3 murder charges against Pennsylvania abortion doc tossed

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Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A judge has thrown out some of the murder charges against a Philadelphia abortion provider involving babies allegedly born alive.
    
Common pleas court Judge Jeffrey Minehart dismissed three first-degree murder charges Tuesday against Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Minehart has not explained the reasoning behind his ruling.
    
Prosecutors have argued that the babies were viable and Gosnell and his staff cut them in the back of the neck to kill them.
    
Defense lawyer Jack McMahon had argued Tuesday "there is not one piece .... of objective, scientific evidence that anyone was born alive" at Gosnell's clinic.
    
Gosnell still faces charges that he killed a patient and four other babies allegedly born alive.

Earlier story:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The defense is expected to get under way Tuesday in the capital murder trial of a Philadelphia abortion provider.
   
Seventy-two-year-old Dr. Kermit Gosnell is charged in the overdose death of a patient and in the deaths of seven babies allegedly born alive.
   
The defense has argued that there were no live births at Gosnell's Women's Medical Center, and that the woman died in 2009 of unforeseen complications.
   
Former staffer Eileen O'Neill is also on trial. The 56-year-old Phoenixville woman is charged with practicing medicine without a license, and taking part in a corrupt organization.
   
She may call character witnesses Tuesday.
   
But first, defense lawyers are expected to ask that the charges be dismissed for lack of evidence after the five-week prosecution case. Such motions are routine but rarely granted.

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