Monday, July 18, 2011

Dr. Kermit Gosnell and Cruel and Usual Punishment

Adam Peters:
Dr. Kermit Gossnell is a Philidelphia-based abortion provider who stands accused of murdering seven newborn babies and one adult in his sceptic, vermin infested clinic. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. Capital punishment in Pennsylvania is a two step process: the condemned is first stabbed through the back of his neck with a pair of scissors, whereupon his spinal column is severed. Oh, I‘m sorry, I got my facts confused– I just described how Dr. Gosnell murdered his young victims. The state of Pennsylvania (or any other state) would be precluded executing people this way by the Eighth Amendment, as it prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” This prohibition has led the Supreme Court to place significant limits on how and why convicts may be put to death. In Wilkerson v. Utah, the Court declared that “punishments of torture,” such as disembowelment or burning at the stake, were constitutionally impermissible.

While these practices may be too gruesome to inflict on convicted murderers, they are par for the course when it comes to killing fetuses. In much of North America, stabbing, dismembering, or burning an unborn baby with saline all remain perfectly legal. Indeed, if Dr. Gossnell had simply paid more attention to basic hygiene, relocated to a state with slightly laxer laws, and (most importantly) killed his victims while they were still completely inside their mothers, he would probably still be in business today. Helping him operate would be two important myths that the abortion industry depends on.
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