Charmaine Yoest, president of the anti-abortion rights group Americans United for Life, called the conviction of Kermit Gosnell a “landmark case” that will accelerate efforts to pass even more restrictive abortion laws. In fact, there is nothing landmark about it. Gosnell was a butcher whose actions already were illegal, hence the conviction.
Pennsylvania bans abortion after 24 weeks. Gosnell performed the procedure on women in their sixth, seventh, and eighth months of pregnancy. His clinic was in deplorable condition, and he used unsterilized equipment. Pennsylvania authorities, though, hadn’t conducted routine inspections of abortion clinics for 15 years by the time police raided Gosnell’s Philadelphia facility in 2010 on suspicion of prescription drug trafficking. He was found guilty of first-degree murder for severing the spines of three babies.
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