Saturday, December 27, 2014

Antiabortion group seeks new probe of doctor

An antiabortion group yesterday urged the Philadelphia district attorney to investigate whether disgraced abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell violated a law that requires physicians to report suspected child abuse.

In a letter to District Attorney Seth Williams, the Pro-Life Union of Southeastern Pennsylvania also questioned whether Gosnell failed to submit fetal remains of second-trimester abortions for a pathologist's examination, as required by state law.

Gosnell's medical license was temporarily suspended Feb. 22, the day his West Philadelphia clinic was raided and shut down. He has not returned calls requesting comment, but he told Fox29 News that he had done his "very best to provide good care."

Williams "is actively investigating" Gosnell and therefore cannot comment on the case, his spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson said yesterday.

"We welcome an investigation, and I just hope it's fair and thorough," said Michael J. McMonagle, public affairs director of the Pro-Life Union.

The license-suspension order, issued by the state Board of Medicine, cited "deplorable and unsanitary" conditions at the clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave., including bloody floors and fetal body parts in jars.

McMonagle also pointed to public records that show Gosnell paid $10,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the parents of a minor who did not consent to her abortion, as required by state law.

Those records, McMonagle said, suggest that Gosnell did not report pregnancies in girls under 16 to child-welfare authorities. The reports are mandated because such pregnancies can be considered evidence of rape or statutory rape.

Gosnell has not been formally charged by any agency, but he is under investigation by federal authorities for possible illegal distribution of prescription painkillers. The medical board has alleged that one of Gosnell's workers was practicing medicine without a license, and that a patient died in November after receiving repeated doses of prescription painkillers from the worker.

Since 1981, Gosnell has been sued 46 times, including 10 malpractice suits. In one case, the patient died.


Contact staff writer Marie McCullough at 215-854-2720 or mmccullough@phillynews.com.

Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected