CITY PROSECUTORS rested their case against abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell on Thursday after calling to the witness stand a former employee who said she saw the doctor and his employees kill babies that were born alive.
Kareema Cross, 28, said she was so appalled by Gosnell's ghoulish practices and the rundown condition of his West Philadelphia clinic that she began taking pictures of the facility and eventually reported him to the federal authorities.
The former medical assistant spoke of patients being overmedicated by untrained personnel, of dirty instruments being used during abortion procedures, of how routine, illegal late-term abortions were performed and of moving and breathing babies being delivered and having their necks cut by Gosnell and other clinic employees.
"I remember this baby because it was the biggest baby I'd seen in his office," Cross said of a 29-week-old fetus aborted in July 2008.
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to abort a fetus after the 24th week of pregnancy.
In addition to being charged with performing late-term abortions and hiring untrained employees, Gosnell, 72, is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing viable babies. He has also been charged with the third-degree murder of a patient who died after a botched abortion in November 2009.
Gosnell, who has pleaded not guilty, could receive the death penalty if convicted of murdering the seven babies.
The trial resumes Monday.
Cross, who worked for Gosnell from 2005 to 2009, said she saw 10 babies breathing and five babies moving before the were killed.
She said Gosnell said the babies were not really breathing.
"I was young when I was working there. Everything he told me I thought it was true," she said.
Cross is not among the 10 defendants charged in the case, but she had pleaded guilty in federal court to dispensing medication at the clinic. She is expected to get a probationary sentence.
Gosnell allegedly made millions of dollars by illegally selling prescriptions for pain medication.
Gosnell's defense attorney, Jack McMahon, tried to show that Cross was biased against the doctor, given their rocky relationship.
Cross conceded that Gosnell often yelled at her as if he were her father, told her to get an abortion when she became pregnant and tried to prevent her from getting unemployment benefits when she went on maternity leave.