Aborting newborns, and the butcher of Philadelphia

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Kermit Gosnell ran an abortion business that was, by all accounts, a house of horrors. This week, his trial begins. He’s charged with eight counts of murder: one mother and seven newborn babies.

It’s a bit dizzying to talk about whether an abortionist murdered babies. It’s kind of like charging soldiers with murder — an edge case where we have to drill down into come very uncomfortable moral distinctions. Here are some relevant details from an Associated Press piece today:

Gosnell, who has pleaded not guilty, saw himself as a medical missionary in the blighted neighborhood where he worked and lived for 40 years.

Unlicensed doctor Steven Massof of Pittsburgh told the grand jury that he used scissors to snip the spines of more than 100 babies born alive. He worked for Gosnell for a few hundred dollars a week. He pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the deaths of two babies allegedly stabbed by Gosnell while Massof assisted with the abortions….

agents found fetal body parts in glass jars and staff refrigerators….

So, here’s my question to pro-choice people who think late-term abortion is morally okay: If a woman shows up at an abortionist to get her baby aborted, but the doctor either accidentally or intentionally delivers the baby, is it morally defensible to “abort” the viable baby after she has come out of the mother?

p.s. Read this 2011 piece by Slate’s William Saletan on how pro-choice feminists protect horrible clinics.

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