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Published On: Thu, May 16th, 2013

Kermit Gosnell gives up right to appeal to get life in prison, avoids death penalty

The Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of killing three babies who were born alive in his grimy clinic agreed Tuesday to give up his right to an appeal and faces life in prison but will be spared a death sentence.

One day after Dr. Kermit Gosnell, age 72, was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of the babies in botched abortions, comes the details of his plea deal.

kermit-gosnellSparking new controversy in the nation’s abortion debate, former clinic employees testified that Gosnell routinely performed illegal abortions past Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit, that he delivered babies who were still moving, whimpering or breathing, and that he and his assistants dispatched the newborns by “snipping” their spines.

Prosecutors agreed to two life sentences without parole, and Gosnell was to be sentenced Wednesday in the death of the third baby, an involuntary manslaughter conviction in the death of a patient and hundreds of lesser counts.

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty because Gosnell killed more than one person, and his victims were especially vulnerable given their age.

Due to Gosnell’s age, he likely wouldn’t survive the lengthy appeals process.

Pennsylvania authorities had failed to conduct routine inspections of all its abortion clinics for 15 years by the time Gosnell’s facility was raided. In the scandal’s aftermath, two top state health officials were fired, and Pennsylvania imposed tougher rules for clinics.

“Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty and will get what he deserves. Now, let’s make sure these women are vindicated by delivering what all women deserve: access to the full range of health services including safe, high-quality and legal abortion care,” said Ilyse G. Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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