Suspended Pa. abortion doctor had 2 patients die

by Joann Loviglio


Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s license was temporarily suspended this week after investigators found blood on the floor, fetus parts in jars and a recovery area consisting of recliners.

Gosnell, 69, is named in nearly four dozen lawsuits going back 20 years. Ten are malpractice suits, including one by the family of a young woman who died after a March 2000 abortion at his West Philadelphia clinic.

Semika Shirelle Shaw called the office the day after her abortion because she was bleeding badly but wasn’t told to get checked there or at a hospital, according to court documents. The lawsuit alleged that Shaw, a 22-year-old mother of two, died two days later of a perforated uterus and sepsis.

The attorney who represented Shaw’s family, Samuel J. Pace Jr., said neither he nor they could discuss the case because of a confidentiality agreement included in the settlement reached about two years after Shaw’s death.

In the order suspending Gosnell’s medical license, state officials cited the case of a woman who died Nov. 20 after being given two rounds of painkillers followed by additional medication just before an abortion was performed.

The woman, who was not identified in the Pennsylvania Department of State document, was identified by The Philadelphia Inquirer as 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar. Her brother, Dambher Ghalley, told the paper the facility was “dirty, bloody” and that his sister died after being rushed to a hospital.

A telephone message left Wednesday by The Associated Press at Ghalley’s home in Virginia was not immediately returned.

No criminal charges have been filed against Gosnell. His number is unlisted and calls to the clinic have gone unanswered.

Gosnell, who has been licensed as a physician and surgeon in Pennsylvania since 1967, was labeled by state authorities as “an immediate and clear danger to the public” and his clinic was described as “deplorable and unsanitary.”

Regulators said unlicensed employees were left alone to administer prescription medications and perform gynecological exams during the day, and Gosnell typically did not arrive at the clinic until between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI agents raided Gosnell’s clinic, Women’s Medical Society, last week. Officials from both agencies have declined to comment.

The National Abortion Federation, an accrediting and standard-setting body for abortion providers, said the Women’s Medical Society wasn’t accredited.

“There are places that operate in low-income areas and prey on low-income women, students, immigrant populations who may not even know that abortion is legal in this country,” said Vicki Saporta, the group’s president. “Women need to know that there’s no reason, no matter their socioeconomic status, for them not to have access to the highest quality care.”

In a statement, Operation Rescue President Troy Newman called the clinic “no better than a back alley abortion mill and in fact may be worse.”