Clinic worker: I killed 10 infants during abortions

Adrienne Moton
Adrienne Moton
Posted: March 20, 2013

With equipment from one of Kermit Gosnell's abortion procedure rooms arranged in the courtroom before her, a former clinic worker tearfully described how she and Gosnell "snipped" the necks of infants born during late-term abortions.

Adrienne Moton told the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury hearing Gosnell's murder trial Tuesday morning that during the three years she worked at his West Philadelphia clinic she "couldn't give you a number" for how many times the 72-year-old doctor used the "snipping" technique.

Moton, 35, formerly of Upper Darby, said she had no post-high school education in January 2005 when she started volunteering at Gosnell's Women's Medical Society Clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave.

Testifying as part of her guilty plea to third-degree murder in the Gosnell prosecution, Moton said she first met Gosnell through his niece, a school classmate of hers.

When she had trouble at home, Moton testified, Gosnell and his wife Pearl invited her to live with them.

Eventually, Moton said, they helped her obtain two abortions and she began volunteering at the clinic sterilizing medical instruments.

But soon Gosnell, whom she called "Uncle," taught her how to administer anesthesia and then help in abortions including his technique of snipping the spinal cords of infants born alive in late-term abortions.

"I learned it from Dr. Gosnell," said Moton in response to a question from Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron. "I never asked why."

"Can you say how many you did?" Cameron asked.

"I could remember a good 10 times that I did it," Moton replied, voice trembling.

Prosecutors brought all of Gosnell's equipment and furnishings from one of his procedure rooms and arranged it in the well of the courtroom so Moton could identify it and explain its use.

Moton also identified a cellphone photograph she took of the bloodied body of a baby boy she found one day at her work station in the procedure room.

With her photo projected on screens in the courtroom, Moton sobbed as she recalled how she reacted.

"I see this big baby boy laying there," Moton testified. "He had that color of a baby. I didn't feel as though he had a chance."

Moton said she saw Gosnell look at the infant "with disgust. He said the aunt felt it was best for her [the woman's] future and he left."

Moton, one of nine employees arrested with Gosnell in the operation of the Women's Medical Society Clinic, had been charged with first-degree murder but the charge was reduced in exchange for her testimony against Gosnell.

Moton, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a maximum term of 60 to 120 years, according to Cameron. Her actual sentence, however, will be less based on her cooperation.

Gosnell, 72, is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder - newborns whose spines he snipped after late-term abortions. He faces the death penalty if the jury finds him guilty.

Also on trial is Eileen O'Neill, an unlicensed medical school graduate working as a clinic doctor.

O'Neill, 52, of Phoenixville, is not charged with murder but working in a "corrupt organization."

Gosnell is also charged with third-degree murder of a Virginia woman, Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who was allegedly administered too much anesthesia during a 2009 abortion.


Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985, jslobodzian@phillynews.com, or @joeslobo on Twitter.

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