The trial of Kermit Gosnell, a 72-year-old doctor, who is facing murder charges in the deaths of a patient and seven babies allegedly born alive at his West Philadelphia abortion clinic, has evoked passionate responses.
The gruesome account in court of what went on in the clinic dubbed a "house of horrors" by the Philadelphia District Attorney has proved to be a Rorschach test. Pro-life supporters say it makes the case for why abortion clinics need stricter regulations. Pro-choice advocates argue that it proves the need for access to safe, legal abortions.
Pro-life groups like Susan B. Anthony List have used the Gosnell trial to push for state laws that require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and often require abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges, Business Insider reports.
"We've been inundated lately with stories of negligence and even death," Mallory Quigley, communications director at Susan B. Anthony List told Business Insider. "The abortion industry cannot be prevailed upon to regulate itself."
Pro-choice advocates say the Gosnell story is a cautionary tale of what could happen if women are forced to seek out illegal procedures if states pass laws restricting access to abortion.
"Kermit Gosnell's so-called clinic is a peek into the world before Roe v. Wade," Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America told The Huffington Post. "And this is exactly what our opponents are driving us to."