A baby swims in a toilet, another whines, another retracts its arms and legs after being placed in a shoebox, all right before these babies are killed.
Today the prosecution brought their 36th and final witness to the stand, Women’s Medical Society employee Kareema Cross. Ms. Cross was perhaps the most damaging witness for Gosnell so far. Even Jack McMahon, Gosnell’s defense attorney, who has done a spectacular job at poking holes in the witnesses’ stories and the Commonwealth’s argument, could not get out of this one.
Ms. Cross worked at the Medical Women’s Society from August 2005- December 2009. She became a certified medical assistant in school and was subsequently placed at the Women’s Medical Society for work by the school. Once she started working, Gosnell began teaching her certain medical procedures outside of what she learned in school such as taking ultrasounds and administering anesthetics.
Eventually her hours grew longer and she would work later nights injecting medications while Gosnell was not yet there and assisting during procedures when Gosnell did arrive. She would inject the “proper” amounts of each medication by reading charts that specified how much of what comprises of each of the sedation levels. Pretty much all of the staff would mix the medications and sedate patients in this way, despite not being certified to do so. The clinic had no monitoring equipment to monitor patients once they were sedated.
Once the baby precipitates, meaning the baby is exiting the mother, she would call Gosnell on the phone and he would come and do his thing…
Ms. Cross said she would often perform an ultrasound and determine that a baby is over the 24.5 week limit. (The limit is really 24 but Gosnell told her it was 24.5). Gosnell later would perform the ultrasound and determine the same baby is under 24.5 weeks.
Ms. Cross said she has seen at least 10 babies precipitate and breath before Gosnell snipped the back of their necks. She told several specific stories. Once, a mother gave birth in the toilet. She saw the baby “swimming” in the toilet. Another employee cut the back of the baby’s neck, Gosnell arrived and measured the foot to determine age, all while the mother was still on the toilet.
Another baby, Baby B, was so big, Ms. Cross heard Gosnell say, “he could walk me to the bus stop.” This baby was placed in a shoebox. He was so big his arms and legs hung over the shoebox and then, Cross saw him retract all four limbs towards his body into the shoebox. Gosnell took this baby into another room and snipped the back of the neck. This all happened while the mother was sleeping. Cross, so disturbed by this, took a picture of this baby. This picture was displayed on a screen for the jury to see during her testimony.
She told more specific stories. She heard at least one baby “whine” before that baby’s neck was cut.
She also talked about general horrors of the clinic. Employees were supposed to document in a logbook each time they medicated a patient, how many doses, and how much was given. This logbook was often not used, so in essence, employees often did not know how much medication a woman has been given. Also she testified that Gosnell never followed the 24-hour wait period before a patient’s initial visit and the abortion, as required by state law. Finally she testified that Gosnell treated white patients or wealthier patients much better than minority patients. White or wealthier patients had a different room and he spent more time catering to them.
She talked about the general filth of the place. In October 2008, Ms. Cross took pictures of the clinic. These pictures were shown to the jury. There was a picture of the cat in the clinic, which roamed everywhere, even in the procedures rooms. There was a picture of blood stains, a sink piled up with trays and other instruments. There was a picture of one of the procedure rooms, the Monet room, and its bloody table and footrest. There was a picture of a filthy, old ultrasound machine. Finally, there were a couple of pictures of the infamous baby feet in jars which were kept in a cabinet.
Finally, Ms. Cross said that when she needed to have her own procedure done, she went to another doctor because she so distrusted the care she would receive at Women’s Medical Society.
Ms. Cross described what you would think could only happen in a horror movie. The defense fumbled and just could not get around what she said. It was a smart move on the part of the prosecution to save this witness for last. Next week the defense will start questioning their witnesses. Let’s hope the jury does not forget the devastating images and stories from Ms. Kareema Cross.