Defense Rests: Gosnell Won't Testify in Abortion-Murder Trial

Elizabeth Harrington | April 24, 2013 | 2:38pm EDT
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Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who ran the Women's Medical Society abortion clinic in Philadelphia, Pa. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Police Department via Philadelphia District Attorney's Office)

( – The defense in the trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell rested without offering any witnesses on Wednesday, saying they did so for “strategic reasons.”

“We made the decision and we stuck by it and we’re ready to move forward on Monday,” Gosnell’s defense attorney Jack McMahon said outside a Philadelphia courthouse.

McMahon had secured three charges dropped from the case for the murder of babies born alive on Wednesday.  Court will resume on Monday with closing arguments.

McMahon said “we saw a defense” over the last six weeks of the trial, during cross-examination of witnesses brought by the prosecution.

“We did not call any witnesses in this case and we’re going to close on Monday,” he said.

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“There’s a gag order so I can’t really give my opinion as to it, the only thing I can say is we chose not to present anything and did so for strategic reasons,” McMahon said.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart dropped three first-degree murder charges against Gosnell, as well as five charges of “abuse of a corpse,” for baby feet remains that Gosnell kept in jars, which were recovered from the Women’s Medical Society clinic.

Baby girl aborted at office of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, Pa. (Photo: Grand Jury Report, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.)

Gosnell, 72, is still facing four counts of first-degree murder for the killing of babies born alive after abortions, and a third-degree murder charge in the overdose death of a mother, Karnamaya Mongar.

He is also charged with infanticide, conspiracy, abortion at 24 or more weeks, theft, corruption of minors, solicitation and other related offenses.

During the trial, witnesses have testified that babies at Gosnell’s abortion clinic in West Philadelphia were routinely born alive, sometimes in the toilet, or on the floor, surviving abortions only to have their spinal cords severed with surgical scissors.

The grand jury report presented in the case said that Gosnell murdered "hundreds" of born babies over the years.

Testimony also revealed that 47 frozen fetuses were discovered at the scene when federal agents raided the clinic in 2010.  Other body parts were stored in cat food containers and water jugs.

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