Former Pa. Gov. on Not Investigating Gosnell's Clinic: ‘I Guarantee You It Wasn’t Because of Political Pressure’

By Melanie Arter | April 15, 2013 | 4:18 PM EDT

Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.)

( - Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said Monday that the reason the clinic operated by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist on trial for seven counts of murder for killing babies who survived abortions, wasn’t investigated was due to “bureaucratic incompetence” not “political pressure.”

“I can guarantee you it wasn’t because of political pressure, because if you believe-- if you’re pro-choice like I am, you want guys like this found, arrested, convicted. You want those clinics closed,” Rendell said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

As reported, Gosnell specialized in late-term abortions, according to a grand jury, by either suctioning out their brains or slitting the backs of their necks to sever their spinal cords.

Joe Scarborough asked Rendell if he believed there was no investigation because of “political pressure.”

“I got to ask you a tough question here. The grand jury and the prosecutor said one of the reasons why this clinic wasn’t investigated is cause there [was] political pressure. Whenever someone wants to go in and investigate an abortion clinic or do tough regulations on it, suddenly people start screaming and yelling that somebody’s trying to take away their constitutional rights. What happened here?” Scarborough asked.

“Again, I think it was more bureaucratic incompetence than that, Joe. I never heard anything about that,” Rendell responded.

Rendell, who served as governor from 2003 to 2010, said he had prosecuted a doctor “for doing exactly what Dr. Gosnell did” when he was district attorney.

“When I was a young D.A., and I prosecuted the doctor, I picked up the phone, and I called Planned Parenthood and all those folks, and I said ‘Get down here and support what I’m doing,’” Rendell said.

He said there were two or three commissioners, during his time as governor, who were in charge of oversight of clinics such as Gosnell’s, “but what happened was that Philadelphia regional office, all of them in a state as large as us – we’ve got regional offices – they just didn’t do their job.”

Rendell said the regulations that were in place regarding abortion clinics “would have been sufficient had there been oversight, had there been active oversight.”

Please support CNSNews today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)