In 2011, Kermit Barron Gosnell, alongside various co-defendant employees, was charged with eight counts of murder resulting in part from gross medical malpractice in treatment of patients at his clinics, as well as several lesser offenses. The murder charges related to a patient who died while under his care and seven newborns said to have been killed after being born alive during attempted abortions.
"Among the relatively few cases that could be specifically documented, one was Baby Boy A. His 17-year-old mother was almost 30 weeks pregnant – seven and a half months – when labor was induced. An employee estimated his birth weight as approaching six pounds. He was breathing and moving when Dr. Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal."
As was his wont, Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell would try to lighten the mood with a bit joking. Boy A was, he said, "big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop."
Dr. Gosnell was the operator of an abortion mill – this was no clinic – located in West Philadelphia called the "Women's Medical Society" and set up in 1972. He was a product of the local neighborhood, and he had spent almost four decades running his establishment – "giving back" to the community he grew up in.
Of course, he had a peculiar form of charity: "Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure." Gosnell's mill was known for its willingness to carry out late-term abortions – the illegal practice (in Pennsylvania) of killing a child after the initial 24 weeks of pregnancy.
In May 2013, he was convicted on three of the murder charges and chose to waive his right of appeal in exchange for an agreement not to seek the death penalty.