Anti-abortion demonstrators rally during the March for Life on Jan. 22, 2014, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

After Gosnell, Anti-Abortion Activists Want to 'Take Back the Mothers' 

The gory case can be a 'conversation starter' on the campaign trail.

Anti-abortion demonstrators rally during the March for Life on Jan. 22, 2014, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Anti-abortion activists, such as these protesters at the March for Life in January, want to use the Kermit Gosnell trial to change the abortion conversation.

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It's one year later, and those in the anti-abortion political community are still hoping that Kermit Gosnell and his “house of horrors” will change the conversation on abortion in this country.

Tuesday marked the anniversary of the Philadelphia abortion doctor’s conviction. He was charged with first-degree murder for the deaths of three infants born alive during botched abortions and involuntary manslaughter for the death of his patient, Karnamaya Mongar, whose abortion went very wrong.

Citing this example, Americans United for Life President and CEO Charmaine Yoest said those on her side of the issue needed to “take back the mothers,” as the Planned Parenthood set have tended to be seen as pro-mother and anti-abortion activists as pro-child. 

[VOTE: Will Gosnell Change the Abortion Debate?]

“As we are moving deeper into our fifth decade of fighting this, we must ensure that we are on the side of both mothers and babies together, because they are both being victimized by this industry,” Yoest said.

Yoest was among friendly faces at the Heritage Foundation Tuesday, as a panel of experts and activists gathered to commemorate the gruesome anniversary. (The 261-page grand jury report includes details on Gosnell slitting babies' spinal cords and using experimental medicine on his patients like the “super coil,” a device made of plastic razors inserted into the uterus to cut up fetuses.)

“This case is a conversation starter on the campaign trail,” said Ovide Lamontagne, who currently serves as Americans United for Life’s general counsel. Lamontagne had previously run as a Republican for both U.S. Senate and governor of New Hampshire, but lost his races. The ex-politico said the Gosnell case lends support for a 20-week abortion ban, something Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is currently pursuing in the senate.

“I’m a newcomer to the pro-life movement professionally," Lamontagne said. "[But] I very much believe the momentum is in our favor."