Though Karen Feisullin has been a doctor since 2002, the yellowing ultrasound machine taken three years ago from the West Philadelphia abortion clinic of Kermit Gosnell was like nothing she had ever encountered.

"I've never seen anything this old - this is an old machine," Feisullin, an obstetrician-gynecologist, told Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron.

Cameron called Feisullin as the prosecution's first witness Tuesday in Gosnell's murder trial, now in its third week before a Common Pleas Court jury.

Feisullin did not testify as an expert. Rather, she compared the practice of modern obstetrics as she knows it - including abortions - with what prosecutors allege happened for 31 years at Gosnell's Women's Medical Society at 3801 Lancaster Ave.

Feisullin gave the jury a crash course in women's anatomy, conception, and birth, and why abortions are sometimes performed to terminate fetuses with physical defects or to protect the mother's life.

Feisullin commented on practices at Gosnell's clinic, testifying that:

There was no medical reason for Gosnell's practice of cutting and storing the feet from aborted fetuses.

Late-term abortions - those close to the 24-week gestational age after which abortion is illegal in Pennsylvania - are rare in her experience and, in those cases, the fetus is injected with potassium chloride to stop the heart before the procedure begins.

Babies are almost never born alive in late-term abortions and, when they are, they are provided "comfort care" until they die. Feisullin said she never heard of any other physician snipping with scissors the spinal cords of babies born alive and viable.

No medical procedure involving general anesthesia should be performed without an anesthesiologist and a nurse-anesthetist.

Defense attorney Jack McMahon questioned Feisullin for almost two hours, showing her consent forms and other documents from Gosnell patients to show the 72-year-old physician followed the state's abortion law.

The forms showed that the Gosnell patients got counseling, had to wait 24 hours before the abortion was performed, and consented to the type of abortion technique to be used.

Feisullin agreed with McMahon's conclusions based on the document.

The defense lawyer then walked back to the table and his client, but not before Feisullin asked: "Are we going to talk about how they're all over 24 weeks?"

McMahon told her she was not allowed to ask questions.

Gosnell is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in the killing of seven infants born alive and viable during illegal late-term abortions.

He is also charged with third-degree murder in the Nov. 19, 2009, death of a Virginia woman, Karnamaya Mongar, 41, during an abortion procedure. Prosecutors allege that Mongar died because she was administered too much anesthesia by Gosnell's untrained staff and went into cardiac arrest.

McMahon has argued that none of the seven infants was born alive. He has maintained that Mongar - an immigrant from Bhutan who spoke no English - did not tell Gosnell of respiratory problems that could have left her vulnerable.

Also on trial is Eileen O'Neill, a medical school graduate who worked as a doctor at Gosnell's clinic without a medical license. O'Neill is not charged with performing abortions but with participating in a "corrupt organization."

Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985, jslobodzian@phillynews.com, or @joeslobo on Twitter.