NBC10 Philadelphia - Daralene Jones
A former employee of Dr. Kermit Gosnell takes the stand and gives a graphic testimony of what went on at the West Philadelphia abortion clinic. NBC10's Daralene Jones reports.
The prosecution put its last witness on the stand today in the "House of Horrors" abortion clinic trial, wrapping up five weeks of testimony with some of the most graphic and disturbing details.
Kareema Cross described babies being born alive, watching them breath, watching their limbs move and even watching one struggle after being aborted into toilet water. Another baby she said uttered a "soft whine."
She testified that at one time, co-worker Lynda Williams called her over and Williams pulled the arm of a baby and watched it pull its arm back. Cross said the "fully intact" baby's neck was snipped about 20 minutes later.
Cross told jurors that she also witnessed a baby being aborted into a toilet at the clinic and recalled seeing it "swimming...trying to get out of the water." She described one baby, "Baby A" as the largest baby she saw at the clinic and testified that her boss, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, joked about how the baby was big enough to walk home. She said "Baby A" was placed in a plastic container and that she saw him moving his arms and legs to fit himself into the box. Gosnell eventually snipped Baby A's neck, Cross said.
The 28-year-old woman is the last former employee to testify against her boss. Dr. Gosnell, who ran the Women's Medical Society in West Philadelphia. Gosnell is being tried on eight murder charges. He's accused of first-degree murder for the deaths of seven babies and third-degree murder for the death of a patient who died after Gosnell performed her abortion.
Prosecutors are also trying to prove that Gosnell performed illegal, late-term abortions on women who were more than 24 weeks pregnant, which is the legal limit in Pennsylvania. She said Gosnell told her the legal limit was 24.5 weeks, but that he would still perform procedures on women past that point in their pregnancies.
Cross worked at the clinic for four years. She started in 2005 with a Medical Assistant's degree from Cittone Institute. Her job evolved with the same progress as other former employees who started work with limited or no experience. Cross began at the front desk, she checked patients' vitals and did some minor blood work. She was later taught by Gosnell and his staff to perform ultrasounds and give medication to women.
Cross said at one point during her tenure at the clinic, she needed an abortion but went somewhere else to have the procedure performed because of the filthy conditions at 3801 Lancaster Avenue.
"I just couldn't do it," she said.