Weighing a Verdict

Pro-life leaders say Kermit Gosnell’s guilty verdict should energize America’s abortion conversation

 

Daniel James Devine

  World Magazine
  5/13/2013
 

For 72-year-old Kermit Gosnell, convicted Monday of the first-degree murder of three babies born alive at his Philadelphia abortion facility, a new chapter of his life has begun, one that will likely end in prison or execution by lethal injection for the abortionist, whose jury returns next week to weigh evidence to determine if he should receive the death penalty.

For America, the Gosnell case has introduced a new chapter in the abortion debate. Pro-life leaders reacting to Monday’s verdict said the trial had succeeded in shining a light on gruesome abortion practices in the United States.

“Abortion is America’s little hidden secret. People still don’t talk about it,” Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, told me. “Girls aren’t sitting at the family dinner table saying, ‘I’m going to take off from school tomorrow because I’m going to get an abortion.’”

Tobias said the Gosnell trial is causing people who were content to ignore abortion to face the realities of the industry: “If Dr. Gosnell had killed these babies right before delivery, none of this would have come up, because it’s legal and it’s happening every day in this country. I think that’s shaking some people up.”

Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, said in a statement that the Gosnell verdict was a “victory for unborn babies around the world—and their mothers. … We hope and pray that this decision today will send a loud and clear message that abortion is wrong and it’s murder.”

Alveda King, the director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries—and the niece of Martin Luther King Jr.—called Monday’s verdict “landmark.”

“America is now, because of Kermit Gosnell, seeing abortion,” King told me in a phone interview. “Martin Luther King Jr. said America will not reject racism until America see racism. And when America saw racism, that’s when the hearts and consciences of America were stirred. I believe America’s conscience has been stirred now.”

King was in the courtroom the day Gosnell’s attorney, Jack McMahon, rested his defense without calling a single witness. Although McMahon had accused prosecutors of engaging in a “racist” pursuit of Gosnell, King said she “thought that was incredibly outrageous,” because Gosnell himself displayed racism by giving his white patients better treatment than African-American ones.

The evidence against Gosnell was clear, even though the judge in the case had removed all jurors opposed to abortion before the trial began.

“You had abortion advocates on that jury, and yet they came back with a guilty verdict for three of those babies,” King said.

The jury acquitted Gosnell of a murder charge in the death of another baby, known as “Baby E.” Out of the four baby deaths the jury weighed, Baby E was the only one lacking eyewitness testimony of his or her death.

Besides the three first-degree murder charges, the jury found Gosnell guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 41-year-old immigrant Karnamaya Mongar, who died of an overdose of painkiller while getting an abortion from Gosnell in 2009. They also found Gosnell guilty of 21 counts of performing illegal late-term abortions in Pennsylvania.

Read the entire article at World Magazine...