Kermit Gosnell Convicted on Three Counts of First-Degree Murder

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 13 2013 3:46 PM

Kermit Gosnell Convicted on Three Counts of First-Degree Murder

The conservative campaign to shame the media into covering Kermit Gosnell's murder trial was a success. It was only the Boston Marathon bombing, which happened the day media arrived for the abortionist's trial in Philadelphia, that kept it from A1. But the verdict finally came in today—three counts of murder—and the first response I got was from NARAL President Ilyse Hogue.

Justice was served to Kermit Gosnell today and he will pay the price for the atrocities he committed. We hope that the lessons of the trial do not fade with the verdict. Anti-choice politicians, and their unrelenting efforts to deny women access to safe and legal abortion care, will only drive more women to back-alley butchers like Kermit Gosnell.
From the lack of funding available for low-income women to access abortion services, to the sharp decline of reputable providers in Pennsylvania, to the gross negligence of authorities to enforce the law after complaints were filed against Gosnell, each aspect of this case must be a teachable moment for lawmakers: until we reject the politicization of women's medical care and leave these decisions where they belong — between a woman and her family and her doctor — women will never be safe. The horrifying story of Kermit Gosnell is a peek into the world before Roe v. Wade made legal a woman's right to make her own choices.

We come full circle; it was the pro-choice movement that first wrote and talked about Gosnell, to pre-empt any sensationalism about the case. It was the pro-life movement, last month, that nudged the press into covering it again. Only one quibble: Gosnell wasn't "back-alley." His clinic was legal; it wasn't regularly inspected.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.