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.