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GUILTY: Gosnell Case, State Restrictions Put Abortion Policy Front and Center

BREAKING: Gosnell faces the death penalty as he's convicted on three first-degree murder charges in the deaths of babies born alive.

Rodrigo Sermeño


May 13, 2013 - 12:26 pm
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WASHINGTON – Abortion may head back to the U.S. Supreme Court after a series of new bans enacted at the state level seek to challenge the landmark decision that made abortion legal in the nation four decades ago.

The issue is also due for new scrutiny on Capitol Hill in the wake of the trial of a Philadelphia abortion doctor and criticism from pro-life groups about the sparse coverage of the proceedings.

Kermit Gosnell was charged with 263 counts, including the death of a female patient and four babies prosecutors said were born alive. He was convicted today of first-degree murder and infanticide in the deaths of three of the babies and acquitted on the fourth charge. He could receive the death penalty on those charges.

He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, who died from an overdose of sedatives.

Last week, a resolution by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that said “Congress and States should gather information about and correct abusive, unsanitary, and illegal abortion practices and the interstate referral of women and girls to facilities engaged in dangerous or illegal second- and third-trimester procedures” was blocked from unanimous consent by an unknown senator.

“It is difficult to imagine why anyone would object to a non-binding resolution calling on Congress to investigate these alleged disturbing, horrific, and illegal abortion practices committed by Kermit Gosnell and others,” said Lee.

“With numerous reports of similar instances surfacing around the country, the need for greater regulatory oversight of these so-called clinics is so plainly obvious it strains the limits of disbelief to think all members of the Senate would not agree,” he continued. “The resolution is simply an affirmation that we as a country – a moral and compassionate society – have an interest in acting to save the lives of innocent women and children, and to prevent these kinds of heinous acts from happening to anyone again.”

The next day, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) gave a floor speech objecting to Lee’s resolution and introduced his own resolution stating that all “incidents of abusive, unsanitary, or illegal health care practices should be condemned and prevented and the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

“I believe this problem is broader than the issue cited in Senator Lee’s resolution. I believe the misconduct alleged in the Gosnell case was abhorrent, but I’m also concerned about patient safety in all instances,” Blumenthal said. “…We ought to talk about the dentist in Oklahoma who exposed as many as 7,000 patients to HIV and Hepatitis B and C with the same outrage as we talk about the abortion doctor in Pennsylvania who is accused of several heinous crimes.”

Gosnell is a Pennsylvania doctor accused of running a clinic where seven babies were allegedly killed after botched abortions, venereal diseases were spread among his patients, and an adult patient was given a fatal dose of Demerol, among other gruesome charges.

The Gosnell trial raises the question of whether it will affect the battle over abortion rights happening in some states. Abortion opponents hope that the horrifying crimes associated with the trial can shift the balance of power in the ongoing debate, which they anticipate will open the door for stronger regulations on the practice of abortion.

“We must keep up the momentum and pass clinic regulations in every state possible,” wrote Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, in a fundraising email. “We must hammer politicians who oppose clinic regulations and stand up for those who are getting them passed. This is already becoming an issue in some 2013 state races, and we must make it an issue in 2014 Senate races which are starting to heat up.”

In late March, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.

One bill bans abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, approximately six weeks into pregnancy. A second bill bans abortions solely for the purpose of gender selection and fetal genetic anomalies. The third bill requires that any physician who performs abortions must have staff privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility. All three laws will take effect August 1.

Dalrymple signed a fourth anti-abortion measure that outlaws abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy last week.

North Dakota is the latest state in a growing list to pass legislation that restricts the circumstances under which women can exercise their right to have a legal abortion.

Alabama approved a bill recently that would require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Last month, Arkansas enacted a law – known as the Human Heartbeat Protection Act – that seeks to make abortion illegal after 12 weeks of fetal development.

Legislators in 14 states, including South Carolina, Iowa, and Mississippi, introduced similar provisions in the first three months of this year, according to the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion legislation.

The North Dakota law is the most concerted effort by a state to directly challenge the high court’s abortion rulings, which said states have the right to regulate the procedure but not ban it outright before a fetus can survive outside of the womb.

The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, stating that statutes criminalizing abortion in most instances violated a woman’s constitutional right of privacy, which the Supreme Court found implicit in the liberty guarantee of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Since the Supreme Court’s ruling four decades ago, opponents of abortion have gradually chipped away at the high court’s decision.

Currently, no states have bans on most abortions before 20 weeks into pregnancy. Several states have approved bans on most abortions at around 20 weeks, based on debated medical research that a fetus can feel pain at this point. North Dakota, Arkansas, and Arizona – where the law is not in effect due to a legal challenge – are the only states to have banned abortion after 18 weeks.

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Top Rated Comments   
If Obama had an uncle who was an abortionist he would look just like Kermit Gosnell.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (17)
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Gosnelll should have his own spine cut with scissors. What a monster.

See The Two Minute Conservative via Google or: When you speak ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rodrigo, you are wrong. All this trial does is inflame the anti-abortion crowd; everyone else (the majority) shrugs and continues on. There are always terrible exceptions to everything; the exception always proves the rule. About the only thing that the anti-abortion crowd could do that would be effective here is to prove that Gosnell is typical (or even restrained) and that abortion clinics by and large are far worse. This is unlikely. Have fun with your anti-abortion dream. Not happening.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gosnell isn't the only sub par (extremely) physician out there, sweet pea.

Some 55 million abortions in the US since the procedure morphed into a birth control device (thanks to the SCOTUS) in 1973.

That's in excess of 1/6 of the entire population of the United States.

You people are hopeless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gosnell is the poster boy of the Progressive Left. NOW and the DNC will defend him to the end. So he snipped off the feet of accidentally-born newborns (with their perfectly formed prints) and collected them in jars of formaldehyde?

What's the big deal? What difference does it make? And who are we to prevent adolescent girls from accessing powerful, newly approved, abortive drugs that induce profound reproductive/menstrual changes on child-bearing female bodies?

Who are we to tell these girls what they can (should) or cannot (should not) do with their OWN bodies?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
WOW! What a great week its been for conservatives!

Benghazi is finally seeing the light of day - a hack abortionist is getting his 'due'. Abortion rights fans are having to face the ugly truth about their unrestricted no-account abortion on demand crusade. The IRS is coughing up a few details about their persecution of groups that are on Obama's enemies list.

Lets see - whats happening with Fast N Furious?

Is the Progressive movement finally collapsing of its own weight? We can only hope!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why is it that i never hear about the Father's right to have the baby born?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, kudos again to Kirsten Powers for shaming the MSM in to covering this. Brava!

On a similar note, she was on special report today, and when talking about Obama's response to Benghazi in today's Presser, (which he had to have, because of Cameron's visit), she flat-out called Obama's response a lie! "Let's call it what it is: It's a lie!"

Beckel, too, called it BS. Mara Liasson was critical the other day of the cover-up. The other day, even Juan Williams called it all a cover-up, although he maintained there was no there, there. (Guess he was floating the balloon.) Anyway, it looks like at least the Fox Liberals are facing the awful truth, now. It's getting ugly.

Back to the topic, one of the panelists with Bret Baier said, he thinks this trial is making people put aside their political positions on abortion, and they are stepping back to take a fresh look at the issue, in light of the grotesque realities revealed by this trial. I sure hope he's right, and that it persists.

Of course, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood both declared that this is why abortion must be legal, so women do not have to undergo this kind of back-alley abortions. What amazing gall! Right, this the pro-lifers' fault! Geez!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Kermit Gosnell is one sick individual but that doesn't mean he should get any sort of leniency for these heinous murders. Best he be removed from the "herd", and quickly.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

What kind of careful parsing of the morality and legality of Gosnel's actions must the pro-death camp be engaged in if they feel that he should have been convicted as he was today?

Had he not botched the abortion and successfully killed the infant in the womb, there would have been nary an eyebrow raised let alone a trial.

So for the pro-death crowd, the proximity of the infant outside of the womb mere minutes after it was inside the womb makes it murder?

I will never be able to reconcile this kind of imbecilic reasoning.

For the pro-death crowd, wouldn't a ruling more consistent with their barbaric beliefs have been that Gosnel be convicted of medical malpractice for botching the procedure? Who cares what he does with the infant who is just a mass of protoplasm after all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It would be an act of God God's kindness if Kermit Gosnell can see the truth in prison. He can become just like Saul then becoming Paul and let the nation know while they were pleasure filled 50 million babies were murdered while in the mother's tummy
What would that that say for the rest of the people in our nation. Repentant Kermit Gosnell is executed as Saint Paul was in Rome to silence him. What about all the people in America refusing to repent?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Me personally, I've got HBO and I can't wait to see Bill Maher speculate that this conviction could've been caused by racism. I'm also anxious to see the reactions of Chris Matthews, who like Bill sees racism everywhere, and Rachel Maddow, who has a big political stake in killing babies, dead or alive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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