As the jury resumes deliberations in the murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee is attempting to use the case to reignite debate over the hot-button issue of abortion.
In a resolution introduced Monday, Lee highlights the horrific details of the Gosnell case and calls on Congress to “investigate and correct abusive, unsanitary, and illegal abortion practices.”
“Whereas no woman should ever be abandoned, by policy or practice, to the depredations of an unlicensed, unregulated, or uninspected clinic operating outside of the law with no regard for the mothers or children ostensibly under its care,” the resolution states, adding later that it is “essential” for federal, state, and local governments to take action against “dangerous” abortion clinics.
The resolution is further evidence of the ongoing politicization of the Gosnell case, which has inflamed tensions on both sides of the abortion debate. Anti-abortion activists, in particular, have seized on the stomach-turning details of the Gosnell trial in an effort to push through further regulations of abortion clinics at the state and federal level.
But as Lee’s resolution makes clear, the goal of these regulations is not simply to make abortion clinics safer, but also to limit access to the procedure altogether.
The resolution cites for Congressional hearings on late-term abortions such as those performed at Gosnell’s clinic. Gosnell faces more than 250 criminal charges, including numerous allegations of performing third-trimester abortions and three charges of murdering babies by “snipping” their spinal cords after botched late-term abortions.
Only about 1.5 per cent of abortions are performed after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to research from the Guttmacher Institute.
Despite the relative infrequency of these procedures, Lee’s resolution goes on to state that Congress should take action toward “protecting the lives of unborn children” after 20 weeks of pregnancy, citing disputed evidence that indicates fetuses can feel pain after that point.
This action, Lee concludes, “is long overdue and is an urgent priority” for Congress.
Read the full text of the resolution below:
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