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Defense calls no witnesses in abortion doctor’s murder trial

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Posted at 3:24 PM, Apr 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-24 15:24:03-04
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — The defense in the murder trial of a Philadelphia doctor accused of performing illegal late-term abortions rested Wednesday without calling witnesses.

Closing arguments in the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell are scheduled for Monday, and a jury could begin deliberations Tuesday.

Gosnell, 72, is charged with four first-degree murder charges for the deaths of four babies. Authorities allege that some of the infants were born viable and alive during the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy, but were killed with scissors that were used to cut their spinal cords.

In Pennsylvania, abortions past 24 weeks are illegal unless the health of the mother is at stake.

Gosnell also is charged with third-degree murder in the death of a 41-year-old Virginia woman, Karnamaya Mongar, who died of an anesthetic overdose during a second-trimester abortion.

Gosnell, who operated the Women’s Medical Society clinic in West Philadelphia, pleaded not guilty.

His attorney cross-examined the state’s witnesses, but did not call any witnesses for the defense.