Pa. Senator Wants Abortion Regulation Law Repealed

abortion clinics

L: Courtesy of Senator Daylin Leach

In the wake of yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down parts of an abortion regulation law in Texas, a Pennsylvania senator wants to repeal a law here that works similarly.

In Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court overturned a 2013 Texas law that required abortion facilities to meet the standards of “ambulatory surgical facilities.” Since the law’s enactment, the number of Texas abortion clinics has decreased from 41 to 18. The decision was the most sweeping statement on abortion since 1992, according to the New York Times.

In a memo to lawmakers, state Sen. Daylin Leach compared a Pennsylvania law, Act 122 of 2011, to the overturned Texas law. Act 122 also mandates that abortion clinics follow the rules of ambulatory surgical facilities.

Leach said that by repealing Act 122, Pennsylvania would be up to date with U.S. Constitutional requirements. He plans to introduce legislation to overturn the act in the near future.

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Gosnell-Inspired Bill Targets Infanticide, Illegal Abortions

State capitol | Shutterstock.com

State capitol | Shutterstock.com

A bill that would lengthen the statute of limitations for crimes of the sort committed by “House of Horrors” abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House.

The bill, introduced Tuesday, would entirely set aside the statute of limitations for infanticide, the killing of a baby born alive during the course of an abortion or pregnancy termination. Furthermore, the statute of limitations for illegal abortions performed after the 24th week of gestation would likewise be increased to five years. Currently, prosecutors cannot bring charges in either case if more than two years has elapsed.

“Infanticide is homicide and should be treated as such,” Rep. Matthew Baker, a Republican, wrote in a memorandum explaining the bill. Read more »

Gosnell Co-Defendant Gets New Trial

Eileen O’Neill, who was a co-defendant to Kermit Gosnell when he stood trial for killing three infants born alive at his West Philadelphia abortion clinic, has been granted a new trial.

Though O’Neill was tried with Gosnell, she was convicted on theft and conspiracy charges related to her work with and billing of patients at the clinic. She was not implicated in the deaths that sent Gosnell to prison for three life sentences.

“Prosecutors said O’Neill pretended to be a licensed physician at Dr. Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic, the Women’s Medical Society, when in fact she was unlicensed. She did, however, have a medical degree,” NBC 10 said at the time of her conviction. “The Commonwealth also argued O’Neill lied to insurance companies and patients and billed for services she was not allowed to perform. Her attorney argued there was no evidence O’Neill charged for her services.”
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GOP Flier Links Wolf With Gosnell

Newsworks reports that the Pennsylvania GOP is sending out a flier linking Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf to murderous “House of Horrors” abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.

Wolf, the flier says, wants “to turn back the clock to the days when abortionists like Gosnell were able to commit atrocities without oversight.” Wolf has condemned the ad.
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Gosnell’s Son Faces Burglary Charges

We told you last week that Kermit Gosnell’s son had been shot while breaking into undergrad housing in West Philly. Today, a press release from the District Attorney’s Office:

The District Attorney’s Office has charged 22-year-old Barron Alexander (aka Barron Gosnell) with Burglary, Theft, Receiving Stolen Property, Simple Assault and REAP. Alexander is charged with breaking into a home on June 4, 2014 in the Southwest section of the city. He was arraigned, bail set at $125,000 and his next court date is scheduled for June 20, 2014 in courtroom 703.

Filmmaker “Crowdsourcing” Funding for Kermit Gosnell Movie

NBC 10 reports that more than 19,000 people have contributed to the budget of a new movie about vilified “House of Horrors” abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. The filmmakers have raised nearly their entire $2.1 million budget for the project

As of Tuesday, the Gosnell Movie campaign raised $1.9 million of the $2.1 million goal, the most [money] raised for a film on Indiegogo.

“I was thinking we were going to beat the (most money raised) target, but not win and become the most successful failure ever on crowdfunding,” said journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer. “But, we should make the fundraising goal. We’re averaging $30,000 per day.”

Gosnell was convicted of threee counts of murdering live born babies, plus more than 200 counts of violting the state’s 24-hour consent law. Steve Volk wrote about the case for Philly Mag.

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Unlicensed Philadelphia Abortion ‘Doctor’ Gets 6 to 12 Years

Steven Massof, who testified against “House of Horrors” abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell last year, received a sentence of 6 to 12 years in state prison yesterday.

“I’m not here to make excuses. I’m here to take full responsibility for my actions and my inactions,” an emotional Massof, 51, said before being sentenced by Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner.

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Kermit Gosnell Is Smart, Funny, Warm … and Bent

kermit-gosnell-philadelphia-400In the 16 years I’ve been a journalist, no story disturbed me quite as much as my most recent, on Kermit Gosnell. I could recite a long list of reasons, Gosnell himself chief among them. In conversation, Gosnell is smart, funny, warm—and bent.

His case is more complicated than most media portrayals allow. Yet, up close, his story is worse than we knew—a lesson in how self-righteousness and cold rationalizations blur distinctions between man and monster. But the other source of my discomfort is that true crime stories don’t often intersect, so inextricably, with politics—let alone the most contentious subject in politics: abortion.

To be straight about it, I have always been comfortably pro choice—a moderate lefty content with Roe. But covering the Gosnell trial provoked a new unease.

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The Real Reason the Media Kept Its Distance from the Gosnell Trial

In writing the story of Kermit Gosnell, even in the form of a 13,000 word e-book, there is a lot of material I had to leave behind. One topic I wanted to address is the role the media played, or didn’t play, in covering Gosnell’s case and the trial as it happened.

Conservative commentators and bloggers thought the lack of coverage reflected pure liberal bias—a pro choice media that didn’t want to pull the covers off the dark practice of abortion.

The furor actually did seem to shame some outlets into providing additional coverage of the story, including the Washington Post. But I felt, at the time, as a reporter sitting in the courtroom, and continue to feel today, that what the right was really complaining about was TV.

Where were the cameras?

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