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Gosnell trial points to need for penalties for killing babies who survive abortions

Catholic World News - May 07, 2013

Although the infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell has been charged with deliberately killing infants who survived his late-term abortions, he will not face a jail term from that offense, because the federal law he allegedly violated does not include criminal penalties, notes Hadley Arkes.

Arkes, a principal author of the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act, recalls that all criminal penalties were removed from the legislation, to ease concerns that the bill would be vetoed by then-President Bill Clinton. Arkes regrets that decision on the part of the bill’s Republican sponsors.

Still more emphatically, Arkes reports his dismay at hearing that Republican lawmakers have recently brought up two important pro-life measures under “suspension of the rules,” a procedure that requires approval by two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives. The Republican leadership recognized that it could not command that super-majority, he said. “It was, in other words, a planned failure.”

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