The verdicts are all in, and the sentences have all been laid out. Last month, the last of ten co-defendants was sentenced in the grisly murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. In the raid on his Philadelphia clinic, body parts and fetuses were found dating back thirty years. According to pro-life advocacy group Operation Rescue:
[The] jury found [Gosnell] guilty of 3 counts of First Degree Murder, 21 felony counts of illegal abortions beyond the 24 week limit, 211 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law, numerous conspiracy and corrupt organization charges. He also pled guilty to Federal charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including oxycodone, alprazolam, and codeine; distribution and aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone; and maintaining a place for the illegal distribution of controlled substances.
Dr. Gosnell avoided the death penalty by agreeing not to appeal his sentences, which included three consecutive terms of life in prison with no possibility of parole. His co-defendants received varying prison terms, community service, and probation. Several received more lenient sentences by testifying against Gosnell.
The spin cycle has worked furiously, with pro-life groups quick to point out the ugliness of abortion, while pro-choice advocates claim that Gosnell is a monstrous exception, making clear the need for “reproductive care” that is safe, legal, and more sanitized than Gosnell’s clinic.
OK, if the goal is to make legal abortions safer, let’s improve safety and health standards at abortion clinics. Doesn’t that seem like a good idea? But efforts to do just that have been met with widespread opposition. For example, Ohio law requires that all ambulatory surgical facilities have a transfer agreement with area hospitals to cover emergencies. Last January, Ohio Health Director Dr. Theodore Wymyslo ordered the abortion clinic in Sharonville to close, due to a lack of such an agreement (the clinic is run by Dr. Martin Haskell, famous for promoting the now-illegal “partial-birth abortion” procedure). On July 10th, a Hamilton County judge finally ordered the clinic closed, but it has remained open, because of perceived “safety concerns” with it not being available.
So here is the bottom line: Many abortion clinics are unsafe, but magistrates and judges are complicit to keep them open, afraid to interfere with perceived “rights” enshrined by Supreme Court precedent since 1973. The result is many abortion centers that threaten the health of women and prey on the vulnerable.