Pearl Gosnell, the wife of convicted Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, was sentenced on Wednesday to serve between seven and 23 months in prison for her role in her husband’s abortion clinic that became known as the “House of Horrors.”
The abortionist’s wife was convicted on charges of racketeering and performing illegal abortion. Her sentence was reduced, however, after spending two years under house arrest. Mrs. Gosnell’s children had asked Court of Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner to spare her prison time.
Local reporter Sean G. O’Sullivan wrote that, at her sentencing, Mrs. Gosnell, 52, expressed anger at her husband, who is now serving three life terms after being convicted on three counts of first-degree murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient by overdose, and hundreds of other lesser charges.
“I am the wife of Kermit Gosnell and I’m not happy about that now,” said Pearl Gosnell. “I’m sorry for my part in this horror.”
Mrs. Gosnell said her husband told her the abortions he was performing were legal and proper. She added that her husband, by his choices before and after his arrest, opened his family and his children to “ridicule and scorn.”
Pearl Gosnell’s two children and an adopted daughter spoke on their mother’s behalf. The Gosnells’ 15 year-old daughter told the judge that she has already lost her father to prison. “Don’t take my mother, too,” she asked.
Nevertheless, Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said that Mrs. Gosnell had participated in an illegal, late-term abortion on a 14 year-old girl in her 31st week of pregnancy in 2007 that may have left the teen forever unable to have another child.
Pearl Gosnell pleaded guilty to serving as an assistant to her husband at his abortion clinic. She worked at the Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic as a full-time medical assistant from 1982 until she married Kermit Gosnell in 1990, when she began working only on Sundays.
The grand jury report indicated that Pearl Gosnell testified that she alone helped her husband perform abortions on Sundays when she would “help do the instruments” in the operating room, despite the fact that she had no medical training.