The day before the grand jury report on Gosnell was published, Gov. Tom Corbett, endorsed by Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and LifePAC of Southwestern PA on previous campaigns, put his hand on William Penn’s bible and was sworn in as governor.
A week later, Jan. 25, the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved Senate Bill 3. If signed into law, the bill will restrict private insurance companies planning to participate in the 2014 state healthcare exchanges from covering abortion. Since many women currently un- or underinsured or working at smaller companies will obtain health insurance coverage through the exchanges, this law will translate into less access to abortion services for women, and disproportionately affect poor women.
Pennsylvania was ground zero for the abortion debate before the Gosnell case and will continue to be as much in its aftermath. Whatever the specifics of the legislation that will be passed in the near future, what’s clear is that the trend will be to restrict access, not protect it.
It’s also clear from the data that more restrictions will result in both delayed abortions and women forced to carry to term simply because they can’t afford it.
The real fault lines in the abortion debate don’t lie between pro-lifers and pro-choicers anymore. It lies between rhetoric and reality. Gosnell operated in the wide-open darkness that lies between.
Click here for a timeline of events, including inspections and complaints that led to nowhere, leading up to Gosnell's arrest.
Journalist Steve Lopez once wrote that Philadelphia is a city without pretense in a state without shame—and that was long before Harrisburg legislators stooped low enough to exploit murdered babies to push a bill into law that would result in what critics call a “back-door ban” on abortion in Pennsylvania.
Nine months after a grand jury concluded that the number of babies and women who died in Kermit Gosnell's women's health services clinic is “literally incalculable,” a pair of guerilla artists sent out invitations to a renegade art installation titled Regard, to be showcased by lights tonight at the former site.
Under the leadership of 44-year-old Troy Newman, Operation Rescue has become known for zeroing in on defined areas and then pressuring individual clinics and practitioners until operating becomes unreasonable or impossible.
A timeline of events in the case against Dr. Kermit Gosnell.
Last year, in the wake of the arrest of Kermit Gosnell, Operation Rescue came to town. They met in the basement of St. Agnes Church in West Chester. As PW reported in March, the militant anti-abortion organization was there recruiting volunteers to gather doctors’ names and schedules by pretending to be mothers of daughters who were seeking abortions.
PW's Music Issue 2014