Abortion Doctor’s Capital Murder Trial Has National Impact

PHILADELPHIA (May 4, 2013)--For weeks, jurors in Philadelphia heard grim testimony about deaths and squalor at Dr. Kermit Gosnell's inner-city abortion clinic.

While they listened, the revelations reverberated far beyond the courtroom, changing at least for the moment the tone of the national debate on abortion.

Groups supporting legal access to abortion find themselves on the defensive as they distance themselves from Gosnell while anti-abortion activists, in contrast, are citing the case in fundraising appeals and renewing efforts to expand state restrictions on abortion.

Gosnell is charged with killing five people, a patient and four viable babies, who prosecutors say were born alive.

Among scores of other counts, he also is accused of performing abortions after Pennsylvania's 24-week limit.

Jury deliberations began April 30 and are scheduled to resume Monday.

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