3801 Lancaster Avenue. Only a few minutes drive from my house. At one time my husband lived in an upstairs apartment across the street from this building. For two years I tutored inner city children right down the street, not knowing about the women and children who died at 3801 Lancaster Avenue.
Eventually the local news covered the story. Dr. Kermit Gosnell was running an abortion clinic (Women’s Medical Society) at 3801 Lancaster Ave. An abortion clinic? More like a horror movie. FBI agents and detectives found barely conscious women in the waiting and recovery rooms. They found severed baby feet in jars of water, flea-ridden cats roaming around, cat feces on the stairs, and blood-stained walls, sheets, and chairs.
Gosnell became a millionaire by delivering live babies and then snipping their spine at the back of the neck. Many of these babies were illegal late term abortions. Many of the women were bodily harmed. Two women died. Despite the fact that they did inspections in the 90’s and received several complaints, the Pennsylvania Departments of State and Health and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health did nothing for 20 years. Gosnell is now on trial and charged with 8 counts of murder.
Writer and director David Altrogge will be following the trial through his film project, 3801 Lancaster. His first 20 minute documentary introduces the background of the case and gives voice to the exploited patients. Be warned, there are some gruesome photos. Yet, the emotion, degradation, and horror Altrogge portrays in his short documentary is compelling.
The objective of the film project is to give voice to the women in this horror story, uncover the cover-up by state and local oversight agencies, make the public aware, and to make sure this horror story is not repeated. Altrogge recently appeared on Anderson Cooper who is one of the few media outlets to cover the Gosnell case. With abortion being such a controversial topic in our nation it’s no wonder we only hear the sound of silence.
After watching 3801 Lancaster, I’m surprised groups concerned with human rights, women’s rights,and pro-choice have not spoken up. What Gosnell did to these women was degrading: he tied them up, drugged them, and ultimately showed no concern for their well-being. What he did was not pro-choice; in fact they had no choice. One woman in the film changed her mind about having an abortion, but Gosnell beat her legs and yelled at her; she then woke up in recovery and not pregnant.
Gosnell was not pro-choice, but pro-Gosnell. He made $10,000 to $15,000 each abortion procedure. His choice was money.