Anyone following the murder trial of late term abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, must be horrified. The way in which Gosnell treated born infants and mothers alike, is enough to make even the toughest pro-choice advocate squeamish. As we hear what has gone on behind the closed doors of one clinic, it is time to reflect on our nation’s late term abortion clinic policy.
The problem with late term abortions is that while the mother is the patient as well as the client another patient is involved. Yet it is the mother’s wishes that must be followed. But both the mother and child have an interest in the surgery. In late term abortions, these babies are able to survive outside of the womb. This creates a problem when abortion doctors accidently deliver the children before their life has been terminated. It creates a divided allegiance as demonstrated by Gosnell.
On the one hand, the client has paid for a service. On the other, their now exists a legal duty to care for this child. It certainly puts the doctors in an awkward position as the client has paid to eliminate a baby and yet there persists to be a crying baby in the room.
Such abortion survivors are protected under “BAIPA”, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002. Yet there exists a very real risk to an abortion doctor’s business and reputation should he fail to terminate the child. In the case of Kermit Gosnell, the situation poses a real temptation for abortion doctors to finish the job they started post-birth.
Late-term abortion doctors understand the arbitrary line that protects children outside of the womb while offering no such protection inside of the womb. What doctors were legally encouraged to do two minutes ago, is now considered illegal under the right set of circumstances. Thus, many abortion doctors will feel the pressure to allow abortion survivors to expire through either affirmative or negative behavior. Both are illegal under the law.
The Gosnell trial demonstrates the need to create greater oversight and restrictions if not all out bans on late term abortions. In no way do such restrictions impede a women’s right to choose. It simply forces her to make her decision within 4-6 months rather than in nine months. Late term abortions don’t only pose greater legal questions in the lives of infants, but pose real dangers in the lives of expectant mothers. One of Gosnell’s victims was in fact a mother.
If this was any issue beside abortion, we would all agree that we have a mandate to act in this area of healthcare to protect the lives of mothers and infants alike, not to mention the conscience of our nation. The facts demand action and create a mandate to act. Republicans in DC and all fifty states owe it to our women and children to stand up to barbarism in all its forms.