Kermit Gosnell faces eight counts of murder, one related to the death of a patient and the others to those of seven viable babies who were delivered alive during late-term abortions and whose spines allegedly were severed with scissors by Gosnell or one of his staffers.
Here's an update of his case:
* Gosnell and nine of his former staffers/co-defendants, including his wife, Pearl, face a preliminary hearing Feb. 9 - Gosnell's 70th birthday. Four of his former staffers are also charged with murder.
* Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams yesterday appeared on WHYY-FM's "Radio Times" with Marty Moss-Coane to talk about his office's blistering 261-page grand-jury report, released last week.
Williams accused Gosnell of "running for profit a house of horrors," and said he also "ran the largest pill mill in Philadelphia" at his Women's Medical Society clinic, at 38th Street and Lancaster Avenue, in Powelton Village.
Besides facing third-degree murder charges in relation to the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, Gosnell is accused of first-degree murder in the seven baby deaths.
The children were "born alive, external to mother, breathing, crying, crawling in some cases," Williams said. Then, "the staff, at the direction of the doctor," or Gosnell himself, killed them by "stabbing scissors into the base of the neck of the child, and severing - a term he called 'snipping' - severing the spinal cord," the D.A. said.
* An "appalled" Gov. Corbett last week asked his nominees for secretary of Health, Eli Avila, and secretary of the Commonwealth, Carol Aichele, to conduct thorough reviews of their departments and to report back to him with new policies/procedures.
Spokeswoman Janet Kelley said yesterday that the two department heads were working on their plans of action, which could be ready next week.
* State Sen. Patricia Vance, R-Cumberland and York, chairwoman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee, and Sen. Robert Tomlinson, R-Bucks, chairman of the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee, are to hold a legislative hearing on the abortion-clinic-regulation issue as early as next month, Vance said yesterday.
Vance also said she would be introducing a bill to increase oversight of abortion clinics, including making it a statutory requirement to register and inspect clinics.
* State Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre County, Appropriations Committee chairman, is expected to introduce a bill in the "next week or two" requiring yearly inspections and licensure of abortion clinics, his legislative director, Scott Sikorski, said yesterday.
- Julie Shaw