On Tuesday, Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s trial shifted from the exploration of fetal murder allegations to a discussion about Karnamaya Mongar, an immigrant from Bhutan in South Asia. In 2009, she died after undergoing an abortion at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society -- and her case is one of the many elements under scrutiny.
The 41-year-old woman survived a refugee camp for two decades before coming to America, but her fate was inevitably met after a visit to the embattled doctor’s clinic. Mongar is one of the eight individuals that Gosnell is on trial for allegedly murdering (seven additional babies were purportedly killed after being born alive).
This undated photo released by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office shows Karnamaya Mongar, left, and her husband, Mr. Mongar, no first name given. Karnamaya Mongar survived 20 years in a refugee camp after fleeing war-torn Bhutan, but died months after arriving in the U.S. in 2009 and seeking an abortion. Mongar, 41, is the subject of one of eight murder counts in the ongoing Philadelphia trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell, an abortion provider, is also charged with killing seven babies allegedly born alive. Credit: AP
The Philadelphia Inquirer has more about Mongar, the family's situation and the decision to abort:
They were poor, did not speak English, and had been in America just four months, but Yashoda Gurung said she still wanted her mother to have the baby.
Karnamaya Mongar was insistent, though. After 20 years living in tin-roofed huts in a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal, a fourth child would be too much.
"She said, 'We're just getting started here,' " Gurung testified Tuesday.
So, about 16 weeks pregnant, the 41-year-old Mongar embarked on an odyssey from her new home in Woodbridge, Va., to get an abortion.
The quest ended Nov. 19, 2009, at the Women's Medical Society clinic in West Philadelphia, where Mongar got her abortion, went into cardiac arrest and a coma, and died the next day.
Relatives are claiming wrong-doing and, in addition to the criminal trial, a lawsuit is also pending against Gosnell. The Associated Press reports that the woman’s daughter, Yashoda Gurung, 24, testified through a translator on Tuesday, recapping the events that unfolded on the evening and day after her mother underwent the procedure.
In addition to labor inducing drugs, Mongar was purportedly given painkillers, as she waited for Gosnell to arrive. The prosecution charges that unlicensed staff gave Mongar a lethal combination of oral and intravenous drugs. And the Inquirer reports that too much Demerol is purportedly what led to the woman's death.
Relatives delivered their views surrounding what happened at the clinic, as Mongar, who was 19 weeks pregnant at the time, sought to end her pregnancy.
"My mom was sleeping. That's what I thought. I tried to wake her up and the lady said, `Leave her alone,' Gurung said through an Nepalese interpreter at yesterday’s trial.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell's defense attorney Jack McMahon walks to the Criminal Justice Center, Monday, March 18, 2013, in Philadelphia. Gosnell, an abortion doctor who catered to minorities, immigrants and poor women at the Women's Medical Society, goes on trial Monday on eight counts of murder. Credit: AP
Another relative, Damber Ghalley -- the brother of the alleged victim -- claims that he spoke with the doctor as Mongar was being rolled out of the clinic by an ambulance after the abortion and that Gosnell explained that the woman's heart had unexpectedly stopped.
The next day, after Mongar died, Gosnell allegedly showed no sympathy for the family and, again, said that he had done nothing wrong.
Lawyer Jack McMahon defended the doctor, claiming that Mongar may have had other respiratory issues and that she died of unforeseen issues. Despite claims from the prosecution that clinic personnel didn't properly care for patients, Gurung did admit during cross examination that staff checked her mother's blood pressure and tended to her before the doctor arrived.
LifeNews.com has more gruesome details from another individual close to Gosnell who testified during yesterday's hearing (read the entire graphic report here):
Former abortion clinic worker James Johnson testified today during the murder trial of Kermit Gosnell and provided jurors with a nauseating account of the horrific conditions at the abortion facility.
Johnson worked as a janitor, maintenance man and plumber of sorts and he was the common-law husband of 51-year-old Elizabeth Hampton, who is Gosnell’s wife’s sister. He told jurors some of the morbid details that appear in the grand jury report — including how he threatened to quit working at the abortion clinic because he refused to pull any more flesh from aborted babies out of the plumbing.
His job was to collect abortion remains and take them to basement — but he eventually refused to participate and bags began piling up.
Jurors also heard from two witnesses who described the Women's Medical Society's purported dirty conditions in 2008 and 2009. One of these individuals, a registered nurse named Della Mann, worked for Gosnell in the 1980s, but when she returned to work for him again in December 2009, she quit after two days, the Inquirer reports.
"It was awful," she said of the conditions. "I didn't want to risk my license."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This story has been updated.
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