Both sides in abortion debate highlight Gosnell verdict
May 13th, 2013
04:12 PM ET
2 years ago

Both sides in abortion debate highlight Gosnell verdict

(CNN) – Groups who support and oppose abortion rights highlighted Monday's guilty verdicts in the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder.

Gosnell, an abortion provider, was accused of killing babies by using scissors to cut their spinal cords. Authorities alleged that some of the infants were born alive and viable during the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy.

Anti-abortion groups said the ruling underscored a blight of immoral procedures taking place at facilities providing abortions around the nation, but groups supporting abortion rights countered the details of the Gosnell case would become more widespread should abortion be prohibited.

"The Gosnell case serves to highlight two major problems with the abortion industry in this country – its callous disregard for the health and safety of women and the inhumanity of abortion, especially late-term abortion," said Anna Higgins, the director of the Center for Human Dignity at the conservative Family Research Council.

"The lack of concern for both unborn babies and babies that survive an abortion is not an attitude isolated to Kermit Gosnell," Higgins continued. "More recent reports show other abortionists have no respect for human life and are willing to kill babies very late-term or even let babies who are born alive die."

The notion that Gosnell represents a broader force of unscrupulous abortion providers was echoed Monday by Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a major anti-abortion advocacy group.

"The greatest tragedy is that Kermit Gosnell is not alone," Dannenfelser said. "Exploitation of women and complete disregard for their health and well-being are problems endemic to the entire abortion industry."

A different take was offered by groups who support abortion rights.

"Justice was served to Kermit Gosnell today and he will pay the price for the atrocities he committed," said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "We hope that the lessons of the trial do not fade with the verdict. Anti-choice politicians, and their unrelenting efforts to deny women access to safe and legal abortion care, will only drive more women to back-alley butchers like Kermit Gosnell."

"Until we reject the politicization of women's medical care and leave these decisions where they belong – between a woman and her family and her doctor – women will never be safe," Hogue continued.


Filed under: Abortion
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Your daily political football. Have at it.

    May 13, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Joe in ATL

    I don't quite understand this:
    "Authorities alleged that some of the infants were born alive and viable during the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy."
    Since the jury returned a guilty verdict, isn't it now an adjudicated fact that the babies must have been born alive? Then how is is still referred to as an allegation? He is no longer an "alleged" murderer, he is a murderer.
    Since the babies were killed, perhaps that's what you're referring to as "alleged" – whether the children were viable. We don't really have any way to know that for a fact any more, do we?

    May 13, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Name willard

    Too bad for abortion

    May 13, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. sandykramer

    Ilyse Hogue (NARAL) implies that Gosnell is more to be lauded than scorned. Sort of like saying that, if it weren't for the Jews, there wouldn't be a need for Mengele or the Wannsee Conference. Gosnell is a MURDERER. Period.

    May 13, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. skarphace

    What Gosnell did was illegal. This type of action, by certain unethical doctors, would happen whether or not all abortions were illegal. Therefore, to use this case as an argument whether or not abortion should be legal just does not make sense.

    As an example, murdering somebody with a gun is illegal. To use one murder with a gun to argue that all guns should be outlawed would also make no sense. Regulation should exist, in both cases, but you can't stop all crimes by making something illegal.

    May 13, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -The notion that Gosnell represents a broader force of unscrupulous abortion providers was echoed Monday by Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a major anti-abortion advocacy group.

    "The greatest tragedy is that Kermit Gosnell is not alone," Dannenfelser said. "Exploitation of women and complete disregard for their health and well-being are problems endemic to the entire abortion industry."
    ***************
    Why, of course they are. I remember my neice phoning me from medical school to tell me that they were being instructed to use scissors, saws, vacuum cleaners and everything else to abort babies. I guess that Dannenfelser is looking forward to the number of women dying in childbirth to approach Bangladesh so she can feel secure that she has done the Lord's bidding. This, unfortunately, will be the result of this trial: not that Kermit Gosnell will not longer be able to defame and wreak the health of women, babies and the reputation of medical providers, but that grandstanding fools like Dannenfelser will be on an even bigger soapbox, darkly hinting at other forces in the shadows, all while promoting a Victorian morality in the Age of the Internet.

    May 13, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. P Chaim

    This was a case where the decision was left between the woman (victim), her family (dead babies) and her doctor (the perp) ...and Hogue maintains this case guarantees women safety? What?

    May 13, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Boo

    I'm pro-choice but what this doctor did was wrong...and the women that went to him with late term pregnancies were wrong too. These women should learn the value of practicing birth control. And to the men out there – YOU ARE JUST AS RESPONSIBLE. Either use a condom or keep it in your pants!!!!

    May 13, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. ben

    shove pro choice people

    May 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    This was no back alley Ms. Hogue

    May 13, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Joshua in Raleigh

    @Joe in ATL: You're either looking for a conspiracy where there is none or you're being too smart for your own good. There was nothing incorrect about saying "authorities alleged" since it was, in this context, an historical account of how the verdict came to be, i.e., 1. Authorities alleged, 2. Jury convicted. The second part (jury convicted) was clearly stated in the first paragraph. And yes, he would be considered, now, a convicted murderer assuming this verdict is not overturned. You see Joe, journalists don't write news stories like fiction writers write books. Journalists give the most important information FIRST (Kermit convicted of murder!) and then give details to provide background (authorities alleged murder, hence the trial and verdict). It is like an upside-down pyramid, if you will, when compared to a typical story. I have read the article multiple times and could find no bias whatsoever and it seemed to be a very down-the-middle article. Better luck next time, joe joe, and thank you for playing.

    May 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    As the two year old in the car seat said ,worry about your self, for the brain read gop and mind your own business . So much for the gop ,we want smaller goverment bs!!!!

    May 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. ndmcs250

    This was no back alley abortion; Ms. Hogue. That is a fabrication of the facts.

    May 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. ndmcs250

    This is no back alley abortion; Ms. Hogue, don't falsify the facts.

    May 13, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Andrew

    Did the president of NARAL miss the information on what the main convictions were for? Did she fail to notice the three first-degree murder charges for babies? Infant children! Gosnell will not (potentially) face capital punishment for the involuntary manslaughter of the one woman.

    Ms. Hogue – the horror is over murdering babies! I cannot fathom the kind of willful blindness and moral bankruptcy in someone who thinks that the main lessons of this trial are about making murdering babies with scissors an easier and safer process for the mothers of those children.

    May 13, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. John

    I don't think anyone will deny that what this animal did was murder. What I don't understand is what are they doing to the mothers and fathers (if they know who they are) that went in to get an abortion at this late stage in a pregnancy? I would think charges against them are warranted as well.

    The debate about abortion wont change because of what this man did. You can argue that if women could get a legal abortion in the first trimester maybe they wouldn't feel desperate and then run out of options,

    May 13, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    If these so-called "right-to-lifers" are so concerned, then why do they opposed healthcare coverage for birth control?

    May 13, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Ram

    Woman HAVE access to "safe and legal" abortion, and Gosnell still thrived. Did Hogue from NARAL just land from outer space?

    May 13, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    ThinkAgain, you are so misinformed. I believe that abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape and due to the mother's health. However, I do believe in birth control usage and coverage up to a certain point. I don't think the answer is to give it away free to everyone and even if we did that people would still make stupid decisions. You are making outrageous claims about a very small group of people who believe in the right to life. Check your facts and DO NOT associate everyone who is pro-life with being against contraceptive use. That is idiotic.

    May 13, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Tibaratin

    If the babies had died (as planned) inches inside the mother, it would have been legal. But since they managed to pop out before dying, it is illegal to kill them. Hmm... go figure.

    Seems to me it is the same baby. The only difference is that of location.

    May 13, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Jason Thompson

    Did anyone else notice the article used the terms 'anti-abortion' and 'pro-choice' rather than 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice'?

    May 13, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. 2012liberal

    It's not an abortion when a baby is born alive and then killed. It is murder duh!

    May 13, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. Thomas

    I hope Darrell Issa opens a new comity on this next week .

    Benghazi , Fast and Furious , IRS , and Abortions .

    And cut education funding , it cost to much ?

    May 13, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Lynn

    "Anti-choice politicians, and their unrelenting efforts to deny women access to safe and legal abortion care, will only drive more women to back-alley butchers like Kermit Gosnell."

    Truth

    May 13, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. db

    How is killing anything good! Weren't any of you that think aboriton is ok inside of a womb? Oh wait you were just cells. Tell that to a beating heart! If you think abortions are safe you have got to be kidding! Safe for whom?

    May 13, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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