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Will Justice Be Served to Kermit Gosnell?

Late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted yesterday of first-degree murder in the deaths of three infants who were born alive after botched abortions performed in his run-down West Philadelphia clinic. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old woman who died from an overdose of anesthetic drugs during an abortion procedure.

The jury’s deliberations came after six weeks of harrowing testimony detailing the brutal deaths of newborns and unthinkable mistreatment of women. The gruesome murder of moving, breathing infants after botched abortions allegedly became a regular occurrence at the filthy West Philadelphia facility, with one clinic worker estimating nearly 100 living babies were killed shortly after birth.

Many of those murders followed failed abortions performed after Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit. In addition to the four murder charges, Gosnell was also convicted of more than 200 other criminal counts including violating Pennsylvania’s informed consent law and performing illegal late-term abortions.

In wake of the trial’s disturbing revelations, many are left questioning how the oft-repeated slogan of “safe, legal, and rare” abortions can continue to encompass late-term procedures—especially of the kind that can produce live births.

There is broad consensus that abortions like those Gosnell performed should not take place, whether in a run-down Philadelphia clinic or the sterile facilities of other abortion providers. Nearly two-thirds of Americans generally oppose abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy, while 80 percent oppose abortions in the third trimester.

“The first degree murder conviction of Kermit Gosnell brings some closure to this horrific case, but we must act to address the broader problems highlighted by this tragedy,” remarked Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). “Congress should conduct a thorough investigation into the practices of late-term abortions in America with the goal of ensuring that these atrocities are never repeated in the future.…Life is precious at every stage, and America’s policies must reflect this fact at every turn.”

That policy work got underway last week, when the House Energy and Commerce Committee began investigations into current state efforts to monitor clinics and protect the rights of born-alive infants and their mothers.

Yet much more needs to be done, especially as current policy entangles taxpayer dollars in the abortion industry.

The leader in that industry, Planned Parenthood, performs roughly one out of every four abortions in the United States. The organization that holds the title of the nation’s largest abortion provider also allegedly turned a blind eye to the safety of women in Pennsylvania and Delaware, opposes legal protections for infants born after botched abortions, and faces repeated accusations of fraud.

This is the organization that President Obama vowed to support at its recent annual fundraising gala. This is the multibillion-dollar industry to which the government sends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year. And the abortion subsidization through taxpayer funding will only increase under Obamacare.

In light of the brutality that became commonplace at 3801 Lancaster Avenue and has appeared elsewhere, policymakers should rethink continued financial support for an industry that creates and supports the likes of Gosnell.

Americans must likewise reexamine the prevailing ethic of abortion-on-demand for any reason—even in late-term abortions.

“[I]n our justice system premeditating and exacting the demise of babies is only a crime if a child is fully outside the womb,” stated Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC). “We would do well as a society to consider what deciding murder based upon geographic technicalities reveals about our collective conscious.”

For over four decades since the Roe v. Wade decision, American medical practice, politics, and laws have separated the health of mothers from the well-being of the children they carry. Gosnell’s “house of horrors” should demonstrate that the severing of that connection does a disservice and risks the health and lives of both child and mother.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

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