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How Kirsten Powers Got America Talking

BY RELEVANT CURRENT / ISSUE 64 June 24, 2013

March 18 commenced the trial for Kermit Gosnell—the Philadelphia abortion clinic doctor found guilty of killing three newborns intended for late-term abortions.

The Daily Beast would later refer to it as “what could plausibly be called ‘The Trial of the Century,’” yet, for weeks, no mention could be found among the headlines of most major news outlets.

That is, not until Kirsten Powers’ USA Today column. Powers wrote: “Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure.” The clinic also administered racist, health-code-violating treatment. If this isn’t newsworthy, Powers argued, then what is?

Powers’ column sparked a flood of media responses, and in the midst of it all, a new conversation is emerging.

In Pennsylvania, abortions are legal up to 24 weeks. But in the Gosnell case, failed abortion attempts under 24 weeks are being counted as murder because the baby was killed outside the womb.

GetReligion contributor and Ricochet editor Mollie Hemingway added that reporters are incorrectly calling Gosnell’s victims “fetuses”—by definition, inside the womb—when they are in fact post-birth babies.

The conversation is one Powers—and many others with her—wants to see.

“That would be my hope—that we could just have an honest conversation about late-term abortion. And I don’t think we’ve ever had one,”
she says.

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