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Guilty or No, Philly Abortion Doctor Points to Sick Society

A Philadelphia-based physician is being charged with seven counts of first-degree murder for performing late-term abortions. If convicted, he could face the death penalty:

In opening statements in court on Monday, prosecutors charged that [Dr. Kermit Gosnell] who operated a women’s health clinic [in Philadelphia] killed seven viable fetuses by plunging scissors into their necks and “snipping” their spinal cords and was also responsible for the death of a pregnant woman in his care.

More than two years after he was arrested and the clinic was shut down, and 14 months after a grand jury report described the charges against him, Dr. Gosnell appeared in Common Pleas Court on Monday to face a trial that could result in the death penalty if he is found guilty.

As is typical in the leadup to a major public trial, the prosecution and defense are attempting to portray Gosnell as either villain or hero. The prosecution alleges that he stored victims’ feet in jars; the defense has called the case “a prosecutorial lynching,” on the grounds that the defendant is black.

At this point, we don’t know the facts of the case, and Gosnell deserves a fair trial according to the laws under which he worked. But claims that this is a racist prosecution are absurd. If anything, racists would be more likely to honor and subsidize a man responsible for terminating 16,000 pregnancies, most of which were performed on minorities. If the KKK could clone this man and give him office space in every African American neighborhood in the country, they would gladly do that.

Via Meadia has no proposals for America’s abortion laws. We definitely don’t favor a comprehensive ban, nor do we endorse the methods preferred by Gosnell; polls have shown that a majority of Americans are somewhere in this mix with us. But outside of the narrow question of legality, we have to think our descendants would be sickened and appalled at a state of affairs that leads to 16,000 pregnancies being aborted in a small part of one American city. It’s hard for us to see how anyone can call this anything but a horrible failure of social policy and public morals.

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