Coverage of the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell

Gosnell Abortion Worker: It Would Rain Fetuses

Unlicensed doctor testifies about deliveries at Dr. Gosnell's abortion clinic

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    In this undated photo provided by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, shows a procedure room at the Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia. Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who catered to minorities, immigrants and poor women at the Women's Medical Society, was charged Wednesday Jan. 19, 2011, with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Philadelphia District Attorney)

    An unlicensed medical school graduate delivered graphic testimony about the chaos at a Philadelphia clinic where he helped perform late-term abortions.

    Stephen Massof described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, "literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body." He testified that at times, when women were given medicine to speed up their deliveries, "it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place."

    Massof, of Pittsburgh, is in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree murder in the deaths of two newborns.

    He is now testifying against his former boss, abortion provider Kermit Gosnell.

    The 72-year-old Gosnell is charged with killing a woman patient and seven babies.

    Massof testified that his medical degree came from Granada in the West Indies and that he never  completed a medical residency before he began working for Gosnell in the summer of 2003. He initially shadowed Gosnell and within two months, Massof said he was performing gynecological exams on his own and prescribed medication to patients using a pre-signed prescription pad given to him by Gosnell.

    By law in Pennsylvania, after a woman's initial visit with an abortion provider, a woman must wait at least 24 hours and receive counseling before having the procedure. It is also illegal for doctors to perform abortions after a pregnancy has reached 24 weeks, unless the mother's life is at risk.

    Massof testified that he was involved in late-term abortion procedures at the clinic. He said the most extreme case that he witnessed was an abortion at 26 weeks.

    Massof performed ultrasounds and admitted that the clinic's ultrasound machine was manipulated to make fetuses appear smaller and therefore younger.

    Massof says Gosnell was often at his Delaware clinic while he oversaw women going through labor and even delivery. He says some patients were highly sedated or even unconscious, but were not monitored by any medical equipment.

    Defense Attorneyt Jack McMahone questioned Massof over conflicting statement, including a report from Massof saying that no late-term abortions occurred at the clinic.

    The trial resumes on Monday with more witnesses for the prosecution. Gosnell faces the death penalty if convicted of killing seven late-term babies after they were born alive.