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USA Today Editorial, Opinion Piece Debate Legacy of Gosnell Case for Abortion Regulation

USA Today Editorial, Opinion Piece Debate Legacy of Gosnell Case for Abortion Regulation

April 19, 2013 —On Thursday, USA Today published an editorial and an opinion piece debating the implications of Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell's murder trial for abortion laws and regulation. Summaries appear below.

~ USA Today: "The combination of alleged mass murder and regulatory failure" that allowed Gosnell's clinic to operate for years "warrants national coverage" by the media, but "[w]hat it doesn't warrant ... is major changes in national abortion policy," the editorial states. The editorial notes that advocates on both sides of the abortion-rights debate are attempting to use the trial to advance their cause. Abortion-rights opponents have used the case to push for more stringent laws, while abortion-rights advocates have argued that the incident is a product of overly restrictive policies that made other options for abortion care unavailable or too costly. "All these arguments have weaknesses," the editorial contends, adding, "Aside from the obvious -- that regulators should do their jobs, and that criminal doctors should be harshly prosecuted -- it's hard to say what else should be concluded from the Gosnell case" (USA Today, 4/18).

~ Lila Rose, USA Today: In order to "prevent another Kermit Gosnell," Rose -- founder and president of the antiabortion-rights group Live Action -- recommends "more regulation of the abortion industry and more enforcement of existing regulations." She urges more states to pass laws regulating abortion clinics like hospitals, mandating that only physicians can perform abortions and increasing reporting requirements. However, she contends that "they won't be enough ... because no amount of regulation or oversight can change the fact that an abortionist will always be an abortionist." She concludes, "No matter how many laws are passed, and how strictly they are enforced, it won't be enough until we realize that America's women and smallest children need something more, they deserve something far better, than abortion" (Rose, USA Today, 4/18).