Documentary exposes horrific conditions, cover-up at ‘House of Horrors’ abortion facility
PHILADELPHIA, January 17, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – When police raided Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion facility in February 2010 while investigating allegations of illegal prescription selling, they were completely unprepared for what they found.
Blood smeared on the floor and medical equipment; unsterilized medical equipment; dismembered bodies of unborn babies stored in jars on shelves and in refrigerators alongside workers’ lunches; garbage stashed throughout the clinic; unlicensed staff performing complex medical tasks like administering anesthesia; and, worst of all, evidence that Gosnell routinely induced labor in the women who came to see him, delivered late-term living babies, and then proceeded to “snip” the babies’ spinal cords with scissors outside the birth canal.
This led the grand jury that investigated Gosnell’s facility to label it a “House of Horrors,” a label that stuck.
In their 260-page report, that grand jury recounted one disturbing fact after another: horrors that were permitted to continue for decades thanks to the complicity of state officials who repeatedly turned a blind eye despite numerous warning signs, including the deaths of two women.
That report, however, only scratched the surface of the wake of destruction left by Gosnell and his accomplices. Now a new documentary, 3801 Lancaster (the address of the abortion clinic in Philadelphia), is attempting to fill in the gaps.
According to the creators of 3801 Lancaster, they have three goals for the project. First, to educate the public on what went on at Gosnell’s facility. Second, to tell the stories of Gosnell’s victims. And third, “to help find and shut down clinics” like Gosnell’s.
The first installment of the 3801 Lancaster project was released earlier this month. In addition to providing the background facts about the clinic, it also features two women who had abortions by Gosnell: one who tells how Gosnell physically restrained her after she attempted to leave before the abortion, and another who underwent repeated abortions after one of Gosnell’s staff assured her that having numerous abortions was normal.
Both women were rendered infertile by the abortions.
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“They called my name. I went upstairs. And I remember walking through and looking around and seeing some women looking half dead,” recounts Davida Clarke. “And there were bloody recliner chairs, and there was blood all over the floor, and I just kept going.”
Davida says she didn’t see Gosnell until she was hooked up to IVs, at which put a heart monitor was strapped to her stomach. “That's when I decided I can't do this. I said ‘I can't do this!’” she says. “And [Gosnell’s] like, ‘Oh, stop being a little baby.’ And he's pounding on my legs. ‘Stop being a little baby, stop being a little baby!’
“Now I'm outnumbered because all these women came in, and I'm tied to the bed. And next thing I know I'm out of it,” she said.
“At first when I woke up I didn't know where I was,” she continued. “I just knew I was very groggy, and I knew I wasn't pregnant any more. And I was crying, and I was saying, ‘I want my baby, I want baby.’ And they were just ignoring me.”
The other woman, Makeda, recounts that over the space of about 14 years she had eight abortions at Gosnell’s clinic, after a clinic worker told her that women in Brazil routinely have as many as 21 abortions.
Abortion “was the norm for me, after she had coached me into believing that was the norm…I look back at it, and it's like, ‘God, what was I thinking?’” says Makeda.
Those abortions came back to haunt Makeda at a time in her life when she found a man with whom she wanted to have a baby. “We just could not conceive, and I went to the doctor and I found out that my body was so ravaged by abortions,” she said.
“There are people out there who are monsters who can do this to you and then walk away. It's all about money, it's about greed. He wasn't helping anybody.”
Investigators say that abortion made Kermit Gosnell a millionaire. But despite his own personal wealth, Gosnell’s clinic remained a flea-infested nightmare, staffed by untrained workers willing to do whatever was necessary for their next paycheck.
Wade McKissick, a neighbor of Gosnell’s clinic, told the filmmakers: "I seen people walking in and out all the time, and I mean walking out and half the girls falling on the ground, all drugged up, you know, after getting procedures done. You seen some weird stuff going on there but I didn't know what he was doing with the killings and all."
After decades of abusing women and killing babies, Gosnell is now awaiting trial on murder charges. Already several of Gosnell's employees have pled guilty.
3801 Lancaster is being written and directed by David Altrogge, and produced by Jennifer Thompson.
In addition to the material provided in the film, the website features documents relating the case, as well as a timeline that shows the history of the abortion facility, detailing cases when complaints were made, and instances of action (or, more often, inaction) by state officials.
The filmmakers are also inviting victims of Gosnell to come forward and tell their stories. To find out more, click here.