Applauding Kermit Gosnell’s Guilty Verdict

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
May 13 2013 6:24 PM

Applauding Kermit Gosnell’s Guilty Verdict

150832303
Kermit Gosnell is guilty

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty of murder for the deaths of three babies who were born, and then killed, in his hellhole of a Pennsylania abortion clinic.  From Fox:

“Prosecution experts said one was nearly 30 weeks along when it was aborted and it was so big that Gosnell allegedly joked it could ‘walk to the bus.’ A second fetus was said to be alive for some 20 minues before a clinic worker snipped its neck. A third was born in a toilet and was moving after another clinic employee grabbed it and severed its spinal cord, according to testimony.”
Advertisement

That’s all you need to know to welcome this verdict. There is nothing controversial about finding a man guilty who killed live babies. Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the death of a patient who died of an overdose in his care. Her death is a reflection of the abusive, repulsive scene of his clinic, a place of unspeakable conditions. The grand jury report that laid out the charges against Gosnell is excruciating to read, a document of horrors visited on poor and desperate women and innocent newborns. So are the accounts of the Pennsylvania agencies that dropped the ball on investigating and catching this man.

We can debate whether Gosnell’s trial got enough press coverage—whether the mainstream media shied away from putting it on the front page for fear of putting abortion in a bad light. But Gosnell’s misdeeds aren’t about legal abortion. They’re about killing babies after viability—after they could live outside their mothers’ wombs. In Pennsylvania, abortions after 24 weeks are illegal. It’s important to remember why women were driven to Gosnell’s clinic. But you can fully support a legal right to abortion—and greater access to it—and simultaneously applaud this guilty verdict. The women and babies of Pennsylvania are safer with Gosnell facing many years in prison or the death penalty. That is front page news.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

I Went Hunting for Ebola in 2004. (What I Found Was Bats.)

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Ben Bradlee’s Fascinating Relationship With JFK

Culturebox

The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here

I feel like a kid in some kind of store.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Move Aside, Oxford Comma, the New Battle Is Over Single or Double Quotes

On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Harassed.

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 11:57 AM Why Wasn't the WHO Ready for Ebola?
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 22 2014 12:03 PM Colonia Fara: An Italian Summer Camp for Happy Little Fascists
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 22 2014 11:04 AM Do All U.S. Presidents Look the Same? What About Japan’s Prime Ministers?
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 22 2014 10:29 AM Apple TV Could Still Work Here’s how Apple can fix its living-room product.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 22 2014 12:30 PM Update: Sunspot 2192's X-Class Flare
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.