US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Philadelphia and the March for Life

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

The grotesque revelations out of West Philadelphia may add an extra poignancy to this year's March for Life tomorrow in Washington. Abortionist Kermit Gosnell and members of his staff have been charged with multple criminal counts, including eight counts of homicide in the deaths of one clinic patient and seven unnamed infants. The details of their decades long criminal spree should still have the power to shock in a nation that has grown complacent with the institution of abortion as purportedly "safe, legal and rare," something that couldn't be said about Dr. Gosnell's curious practice. If you have the stomach for it, you can find the details here in the District Attorney Seth William's indictment and the almost unbelievable grand jury report.

Gosnel specialized in late term abortions, which apparently in his practice amounted to nothing short of outright infanticide. A harder look at late-term abortions and the issue of fetal viability may become a larger part of the public dialogue over abortion in the coming months. A raft of newly elected conservative politicians promise to reboot the civic discussion on abortion. A new law in Nebraska raises the question of fetal pain as a legitimate concern. New breakthroughs in postnatal treatment continue to push lower the threshold on fetal viability, a point of "state interest" in protecting prenatal life according to the Roe v. Wade decision itself. As a nation we may not be able to come to complete agreement on the institution of abortion, however, there may be reason for optimism that some common sense standards about common decency for the unborn may be within our reach.