J. Knight

      and Mother Teresa said something along the same lines. I know they are in Heaven. How can people do and allow things like this to happen?

      April 12, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Leslie B.

      How can we be surprised by the level of violence in our society – from children to adults – when we tell them that they aren't worth anything from the moment they are conceived? Now we have more people acknowledging that babies aren't worth anything after they are *born* if the parents don't want them.

      April 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • MiMi

      Yes, and I fear it is too late for us.

      April 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  10. Kalowena Komeiji

    This is an especially disturbing story. However, I suppose it shouldn't come as a complete surprise. When you look at the daily news reports regarding Philadelphia (especially to those of us who live far outside of that city and state), you have to wonder whether government officials in Philadelphia do any work given the high incidence of violent crimes and murder there. The citizens of Philadelphia need to demand accountability and transformation from their elected officials.

    April 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |