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Philly doc fights charge that aborted babies born alive

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 2:03 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — A lawyer for a Philadelphia abortion provider charged with killing seven babies born alive is working to show the first death occurred in the womb.

The young woman who aborted that baby when she was 17 testified Wednesday at Dr. Kermit Gosnell's murder trial.

Prosecutors believe she was nearly 30 weeks pregnant, well beyond the 24-week limit in Pennsylvania. And the limit in Delaware, where Gosnell began the three-day procedure, is 20 weeks.

A medical assistant from Gosnell's clinic in West Philadelphia has said the baby's large size and pinkish color disturbed her. She says babies were routinely cut with scissors after delivery.

But defense lawyer Jack McMahon, on cross-examination, suggested that no babies survive after the drug digoxen is administered.

Records show the teen's aunt was charged $2,750 for the procedure.

Steven Massof of Mt. Lebanon pleaded guilty in November 2011 to two counts of third-degree murder and conspiracy, and one count of participating in a corrupt organization connected to his work at Gosnell's clinic.

Massof's attorney, Jeffrey Lindy, said that because Gosnell is the primary defendant in the murder trial and Massof is scheduled to testify against him, his client's sentencing could not take place until after Gosnell's trial and sentencing take place. Massof is in state prison awaiting the conclusion of the trial.

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