Planned Parenthood Happy With Gosnell Verdict; Argues Against Limiting Abortion Access

Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion-providing organization, said the jury delivered a "just verdict" by finding Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell guilty of first-degree murder. It also argued that the case will help legal abortion rather than restrict it.

"The jury has punished Kermit Gosnell for his appalling crimes. This verdict will ensure that no woman is victimized by Kermit Gosnell ever again," Planned Parenthood Federation of America Vice President for Communications Eric Ferrero said in a statement.

"This case has made clear that we must have and enforce laws that protect access to safe and legal abortion, and we must reject misguided laws that would limit women's options and force them to seek treatment from criminals like Kermit Gosnell," Ferrero added.

On Monday, Gosnell was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies born after botched abortions at the Women's Medical Society abortion clinic in West Philadelphia, Pa., as well as one count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of patient Karnamaya Mongar.

Gosnell, 72, is said to have ran what many have called a "house of horrors" for 40 years, and his services targeted minorities and poor women who could not afford better health care.

The majority of pro-life groups that have condemned Gosnell's practices and also found themselves satisfied with the guilty verdict are hoping the case will lead to more regulation and the exposure of more abortion clinics violating laws.

Dana Cody, executive director of Life Legal Defense Foundation, said in a statement that it is important to remember that Gosnell's practices are not an exception to how many abortion facilities operate.

"Hopefully this is the first step in seeing prosecutors, nationwide, take legal action when children born alive after surviving abortion are murdered. After all, Gosnell is not the exception, his clinic is the rule, abortion is murder inside and outside the womb. We are also hopeful that now government agencies will better scrutinize abortion clinics and shut down more of them before more women are killed and babies murdered," Cody said.

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias added: "Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder for severing the necks of just-born babies, but those babies would have died just as painfully if he had killed them inside the womb, as most late-term abortionists do.

"The result is the same for the baby whether it meets its end in a shabby clinic like Gosnell's or a brand new Planned Parenthood facility – a painful death."

Tobias noted that most U.S. states allow abortion past 20 weeks and urged more states to adopt the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which prevents the abortion, except to save the life of the mother, of unborn children who are capable of feeling pain.

Alveda King, director of African American Outreach for Gospel of Life Ministries, added that she hopes Gosnell's conviction will bring about justice for more women and children across the U.S.

"Justice is served with this verdict, but injustice will continue unless we end abortion in this country. Gosnell was not the only abortionist who killed mothers and their born babies, he was just the one who got caught. Now we have to turn out attention to charging, trying and convicting others like him," King said.

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