Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Niche markets take different angles on Gosnell case

  • Mt. Lebanon man arrested for murder in abortion case, in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, focuses on their local boy, Steven Massof. The arrest surprised everybody, who said he was a really nice guy. Other than the snipping live-born babies' spines, I guess. This paper also noted that six of their local abortion clinics were told in the wake of recent inspections to clean up their acts.

  • The Post-Gazette likewise took an interest in the local angle. Mt. Lebanon man held on murder charges in abortion clinic probe:

    An online resume of Mr. Massof's posted on LinkedIn lists his most recent job as a team leader for the Dial America telemarketing company in Pittsburgh, where he had worked from April of last year until the present.

    A woman who answered the phone at Dial America said that the company had no comment on Mr. Massof's status there.

    It's gotta gross them out, if nothing else.

    They also note that Massof's resume paints a different picture of his work for Gosnell than what he told the Grand Jury:

    Mr. Massof described his duties at the clinic in his LinkedIn resume as surveillance and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and as identifying infectious diseases in children that are preventable by vaccines.

  • blAck America Web takes the angle, Black Abortion Doctor Accused of Killing Newborns, but only in the headline. They otherwise just pass along the AP article.

  • Delaware Online took a local angle, Grisly abortions linked to Del., and focused a bit more on Atlantic Women’s Medical Services and Gosnell workers Lynda Williams and Sherry West. Another article, Doctor's license swiftly suspended, also zeroes in on the pair, noting: that they 'were "by all accounts the least competent and most careless of Gosnell's ... unqualified crew," according to the report. Williams and Gosnell could face the death penalty.'

  • A local reporter interviewed Gosnell, who either has a downright psychotic break with reality, or is the most glib liar that ever walked the earth. That same newspaper also allowed former Gosnell patients to speak their minds.

  • This local story asks Gosnell's neighbors about him:

    Kermit Gosnell was known in the West Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up and worked all his life as the go-to person for services other doctors wouldn't provide: a loosely justified prescription or a late-night illegal abortion.

    Still, neighbors reacted with shock Thursday to news of a grand jury report that described Gosnell's severing the spinal cords of babies delivered in the third trimester of pregnancy, spreading disease with infected instruments, and perforating patients' wombs and bowels.


    For years, Gosnell's medical practice had been growing increasingly reckless, with unlicensed, unsupervised workers as young as 15 administering intravenous sedation and assisting women in labor, according to the grand jury report.

    But his practice continued to draw from his community, where he was once a "respected man," according to a 1972 Inquirer article. He was a finalist for the Junior Chamber of Commerce's "Young Philadelphian of the Year" because of his work directing the Mantua Halfway House, a rehab clinic for drug addicts.

    Khloe Robinson, 22, said Gosnell's Mantua roots were one reason she went to him in September 2007 for an abortion nearly six months into a pregnancy.

    "I trusted him because he lived in the neighborhood, and I grew up in the neighborhood," said Robinson, whose family lives a block from Gosnell.

    But Robinson was alarmed when she learned a girl from her high school would assist on the procedure. Afterward, Robinson was hospitalized for more than a week with a kidney infection, she said.

    Brittnye Drew, 20, said she still felt unsettled about the abortion Gosnell performed for her two years ago. Drew, who lives down the street from Gosnell, was three months pregnant when she paid him about $600 in cash for the procedure.

    The exam room was filthy, she said, and "pickle jars" lined the walls. Investigators later found jars containing the feet of aborted fetuses.

    "When I found out that he got locked up," Drew said, "I was speechless."


    A 21-year-old neighbor who declined to give her name said she was 61/2 months pregnant when she visited Gosnell, paying him $1,300 in cash for an abortion completed in the middle of the night. She was 16, naive, and was never told that her abortion was illegal under Pennsylvania law, she said.

    At 24 weeks - about 51/2 months - the fetus can usually survive outside the womb, so many states, including Pennsylvania, outlaw abortion except to save the woman's life or health.

    The 21-year-old remembers nothing of what happened during the procedure.

    "Did they snap that baby - my baby's - neck?" she wondered Thursday.


    Renee Anderson, 57, who grew up in Mantua and lived six blocks from Gosnell's home for many years, said she worked at his Lancaster Avenue clinic briefly in 1986.

    At that time, she said, his facilities and services were respectable. Although she left after less than a year, it was because she got tired of working "ungodly hours" and found the doctor "arrogant" - not because of deplorable conditions.

    "When I worked there, it was a clean facility," said Anderson, who now lives in Darby. "And the medical waste was always picked up. I was surprised to read about the bags of waste and fetal parts."


    Another question Smalley and his firm are delving into: Where is Gosnell's money?

    The grand jury estimated that Gosnell "took in as much as $10,000 to $15,000 a night, mostly in cash" - generating $1.8 million a year. (The jury said this was not including the money from Gosnell's alleged illegal narcotics trafficking, which is still under investigation by federal authorities.)

    Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said $250,000 was found at Gosnell's home when authorities raided it.

    But Gosnell's other obvious assets - his house, a beach home in Brigantine bought in 1992, and a multiunit rental property - belie his estimated income.
  • No comments: