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Abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted yesterday of first degree murder of three babies, has agreed not to appeal a sentence of life in prison in return for the prosecution’s agreement not to seek the death penalty. Having publicly opposed the death penalty for Gosnell, I am entirely content with this way of bringing the appalling episode to a close. Are we through with Gosnell now? Can we “let him rot in prison,” as some have said and “just forget about him”? Not in my view.

For those of us who seek to be disciples of Jesus, our obligation is clear: It is to love Kermit Gosnell and pray for him. He will spend the remainder of his life in jail, as he certainly should—-his punishment is just. But he remains a human being, made in the image and likeness of God. He is our (very wayward) brother. We are his fellow sinners. We must never suppose that it is beyond the power of the divine author of life to move his heart to repentance and conversion.

And let us redouble our efforts on behalf of the victims—-mothers and babies alike—-of the hundreds and even thousands of abortionists who will continue to ply Dr. Gosnell’s grisly trade. Let us pray not only for Gosnell, but for all who deal in death, even as we work tirelessly in the political and cultural spheres to fight the abortion power and care for pregnant women in need and their inestimably precious children.

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