The man who defended Kermit Gosnell in court believes the takeaway from the trial is that more abortion restrictions are needed. This places him solidly to the right of President Obama who ignored the trial and instead vowed to fight regulation in an appearance before Planned Parenthood.
Kermit Gosnell’s attorney, Jack McMahon, appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show today. At the end of a contentious segment McMahon revealed that he believes laws regulating abortion should be tightened, making 16-17 weeks the cut off for legal abortions. “I think pro-choice would still have the right to chose, but they’ve got to choose quicker” he told Kelly.
During his appearance Wednesday morning, McMahon at first seemed to be sticking to his defense of Gosnell, i.e. the claim that none of the babies Gosnell was convicted of murdering were born alive. At one point he even minimized the seriousness of his client’s convictions saying “things went a bit awry at that location.”
Pressed by Kelly to explain how three murder convictions could be considered “a bit awry” McMahon responded “Well it did because there was no oversight for 18 years. Nobody ever came and looked at that location.” This kicked off a discussion of whether or not the State’s failure of oversight was really the central problem at Gosnell’s clinic. McMahon seemed to be suggesting it was, thereby downplaying the murder of infants by Dr. Gosnell.
Moments later Kelly interjected “Are you disputing now that they were born alive, as the jury found, before Dr. Gosnell murdered them?” McMahon replied, “The jury found that and we respect that and that’s there belief. Dr. Gosnell and my position throughout at the trial was that they were not alive.”
The argument became even more heated with Kelly eventually willing to concede for argument’s sake that the babies had not been “squirming around on the table.” Neverthless she argued, slapping her hand on her desk for emphasis “they were born alive, sir, they were born alive…and then he killed them by sticking scissors in their necks.” At this point, McMahon offers a surprising revelation:
I’ll tell you what, I’ve come out of this case realizing that 24 weeks is a bad determiner, it should be like 16-17 weeks. That would be a far better thing because the babies would not be even arguably viable at that point in time and I think the law should be changed to that. I think pro-choice would still have the right to chose, but they’ve got to choose quicker. And I think that’s something that should come out of this. I think more regulation should come out of these locations.
It is striking that Gosnell’s attorney, who is still defending his client after the conviction, believes new abortion restrictions are needed while the President has said just the opposite. While the Gosnell trial was still underway, President Obama became the first sitting President to address Planned Parenthood. He gave a speech in which he vowed to defend abortion rights roughly two weeks before Gosnell was found guilty. The conspicuous timing of Obama’s speech–in which he criticized regulation of abortion–was noted by the NY Times:
Mr. Obama did not mention the [Gosnell] case but condemned lawmakers who have
targeted Planned Parenthood. “When politicians try to turn Planned
Parenthood into a punching bag, they’re not just talking about you,
they’re talking about the millions of women who you serve,” he told the
group’s gathering, at a Washington hotel.
The President has intentionally and vocally placed himself to the left of Gosnell’s attorney. At some point, it seems fair to say Barack Obama is an extremist on this issue.