A third employee of the Philadelphia abortion clinic where Dr. Kermit Gosnell performed illegal late-term abortions — and unlicensed staff members severed the spinal cords of at least 100 living babies — pleaded guilty to murder charges on Thursday.
Steven Massof, 49, admitted his guilt on two counts of third-degree murder, conspiracy and other charges in connection to the deaths of two late-term babies, reports NBC Philadelphia. Massof testified to a grand jury in January that he regularly delivered late-term babies, cut umbilical cords and then severed the infants’ spinal cord. He said he believed all of those babies were larger than 24 weeks.
Massof said it was “standard procedure” and that it happened to at least half of the patients each week, according to the grand jury report, which details the gruesome surgeries and squalid clinic conditions that resulted in the deaths of several patients and hundreds of babies.
If convicted, Massof could serve life in prison.
Ten other employees also face charges in connection to the case. The clinic had no doctors other than Gosnell himself; only two of his employees, including Massof, had gone to medical school, but neither were licensed physicians, according to the grand jury report. Employees Andrea Moton and Sherry West pleaded guilty to third-degree murder charges in October.
Gosnell, 70, is charged with killing seven babies and a woman who died after a receiving an abortion at his infamous Women's Medical Center. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Gosnell. He has pleaded not guilty.