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Murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell murder trial enters 5th week

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 15 2013 02:41:12 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 15 2013 01:33:42 PM CDT

PHILADELPHIA -

The murder trial of a Philadelphia abortion provider entered its fifth week Monday, but it will be days if not weeks before the defense starts its case.

Prosecutors will continue to call witnesses this week as they pursue their death penalty case against Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

Several patients and about a half-dozen former employees have testified about outdated, dirty and allegedly deadly conditions at Gosnell's clinic.

A Philadelphia doctor, Charles Benjamin, testified Monday that he is one of about four abortion providers left in Philadelphia since Gosnell's arrest two years ago.

Benjamin said he has performed 40,000 abortions over a 30-year career. He said he doesn't do them after 21 weeks, or three weeks under the 24-week limit in Pennsylvania.

Gosnell is accused of performing illegal, late-term abortions and running a dangerously outdated clinic staffed by untrained workers.

Benjamin said he performs abortions after 17 weeks gestation in a hospital. That's in contrast to Gosnell, who performed about 1,000 abortions a year at his clinic.

On cross-examination, Benjamin acknowledged that his partner once had an abortion patient die of sepsis.

Gosnell is charged in the deaths of seven babies allegedly killed after they were born alive. He is also charged in the overdose death of a 41-year-old patient.

Former employees have described doing ultrasounds, giving intravenous drugs and helping with abortions, even though they had no training or certification.

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon insists that no babies were born alive.