May 1, 13 ( – When 20-year-old Desiree Hawkins was contacted by a Drug Enforcement agent this year, she was completely unprepared for what she had to tell her: that the abortionist she had visited in 2009 for a traumatic abortion had kept the severed feet of her unborn baby in a jar in his clinic.

That abortionist was Kermit Gosnell, who is currently on trial for murdering four newborn infants, as well as hundreds of other criminal charges related to his abortion practice at his “House of Horrors” clinic in Philadelphia.

Hawkins was slated to testify in rebuttal against Gosnell during his recently concluded trial. But because Gosnell never took the stand, Hawkins never had the chance to tell the jury her story. But that doesn’t mean she is remaining silent.


In a video released this week by the creators of the documentary 3801 Lancaster, Desiree and her mother are sharing the details of Desiree's nightmare experience at Gosnell’s clinic, and their repentance for their part they each played in the death of Desiree’s unborn child.  

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When Desiree found out at the age of 16 that she was pregnant, she was terrified to tell her mom. Her fears weren’t without basis. The young girl broke the news to her mother during a joint meeting with a school counselor, but while her mom told her that she loved her, she also said she couldn’t care for both Desiree and a baby, and that Desiree would have to leave home if she had the baby.

On November 19, 2009, Desiree went to Hagerstown Reproductive Services, where she was told that she was 19 weeks pregnant, past the time when they were willing to do an abortion. But they referred her to Gosnell.

Desiree would later obtain her medical records, and find out that she was actually 21 weeks pregnant, meaning that, at the time Gosnell aborted her child, she was 23 weeks pregnant.

“I was so overwhelmed and hurt,” Desiree says about that discovery. “If I had known I was 23 weeks, I would have (chosen) adoption.”

As for the abortion itself, it was an experience that Desiree would rather not remember. 

The abortion took place on December 4, 2009 – which, unbeknowst to Desiree, was just fifteen days after Karnamaya Mongar had died at Gosnell’s clinic after a fatal overdose of anesthesia, administered by Gosnell's unlicensed and largely untrained staff. Gosnell faces third-degree murder charges in the death of Mongar.

Desiree can barely speak when she recalls the actual procedure. She says that she remembers the abortionist laughing and telling her to “stop being a baby.”

She also says she has a confused memory of Gosnell picking something up and leaving the room. She says she feels that it may have been her baby. “I think I've convinced myself that that's what it is,” she says.

For the next three years Desiree kept that abortion a secret. Then, in March of this year, she received a phone call out of the blue from the Drug Enforcement agent, who told her that one of the “specimens” kept by Gosnell was from Desiree's baby. Desiree's mom remembers how, after that call, her daughter “called my phone screaming at the top of her lungs. Screaming and crying.” 

Desiree says that one of the photos of the feet that have been circulating online includes the jar with the feet of her child.

“The pictures themselves are horrible,” says Desiree's mom tearfully. “Just once you see them … they stick.” 

Her daughter adds, “You don't even know how to respond when you find that a human or somebody else has kept the foot of your baby. You don't know how to answer to that. You just want to cry and you just want to get sick. You don't want to believe it. I still don't.”

“I think about it every day,” says her mother. “Because these are choices that we all live with. … It's more me, because I'm the mother. So I do live with it every day.”

Watch the video here:

“The picture itself is horrible…” Another Story from 3801 Lancaster from 3801Lancaster on Vimeo.