Prosecutors are wrapping up their case against West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.
Gosnell is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder of babies allegedly born alive, as well as one count of third-degree murder in the death of a patient.
Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore saved medical assistant Kareema Cross for last.
Cross said Thursday she was fresh out of trade school in 2005 when she began working for Gosnell at the Women’s Medical Society. She was trained to take vital signs and staff the front desk, but testified that within months she was working beyond her certification — assisting with abortion procedures and operating the ultrasound machine.
Describing one abortion, she said the fetus was expelled from a patient into a toilet.
“It was like swimming a little bit,” Cross testified. “Basically trying to get out.”
During his cross-examination, defense attorney Jack McMahon compared Cross’ testimony this week with earlier statements to the police and probed for inconsistencies.
Cross said she witnessed 10 or more babies that she believed were breathing before a staffer used scissors to clip their spinal cords.
McMahon asked Cross if she discussed her concerns with Gosnell, and she said she did.
“He told you, ‘They are not moving, not breathing. It was just reflexes,'” McMahon asked. Cross answered, “yes.”
Cross took photos at the Lancaster Avenue clinic and eventually alerted police to filthy conditions there and her concerns.
Describing another abortion, Cross estimated that the fetus was 12 to 18 inches long. She said the fetus retracted arms and legs when placed by Gosnell placed in a plastic container. Cross testified that Gosnell joked that the baby was “big enough to walk to the bus stop.”
The prosecutors showed pictures of the aborted male fetus in court.
Prosecutors said they planned to rest their case after Cross’ testimony.