Women: Pa. abortions left us sterile, near death

By Maryclaire Dale

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 23 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

Tina Baldwin, 45, is charged with corruption of minors and helping to run a corrupt enterprise. Eight of her co-workers were charged with Gosnell.

Baldwin's husband, Michael Baldwin, told the AP this week that his wife got the Gosnell clinic job eight years ago after a business school she attended referred her there for an internship. She worked up front, taking cash from patients as they walked in.

Baldwin denied that his wife performed any medical tasks or witnessed anything untoward at Gosnell's clinic. Ashley worked in recovery, making sure the patients had clothes and a ride home, he said.

"How's she going to give anesthesia? My daughter's scared of needles," he said of Ashley, who is now 20 and pregnant and still works in the medical field.

The younger woman, who prosecutors said was present the night Mongar died, was not charged.

Both women cooperated throughout the yearlong grand jury probe, and the family was therefore stunned — and angered — by Tina Baldwin's pre-dawn arrest on Wednesday, Michael Baldwin said.

Mongar had fled Bhutan and had survived nearly 20 years in refugee camps in Nepal, even after cholera took the life of a 4-year-old daughter. She and her family had made it to the United States just four months earlier to pursue "all that America has to offer," according to lawyer Bernard W. Smalley, who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Gosnell this week.

"She was the matriarch of their family, and now she's no longer there. Her children will all have to be raised without her," Smalley told the AP.

Mongar was referred to Gosnell's clinic in the city's impoverished Mantua section by a clinic in Virginia that did not do second-trimester abortions. Abortions are legal in Pennsylvania until 24 weeks; prosecutors said Gosnell routinely performed illegal third-trimester abortions — when babies are viable and the procedure is far more dangerous.

Gosnell was certified in family practice but had never finished an obstetrics/gynecology residency. In the words of Joanne Pescatore, a lead prosecutor on the case, "He does not know how to do an abortion."

Gosnell perforated the uteruses, bowels and cervixes of countless patients, the grand jury report charged. He left fetal parts inside, ignored postoperative pain and bleeding and passed venereal diseases from one patient to the next through bloody and dirty instruments, the report said.

Besides his abortion practice, authorities said, he ranked third in the state for the number of prescriptions he wrote for OxyContin, the highly addictive narcotic painkiller. Authorities allege that he left blank prescriptions for such drugs at his office and allowed staff to make them out to the cash-paying patients who streamed in during the day, when he wasn't there.

Johnson's husband, Bobby, was one of Gosnell's pain patients. He said he went to Gosnell last year, paying $250 cash, to see the doctor about a debilitating pinched nerve. At the time, he said, he did not know his wife had gone to Gosnell years earlier, before they were married, for an abortion.

Associated Press writer Kathy Matheson contributed to this report.

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