Philly abortion murder trial has national impact

    For weeks, jurors in Philadelphia heard grim testimony about deaths and squalor at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s inner-city abortion clinic. While they listened, the murder case reverberated far beyond the courtroom, changing — at least for the moment — the tone of the national debate on abortion.

    Groups supporting legal access to abortion find themselves on the defensive as they distance themselves from Gosnell.



    Anti-abortion activists, in contrast, are citing the case in fundraising appeals and renewing efforts to expand state restrictions on abortion.

    Gosnell is charged with killing five people — a patient and four viable babies that prosecutors say were born alive. Among scores of other counts, he also is accused of performing abortions after Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit.

    Jury deliberations began April 30 and are scheduled to resume Monday.

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