Gosnell case fuels bitter US abortion debate

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By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell's conviction has reignited the bitter U.S. debate over abortion. But some hope it will prompt new dialogue, so the crimes aren't repeated.

Public policy associate Elizabeth Nash hopes the case prompts calls for better access to family planning, to reduce the demand for abortions — and the decibel level in the debate.

University of Notre Dame bioethicist and law professor O. Carter Snead says the case is "a grotesque wakeup call" to have a hard conversation about a difficult issue.

Jurors convicted Gosnell on Monday of killing three babies born alive. He was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of a patient. Gosnell waived any appeals to avoid the death penalty Wednesday, and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

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