- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 5, 2015

As the second anniversary of the grisly murder convictions of former abortionist Kermit Gosnell looms, pro-life advocates are urging members of Congress to pass a law that would have made much of his business illegal.

Their goal is passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would forbid most abortions after 20 weeks, when some say an unborn child can feel pain.

Pro-life activists are making thousands of calls to members of the House of Representatives on behalf of women and children who are “targeted by the late-term abortion business,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said Tuesday.

The “barbarism” of abortions on fetuses in the second and third trimesters was “brought into the national spotlight by the Gosnell trial in 2013,” said Mrs. Dannenfelser, who called for an “immediate vote” on the act.

Gosnell, who is serving life in prison, was found guilty on May 13, 2013 of the murder of three newborn children and the negligent death of one woman.

He had operated for years in a filthy clinic in Philadelphia that was described as a “house of horrors.” Gosnell was known for performing abortions on “the big ones” — referring to late-in-pregnancy fetuses — which he did on Sundays with the help of his wife.

Gosnell also liked to “snip” the necks of newborns, which prosecutors said he did on at least three born-alive children.

Gosnell’s activities — which were decried as ghastly by both pro-life and pro-choice leaders — led to the initial passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the House in 2013.

The same bill was intended for consideration in January, but was derailed by a handful of congresswomen; they felt the law’s incest and rape exemptions — which required a woman to tell authorities she had been assaulted — were too onerous a burden.

Congressional leaders have promised to rework the bill and bring it back up for a vote.

Pro-choice groups stoutly reject the bill, saying there is no proof fetuses can feel pain at 20-weeks gestation, and the bill is just another attempt to meddle with women’s constitutional rights to decide the fate of their pregnancies.

Moreover, if abortions after the fifth month are severely restricted, it is likely to drive women to abortionists “like Gosnell,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. The dangers the legislation poses to women and families “cannot be underestimated,” she said.

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