Opposing Views on the Trial of Abortionist Kermit Gosnell

Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia-based abortionist, is on trial for the murder of at least seven newborns. Gosnell conducted thousands of late-term abortions in squalid conditions. The Albuquerque Journal issue of April 27, 2013 carried two op-eds with widely contrasting views of the effects of Gosnell’s abortion practices.

Writers for the Heritage Foundation focused on what they themselves defined as a “fumbled” reply to a question asked by a Florida legislative panel of a local Planned Parenthood official. The question was what to do with an infant struggling for life after a failed abortion. The offficial responded: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be be left up to the woman, her family and the physician.” National Planned Parenthood rebuked the official for her statement and said: “In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the panel of legislators should happen, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant.”

The Heritage Foundation writers went on to say: “The case against Gosnell suggests hundreds of instances of such an ‘extremely unlikely event’ occurred in his clinic alone.” The clear implication of the writers is that botched abortions are a very common event in legal abortions. I believe, however, that the second op-ed by Michael Smerconish of the Philadelphia Inquirer reveals the fevered imagination of the Heritage Foundation. Smerconish says: “Gosnell is being prosecuted for violating, not adhering to, the laws regarding pregnancy termination.”

Michael Smerconish goes on to say: “Gosnell isn’t indicative of what occurs when abortion is legal: he is a walking warning of what might come if Roe v. Wade is overturned or whittled away slowly by the states.”

After a long list of abortion restrictions passed in four named states and an allusion to the Virginia Board of Health voting to require hospital-like building codes of clinics that some fear will put them out of business, Smerconish writes: “If Virginia and the other states that seek to put abortion providers out of business are successful, will we be left with fewer or more Gosnell-like facilities? After all, he stands accused of ignoring the law and conducting himself without regard for state interference. What does this harken back to?”

It is easy to answer Michael Smerconish’s question. It will take us back to the butchery of back alley and coathanger abortions.

Besides the Heritage Foundation wanting to take us back to the vile practices of when abortions were illegal, its writers repeat and further spread the oft-told lie about Barack Obama’s votes against legislation protecting born alive infants after failed abortions. Even though I am no fan of Barack Obama, while he was an Illinois state senator he voted against an abortion-related law because Illinois already had a law providing the same kind of protection described above.

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