(Photos: Sherry West (left) and Andrea Moton (right) AP Photo/Philadelphia Police Department)
Two employees of the infamous Philadelphia clinic deemed an “abortion mill” pleaded guilty Thursday to third-degree murder in connection with two deaths.
Andrea Moton and Sherry West both worked and performed complex and lethal procedures at the clinic run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell without any formal medical training. The two are among nine employees that have been charged in connection with their work at the clinic.
The staff drew national ire after a grand jury report was released detailing the conditions at the clinic where Gosnell allegedly performed illegal late-term abortions and babies born alive were killed by having scissors stabbed into their necks to sever their spinal cords.
Moton admitted to her involvement in the death of one baby and West pleaded guilty in the February 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, a Bhutanese immigrant. Both also pleaded guilty to taking part in a corrupt organization.
Moton assisted Gosnell with abortions and other procedures and, at times, cut the spinal cords of aborted babies. West worked as a medical assistant at the clinic and allegedly performed ultrasound exams, administered anesthesia and monitored patients in the recovery room — all without professional training. In addition, West has hepatitis C, but she reportedly never took precautions to protect patients from contracting the disease.
In addition to the charge of third-degree murder, West also faces charges of drug delivery causing death, illegally performing an abortion after 24 weeks, conspiracy, participating in a corrupt organization, evidence tampering and other charges. She has been in custody since her January arrest on $2 million bail.