Defense delayed in Philadelphia abortion doctor trial

PHILADELPHIA Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:51pm EDT

Related Topics

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The opening of the defense case in the high-profile murder trial of a Philadelphia abortion doctor was delayed on Monday after his attorney suffered an illness, a court official said.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell's attorney, Jack McMahon, was sidelined with a chest ailment on Monday but was expected to begin calling witnesses on Tuesday as he mounts his defense, a court clerk said. Prosecutors rested their case on Thursday.

Gosnell is charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a female patient and seven infants who prosecutors say lived through abortion procedures but had their spinal cords severed by Gosnell. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

The doctor has been in jail since he was charged in January 2011 after a grand jury probe. He is on trial on 26 charges, including the eight counts of murder.

The case has rekindled the debate in the United States about late-term abortions. Under Pennsylvania law, abortions can be performed up to 24 weeks.

McMahon has declined to say whether Gosnell will testify in the case, which opened on March 18.

(Reporting by Dave Warner in Philadelphia, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
Kiljoy616 wrote:
What a joke some of these states have become, politics over science and medicine. Fine bring the parasites to term and then leave them in the care of whom the state oh yeah that will end up splendid.

Apr 22, 2013 11:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kiljoy616 wrote:
What a joke some of these states have become, politics over science and medicine. Fine bring the parasites to term and then leave them in the care of whom the state oh yeah that will end up splendid.

Apr 22, 2013 11:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wrote:
To Kiljoy616: Your name “killjoy” seems appropriate, but babies, unborn or otherwise, are not parasites. And conservatives are the most likely group to both oppose abortion and donate their time and money to care for unwanted children. Do the research; it isn’t that hard. And I really hope that your sour attitude wasn’t caused by someone who considered you a “parasite” when you should have been viewed as a gift from God. Have a nice day. Oh, and politics over science and medicine? Really? Would that be the group that didn’t inspect a medical clinic for 17 years because they were afraid it would offend the pro-death crowd?

Apr 23, 2013 10:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.