Planned Parenthood has condemned the actions of Kermit Gosnell, a late-term abortion provider in Pennsylvania charged with killing seven babies, but is opposing new regulation.
"Planned Parenthood strongly condemns the alleged actions of Kermit Gosnell, and we would condemn any physician or health-care provider who did not follow the law or recklessly endangered the health of others," stated Dayle Steinberg, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, in an article posted on philly.com.
Planned Parenthood maintains strict policies and procedures to ensure the highest standard of health care, Steinberg claimed. However, she added that no new regulations can stop a physician who has decided to disregard the law.
Restrictions that would further hinder access to safe abortion is not the answer, and will only increase the number of poor women who are forced by circumstances to turn to unsafe options for care, she argued.
Abortion, she went on to say, is already a highly restricted procedure, which has caused some women to delay abortion procedures, often into the second trimester, where it becomes both a higher medical risk and more expensive.
"In Washington, rather than focusing on fixing the economy and creating jobs, the House leadership has already spent considerable time on passing a bill that would have drastic and dangerous implications for women in need of serious medical care resulting from complex and sometimes life-threatening pregnancies," Steinberg charged.
In Pennsylvania, an abortion ban bill was just introduced in the Senate, she noted. "Most Americans do not want elected officials marginalizing the one in four American women who have had or will need abortion procedures."
Gosnell, 72, who ran two abortion practices in Philadelphia, is accused of killing seven babies who were born alive and one patient who died from an overdose of Demerol that was administered by the clinic's unlicensed staff.
The trial resumed on Monday. Gosnell faces seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of third-degree murder, following deaths at the Women's Medical Society abortion clinic he owned and operated for 40 years in the west Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up.
Planned Parenthood clarified last week that it is not in favor of killing babies who survive a botched abortion.
In a statement before Florida lawmakers, Lillian Tamayo of Planned Parenthood said, "Medical guidelines and ethics already compel physicians facing life-threatening circumstances to respond, and Planned Parenthood physicians provide high-quality medical care and adhere to the most rigorous professional standards, including providing emergency care. In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the panel of legislators should happen, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant."
Sherry West, a former employee at Gosnell's clinic who pled guilty to third-degree murder and conspiracy, testified Monday that she witnessed a baby screaming, lying on a shelf, having been delivered during an abortion procedure. West, 53, described the baby as being between 18 and 24 inches long. She told the jury that the baby made a screeching noise.
District Attorney R. Seth Williams laid out the case against Gosnell, his wife, Pearl, and eight other employees in a grand jury report last year, which revealed that Gosnell profited $10,000 to $15,000 a day at his late-term abortion clinic – not including the $200,000 he made from writing 2,300 illegal prescriptions for OxyContin and other addictive drugs.
Meanwhile, the Media Research Center, a conservative research organization based in Alexandria, Va., analyzed the media coverage and revealed, "Since the Gosnell trial began three weeks ago, ABC, CBS, and NBC have given the story ZERO seconds of coverage on either their morning or evening news shows. They have not covered Gosnell once since his arrest in January 2011, and even then, only CBS did so."
The Washington Post has now pledged coverage of the trial
After facing criticism from conservative media watchdog groups for not giving sufficient coverage to the trial of Gosnell, The Washington Post on Friday said it realizes that it should have sent a reporter sooner.
"We believe the story is deserving of coverage by our own staff, and we intend to send a reporter for the resumption of the trial next week," said Martin Baron, executive editor of the Post, adding, "In retrospect, we should have sent a reporter sooner."
Baron said this in response to a blog post by Erik Wemple asking why the mainstream media hasn't done more – or anything, really – to cover the trial.
The criminal case against Gosnell began March 18 and is expected to continue for four to eight more weeks.