Enforce Existing Limits on Abortion

Some members of the House of Representatives, rightly horrified by the charnel house that was Philadelphia Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s clinic, want to ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.

But that would do nothing to stop people like Gosnell, just convicted of murdering some babies he delivered alive. When he was commiting his crimes, Pennsylvania state law banned abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy. Gosnell routinely provided abortions for women past that limit.

So do many other abortion clinics around the country, including some in Pennsylvania.

Grand jurors investigating Gosnell learned he could have been stopped years before he was, had local and state health officials enforced the law at his clinic. They did not – and still do not at other abortion facilities.

Lawmakers’ first reaction to tragedies often is to pass a new law, whether it will make any difference or not. Perhaps that makes them feel better.

But unless local and state health agencies do their jobs and stop abortion doctors like Gosnell, a new 20-week limit is unlikely to save many tiny, precious lives from monsters like him.