Saturday, April 27, 2013

Can Gosnell Walk? Ask William Waddill

Dr. Kermit Gosnell
Regardless of where they stand on abortion, people are pretty united in their expressions of loathing and disgust for the behavior of Dr. Kermit Barron Gosnell, currently on trial in Philadelphia on first degree murder charges for killing viable infants who had survived abortions. Gosnell did this -- and trained his employees to do this -- by using surgical scissors to sever the newborns' spinal cords just below the base of the skull. Though Gosnell referred to this practices as "snipping," the word doesn't convey the nature of the act. Imagine, if you will, cutting through a chicken neck with kitchen shears.

Over half a dozen of Gosnell's former employees came forward and testified to having witnessed and in some cases even participated in these "snippings."

Yet in spite of the eyewitness testimony, in spite of the tiny bodies recovered from the freezer at Gosnell's "house of horrors," in spite of the nonsensical nature of the notion that Gosnell would have wrangled scissors through the spines of babies had such "snipping" not been necessary in order to, as Gosnell put it, "ensure fetal demise," the judge dismissed the murder charges against Gosnell for the deaths of three of those infants.

The news was stunning. How could anybody fail to see the abundance of evidence that these infants had been born, had been struggling to live, and had been murdered?

But such blindness, such unwillingness to recognize killing when it's done in the contest of an abortion, is not unprecedented. The William Waddill case springs to mind.

Dr. William Waddill
Dr. William Baxter Waddill had initiated an abortion in a California hospital in February of 1977. The mother, a high school student, was at least 28 weeks pregnant. Waddill used a standard abortion method of the time, using a large syringe to remove as much amniotic fluid from the womb as possible and replace it with a strong sterile salt solution which typically ate away at the unborn child's fragile tissues -- skin, eyes, lungs, and digestive tract -- until the tiny body gave out.

However, Waddill got a call from the hospital. "Baby W" had come out alive. Three nurses debated what to do with little girl, who was moving, crying, and making sucking motions. One of them summoned a nursing supervisor, who sent the baby to the nursery and summoned Waddill.

When Waddill arrived, he found two nurses providing routine care to Baby W. Waddill then took over and proceeded to strangle the child to death in front of horrified witnesses including several nurses, an emergency physician, and a pediatrician -- complaining all the while that, "I can't find the goddam trachea," "This baby can't live or it will be a big mess," and "This baby won't stop breathing!"

A pathologist examined the baby's lungs and concluded that she'd been alive for at least 30 minutes. The autopsy found the cause of the baby's death to have been "manual strangulation." The baby's gestational age was determined to have been 29 to 31 weeks.

Waddill was charged with murder in the death of Baby W.  All told, over 13 weeks of testimony, the witnesses described three unsuccessful attempts by Waddill to strangle the baby, and the fourth, successful, attempt. But during deliberations, the jury asked for clarification of a procedural point. A few phone calls to clarify the point led to the discovery by the attorneys and judge that there was a definition of "death" in the California health and safety code that the jury had not been informed of. Because the testimony hadn't directly addressed this particular definition of "death," the jurors became hopelessly deadlocked over whether Waddill's actions, though clearly causing what laymen would consider the "death" of the baby, had caused what the law would call the "death" of the baby. The judge had to delcare a mistrial. A second jury was also deadlocked, and the charges against Waddill were eventually dismissed.

Having gotten away with strangling an infant in a hospital nursery, Waddill continued to perform abortions in California, and as of 2000 was working for National Abortion Federation member Family Planning Associates Medical Group, a chain where over a dozen women and girls suffered fatal abortions, including Deanna Bell, Chanelle Bryant, Patricia Chacon, Laniece Dorsey, Josefina Garcia, Denise Holmes, Nakia Jorden, Maria Leho,Susan Levy, Christine Mora, Kimberly Neil, Joyce Ortenzio, Mary Pena, Maria Rodriguez, Tami Suematsu, Ta Tanisha Wesson. (Give NAF members credit for this much: Back then they hired a guy like this after he'd made headlines for murdering a newborn; nowadays they'll at least push such a character away with a stick and pretend they'd found him revolting all along. But then, maybe they find Gosnell revolting because of the cat turds and not the because of the infant beheadings. The jury is still out, as they say, on that one.)

Think about it. A prosecutor in California was unable to even lock away a man who strolled into a NICU and strangled a baby in front of half a dozen witnesses.

Let's just say I'll be disgusted, but by no means surprised, if Gosnell walks out of that Philadelphia courthouse a free man.

3 comments:

LILLIAN PORTER said...

Is the death penalty applied in third degree murder? Don't think so. As for the babies: will the State have to agree that they were persons under the law, if there was evidence that they drew breath after birth?
The death penalty is very lucrative for lawyers because the cases drag on for years. Gosnell will be made more obscure if that is his sentence, with the media making a footnote (including a pro-choice slant) when he is put to death.
With over 250 charges, he will surely get prison for the duration of his 72 year old life. He will probably have to spend it in solitary, where he is now. Even violent prisoners object to torture of the very small.

Sue Moreland said...

How can any jury anywhere let this monster go. The baby was murderef, and screaming for someone to help him. These people need to have to be put to death.. The don't deserve to live. These so called doctors will stand before God.They will answer to God why they killed. I unborn and born babies that. We're crying for the I've lives

Randy Blume said...

This just makes me sick all over. To take the life of a human being that isn't capable of caring for one's self. Adoption would be the only way the only alternative to this mass killings that are allowed to go on with no recourse against the Dr.. any person that takes the life of a helpless baby deserves maximum punishment PERIOD. Even if it's the death penalty. This is inhumane to let these Dr's cut these babies spine or strangle an infant. I believe we need better birth control and we could eliminate some of the problem. Our children shouldn't be having unprotected sex in the first place. It's up to us parents to make our children understand this. I agree the Dr's should be held accountable but so should our children.