Jury will now decide on death penalty for abortion doctor

Posted at 9:06 PM, May 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-13 21:06:00-04

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The jury that convicted a Philadelphia abortion doctor of first-degree murder today will return later this month to decide whether he should face the death penalty.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder in the deaths of three babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of an abortion patient.

Both sides in the abortion debate are endorsing the verdict. The head of the National Right to Life Committee says the case "has helped more people realize what abortion is really about." He says he hopes more states will now pass bills that prohibit abortion "once the unborn child can feel pain."

Supporters of legalized abortion say the case foreshadows what poor, desperate young women could face if abortion is driven underground with more restrictive laws. The head of an abortion rights group says it shows the need for "high-quality and legal abortion care."