The Price of a Forced Abortion

Photographer: Louisa Stokes


Dr. Kermit Gosnell is the now-infamous Philadelphia physician who was charged Wednesday with murder, accused of killing one mother and of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them. Evidence provided by the grand jury strongly suggests that Gosnell killed countless others.

Gosnell subjected his victims to humiliation, filth, disease, and extreme pain.

Gosnell committed his grizzly crimes over a 30 year period with the tacit support and cooperation of other physicians, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of State and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

In the 281 page Report of the Grand Jury, Gosnell's evil is documented in incredible detail. I will discuss these details over the course of several posts, starting with this one.

In this post I will shed light on Gosnell's policies and practices relating to forced abortions.

Kermit Gosnell was explicitly in the business of providing forced abortions. This fact is made abundantly clear by Gosnell's schedule of fees for anesthesia. In addition to the fee for the procedure itself (up to $2,500 or more), victims were encouraged to pay extra for dangerous doses of anesthetic agents, particularly in cases in which the "patients" were being subjected to coercion:
An “Anesthesia for Surgery” form [Appendix B] presented to patients for their signature – and payment – did not identify or describe the drugs to be administered.

However, it suggested:

It will probably be best to pay the extra money and be more comfortable if some of the following conditions are true for you.

1. The decision to have the procedure is a difficult decision.
2. Medication is usually necessary for your menstrual cramps.
3. Your decision has been forced by your parents or partner.
4. Your family members or friends “don’t like pain.”
[Emphasis added]

For their special needs, victims of forced abortion were offered several options at various price points:
The “Custom” mix of medications is described on the form as follows:

"Most women who choose CUSTOM SLEEP want to feel ABSOLUTELY NO CRAMPS OR PAIN during their procedure. A needle with an anticlotting medication is inserted prior to the procedure and sedation is repeatedly administered until the patient is comfortable throughout the procedure."

The form has a place to sign next to “I choose CUSTOM SLEEP” and a blank where the price of the “Custom” option is handwritten in. The price of the “Custom” sedation is $150.

The form explains the effects of the “Twilight Sleep” concoction in this way:

"Most women who choose TWILIGHT SLEEP want to feel VERY FEW OR VERY SLIGHT CRAMPS during their procedure."

The cost listed is $90, which was in addition to the cost of the procedure. The form describes the clinic’s “Heavy Sedation” option:

"Most women who choose HEAVY SEDATION feel SLIGHT TO MODERATE CRAMPS during their procedure."

Heavy sedation cost $50 extra.

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