May 12, 2023 - News

Convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell racking up tax bills

The shuttered abortion clinic on Lancaster Avenue still sits vacant a decade after Dr. Kermit Gosnell's conviction.

Kermit Gosnell's shuttered abortion clinic remains vacant a decade after his conviction. Photo: Mike D'Onofrio/Axios

Convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell's clinic remains an abandoned eyesore in the West Philly neighborhood.

Driving the news: Saturday marks the 10-year anniversary of Gosnell's murder conviction for using scissors to snip the spines of three babies born alive at the clinic, described at the time as a "baby charnel house."

Why it matters: The case rocked Philadelphia, criminally ensnaring others who worked under Gosnell, and serving as a cause célèbre in the abortion debate.

Catch up quick: Gosnell, now serving life sentences at a state prison in Huntingdon, had previously been a respected physician.

  • His crimes came to light through a separate FBI investigation: When agents raided the clinic, they were shocked to discover "47 aborted fetuses stored in clinic freezers, jars of tiny, severed feet, bloodstained furniture and dirty medical instruments," per the AP.

What's happening: Gosnell still owns the boarded-up clinic building at 3801 Lancaster Ave. And he owes nearly $93,000 in back taxes, according to city property records.

  • Yet it hasn't been auctioned off despite interest in transforming it into something beneficial for surrounding neighborhoods, city and community officials tell Axios.

What they're saying: "The community needs answers," De’Wayne Drummond, president of the nearby Mantua Civic Association, tells Axios. "It's like an injury to an old wound. We need to revisit the conversation."

The other side: There had been discussion about the Philadelphia Land Bank acquiring the property, according to a city spokesperson, adding that sheriff tax sales paused during the pandemic must resume before the city contemplates further action.

A "no trespassing" sign at the old abortion clinic.
The clinic still hasn't been auctioned off. Photo: Mike D'Onofrio/Axios
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