In the current issue of The Weekly Standard , Jon A. Shields gives a searing summary of the trial of Kermit Gosnell. He admits, “the liberal position on killing abortion survivors makes a bizarre kind of moral sense,” and then adds:

“After all, what is the moral difference between killing an 8-month-old human being in the womb and killing it in the bright light of an operating room? And if there is a difference, can it bear the moral weight of the death penalty? If Gosnell is executed for his abortion practices, it would seem to be because he didn’t pump enough lethal digoxin into the hearts of his victims before they were born . . . . He was an inefficient, unskilled killer.”

Besides, Gosnell’s abortion morality is supported at the highest levels of our government: “Justice John Paul Stevens, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg concurring, wrote in the 2000 partial-birth abortion case of Stenberg v. Carhart : ’

Although much ink is spilled today describing the gruesome nature of late-term abortion procedures, that rhetoric does not provide me a reason to believe that the procedure Nebraska here claims it seeks to ban is more brutal, more gruesome, or less respectful of potential life than the equally gruesome procedure Nebraska claims it still allows.’” The most numbing thing about the whole affair is how few people recoil at the legal brutality. We have become nonchalant about murdering the most defenseless of victims.

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Articles by Peter J. Leithart