EDITORIAL: Justice in Philadelphia

Another story Democrats desperately want to go away

The seedy practices of abortionists came sharply into focus Monday when a Philadelphia jury convicted Kermit Gosnell on three counts of first-degree murder. It’s a significant setback for the Democrats, who have made terminating the lives of the unborn their defining issue.

Gosnell’s murder victims were born fully alive just moments before the “doctor” severed their spinal cords with a pair of scissors. Honest observers reflecting on this horrible practice realize that there’s no essential difference between making the cruel cut outside the womb and making it within. For the child, the result is the same. The gift of life taken away.

The jury further found Gosnell guilty of manslaughter in the case of Karnamaya Mongar, who died from the drugs he gave her after her pregnancy ended at the Gosnell clinic. Abortion proponents have long insisted on the “need” for freely available — and now taxpayer-subsidized — abortions to end the scourge of “back alley” procedures that endanger the health of women. Despite the manifest harm that clinics like Gosnell’s pose to women, the abortion industry remains entirely unregulated. Hairdressers, taxi drivers, interior decorators and other innocuous occupations often must bear strict government scrutiny, but Democrats block every effort to impose standards on facilities that pass themselves off as clinics.

Americans generally want limits, as the most recent Gallup survey shows 58 percent — men and women alike — believe abortion should be illegal under most circumstances. Despite the public’s uneasiness, the Democratic Party allows no advancement for a politician who won’t endorse abortion on demand.

An ambitious Illinois state senator named Barack Obama understood this in 2002, when he stood on the Senate floor in Springfield to oppose legislation that would have outlawed “live birth” abortions of the sort practiced by Gosnell. That debate was over what should be done when a child is inadvertently born alive in the course of an abortion attempt. One proposal said a child thus entering the world must receive all reasonable medical care and that a second, independent doctor should be brought in to ensure the abortionist does not attempt to “finish” the job, as Gosnell did.

Mr. Obama objected that the Illinois “born alive” legislation “is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.” He voted against the bill, saying no doctor would ever deny care to an infant born alive. Now we know better.

The Philadelphia “house of horrors” dispels many of the myths that have accumulated over the past 40 years under Roe v. Wade. That’s why Democrats can’t wait until this story goes away. But we can’t “move on.” This time there is something to see here.

The Washington Times

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