When Desiree Hawkins sought an abortion at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s clinic in Dec. 2009, the 16-year-old had no idea what would follow — a terrifying criminal trial in which the abortion doctor would be slapped with some grisly allegations. In a new video released by the “3801 Lancaster” documentary series, Hawkins, now 20, speaks openly about learning of the doctor’s purported crimes — and the fact that one of the severed baby feet found at the office belonged to her child.
In a nearly nine-minute video interview, Hawkins and her mother, Lani Long, expressed horror at learning the details surrounding Gosnell’s alleged actions at the Women’s Medical Society. The young woman, who kept her abortion a secret for three years before speaking publicly about it, noted that she eventually came to terms with the decision to terminate her pregnancy. But the revelation that her baby’s remains were kept has now caused her to reexamine her choices.
In 2009, after initially being turned away from Hagerstown Reproductive Services in Maryland, as she was too far along in her pregnancy, the clinic purportedly forwarded her to Gosnell.
“When they found that I was too far along … they gave me this,” Hawkins claims in the video, showing a copy of a pamphlet with Gosnell’s name and phone number written on it. “They referred me to him and told me that I’d be able to go to him without a problem and get the procedure done.”
So, the teenager went to the Women’s Medical Society and had the abortion she was so earnestly seeking. At the time, LifeSiteNews.com reports that she was likely 23 weeks pregnant — one week short of Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit. In the video, Hawkins became emotional while discussing her abortion experience at the clinic. After pausing and covering her face with her hands, she proceeded to describe what unfolded.
“I don’t remember walking in the room. I just remember coming to as I was laying on the bed … he was at the foot of the bed,” she said of Gosnell. “I remember having a young girl standing next to me and the only reason I was waking up is because I kept vomiting.”
Hawkins also noted that she could feel pinching and pulling and that she kept waking up during the procedure. A recent USA Today account of her story adds to this disturbing description:
When she was 16, Hawkins sought an abortion at a National Abortion Federation-certified abortion clinic, Hagerstown (Md.) Reproductive Health Services. The clinic told her she was 19 weeks pregnant and referred her to Gosnell. When she recently retrieved her file in anticipation of testifying, she was shocked that her sonogram showed she had in fact been at 21 weeks, which meant she would have been 23 weeks pregnant by the time Gosnell performed the abortion. “I was so overwhelmed and hurt,” said Hawkins. “If I had known I was 23 weeks, I would have (chosen) adoption.”
She also would have avoided the trauma visited upon her by Gosnell. Hawkins described the licensed medical professional as laughing at her during the procedure as she cried and begged him to stop because of the pain. “Stop being a baby,” he said.
Hawkins experienced betrayal anew when she read the grand jury report replete with testimony of government officials admitting they ignored repeated complaints about Gosnell because they didn’t want to limit access to abortion.
While she put the abortion experience behind her, Hawkins described her surprise when she received a call from authorities years later telling her that one of the specimens — a foot found in a jar at the clinic — was her baby’s. The development sent her into a state of mourning and, based on her video testimony, led her to question her decision to abort. Both Hawkins and her mother are disturbed that Gosnell kept the child’s foot.
Long, as the mother and, at the time, the individual responsible for her daughter’s health, carries immense guilt. From allowing and advocating for the abortion to learning that she sent her daughter to a purportedly unclean and unsafe location, she’s open about the burdens she carries.
“I do know that when I die, I do need to answer for that,” the mother said of the abortion, later adding, “I think I’m sending her to a clinic where everybody has credentials. Go figure that one. Now I have to carry this as well.”
Watch Hawkins and Long describe the experience, below (learn more about the “3801 Lancaster” documentary series here):
TheBlaze has extensively covered the Gosnell trial (read the coverage here). The jury is currently deliberating and a decision on 258 charges against the abortion doctor should be decided relatively soon.
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