By Jay Rogers
Published March 1, 1990
A recent Boston Globe story described how an aborted baby continued to live, gasping and twitching in a bedpan, abandoned to a small room in a Philadelphia hospital with other aborted children.
Dr. Joseph L. Melnick was convicted of infanticide, or withholding proper medical treatment to a baby born alive. Melnick faces 3-1/2 to 7 years in prison.
The article stated that Melnick performed an abortion for a 13 year-old girl seeking her second abortion in 10 months. The girl and her mother told him that she was 4-1/2 months pregnant. The Globe stated that the baby was of 32 weeks gestation, or 8 months, and weighed 3 pounds 9 ounces and was 17 inches long.
Melnick testified that “the baby appeared like a doll. It just didn’t have any life; it was listless and flacid, and it certainly did not breathe, and it didn’t cry, I was very certain that the baby was stillborn.”
But nursing supervisor Pearl Reznick testified that she found the baby alive an hour after the abortion. “The back was arched, the head was drawn back, the eyes were closed and the arms were limp hanging. And then I saw it take a gasp.”
Reznick said she heard a faint heartbeat, three other doctors were called in and two of them said that they also heard a heartbeat. the baby was taken to the emergency room and pronounced dead at 11 p.m. Another hospital nurse notified the state, prompting Melnick’s arrest, the Globe reported.
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