Via the Examiner, “really disgusting” but with a caveat: “When we talk about reproductive health for women, that’s not what we’re talking about.” Except that it is: The difference between what Gosnell did and what late-term abortionists idolized by the left do is a matter of about 10 minutes and 10 inches between the inside and outside of a womb. Not surprisingly, he received referrals from mainstream clinics. He may have been an outlier in terms of just how unsanitary his procedures were, but in the past two months alone, other clinics have been shut down in Ohio, Delaware, and Maryland for unsafe or otherwise improper practices. The difference between him and the rest of the “reproductive health” community, to borrow Pelosi’s Orwellian euphemism, is a difference in degree, not in kind. And yet, entirely predictably, other Democrats are playing the same minimizing game as Pelosi. Dick Blumenthal and Barbara Boxer decided to parry Mike Lee’s resolution about Gosnell’s practices with their own resolution condemning all unsanitary medical procedures, as if a guy on trial for capital murder for slicing live-born infants’ spines upon referral from other abortion providers is no more or less troubling than some random doctor somewhere not disposing of his sharps correctly.

Even so, I’m delighted that she sees a problem. Now we can have bipartisan support for Ramesh Ponnuru’s and Robert George’s call for congressional hearings.

What has gone unnoticed and unmentioned in coverage of the trial are the federal government’s responsibilities. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution requires all states to afford the equal protection of the laws to “all persons.” The Supreme Court has ruled — wrongly, in our view — that unborn children in the early stages of pregnancy do not count as “persons” entitled to that protection. There is no debate, however, that infants have a right to the law’s protection…

The grand-jury report suggests as well that the fact that the victims were poor and black partly explained the passivity of state officials. This claim, if true, strengthens the case that the state was failing to fulfill its legal duty. There is, of course, all too much precedent for such state failure to enforce civil rights granted by the Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment contemplates such failure and offers a solution: Its fifth and concluding section confers upon Congress the power to enforce its substantive guarantees. In this case, power clearly implies duty. It is a power Congress has often used to force states to do the right thing, or to step in itself to bring justice where states refused.

That doesn’t mean there should be a rush to legislation. We don’t yet know whether any legislation is warranted or prudent, let alone what form such legislation would take. To find out, Congress needs to hold fact-finding hearings to learn whether other states have taken the same see-no-evil approach to infanticide at abortion clinics that Pennsylvania did.

House Republicans launched a review of state abortion-clinic regulations just this morning, in fact. Democrats will fight it tooth and nail, but that’s okay: Ultimately this debate can and must come back to Gosnell, and that’s not terra firma for the left in persuading undecideds that what we need are more clinics and less oversight. In fact, when you’re done with the Pelosi clip, watch the interview below that Huckabee did last week (via Life Site News) with J.D. Mullane, the Pennsylvania reporter who was covering the Gosnell trial long before the rest of the media showed up. According to Mullane, “There is one journalist sitting in that courtroom who writes for a local publication who has told me that he is very liberal, very pro-choice. But after sitting through the testimony in the Gosnell trial, he’s reconsidered. He’s changed his mind.” Which is precisely why there was no media in the courtroom until recently, when conservatives and other pro-lifers finally shamed them into picking the story up. There is a takeaway that many undecideds will have upon learning about the trail, and it won’t have much to do with whether Gosnell’s procedure were sufficiently sanitary.