PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of killing three babies who were born alive in his clinic agreed Tuesday to give up his right to an appeal and faces life in prison but will be spared a death sentence.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was convicted Monday of first-degree murder in the deaths of the babies who were delivered alive and killed with scissors.
In a case that became a flashpoint in the nation's abortion debate, former clinic employees testified that Gosnell routinely performed illegal abortions past Pennsylvania's 24-week limit, that he delivered babies who were still moving, whimpering or breathing, and that he and his assistants dispatched the newborns by "snipping" their spines, as he referred to it.
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