PHILADELPHIA (AP) – 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 murder case 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, after major successes in the 2012 national elections, find themselves on the defensive as they distance themselves from Gosnell.
“All of us are appalled by the substandard illegal practices,” said Vicki Saporta, who as CEO of the National Abortion Federation represents hundreds of U.S. abortion clinics. “But to make the leap to say that’s indicative of the state of abortion care throughout the U.S. is absolutely false.”
Anti-abortion activists, in contrast, are energized by the case, citing it in fundraising appeals and renewed efforts to expand state restrictions on abortion.
“It’s very seldom we get…
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