Coverage of the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell

Wife of Abortion Doc Pleads Guilty

Pearl Gosnell admits to performing illegal late-term abortions, and other charges

By Teresa Masterson
|  Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013  |  Updated 3:35 PM EDT
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D.A. on What Went Wrong to Allow "Horrific" Clinic to Stay Open

NBC Philadelphia

Pearl Gosnell, the wife of Kermit Gosnell, and pleaded guilty to performing illegal abortions at the clinic.

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The wife of the West Philly abortion doctor who has been charged with murdering a woman and several babies has pleaded guilty to charges that include performing illegal abortions.

Because of spousal privilege, the woman behind Kermit Gosnell won’t have to testify against the doctor whose favorite method of abortion was allegedly delivering babies and snapping their breathing necks with surgical scissors. But she may have to do time.

Pearl Gosnell, 50, pleaded guilty to performing abortion after 24 weeks, conspiracy, criminal conspiracy and corrupt organization, according to the District Attorney’s office.

According to the grand jury report released last January, Pearl worked at Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors,” the Women’s Medical Society, as a full-time medical assistant from 1982 until she married Kermit Gosnell in 1990. After that she assisted her husband on Sundays, when the clinic was normally closed, to perform extremely late-term abortions, the grand jury reported.

Pearl testified to the grand jury that she alone assisted on Sundays, and that her role was to “help do the instruments” in the procedure room and to monitor patients in the recovery room. Another employee testified that Pearl assisted with late-term abortions “on Sundays or days we were closed [to] do special cases.”

Pearl Gosnell has no medical license, according to the grand jury report. She is licensed in cosmetology.

Pearl Gosnell is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 15.

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