Abortionist's Case Raises Troubling Questions

Photo Credit: Washington Examiner

Until late last week, almost nobody outside of Philadelphia or the pro-life activist community had heard of Gosnell or his trial, which began two weeks ago. The New York Times had one story at the start of the trial in March, and then nothing.

Conservative media critic Mollie Hemingway of the blog GetReligion spent a good part of last week asking reporters who normally cover such issues why they were clamming up on this trial. Washington Post writer Sarah Kliff, who covers abortion extensively, responded that she didn’t cover “local crime.”

Many conservatives noted that the Newton, Conn., school massacre and the killing of Trayvon Martin could be described as “local crime,” yet they warranted national media attention. Why not an alleged serial-killing abortionist?

It’s a good question, especially because the policy debate Gosnell stirs up could give ammunition to either side. Abortion defender Katha Pollitt, for instance, wrote after Gosnell’s arrest last year, “What fueled Gosnell’s business were the very restrictions the legislature was so keen on passing. …”

On the other side, Gosnell’s crimes are also relevant to President Obama’s abortion record. As a state senator, Obama repeatedly voted against legislation requiring hospitals to care for babies born during abortions. Such laws might somehow be used in the future to infringe on abortion’s legality, Obama argued.

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