Gosnell attorney: Maybe a 16-week deadline for abortion and more regulation would be better

posted at 6:41 pm on May 22, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

I’m not going to comment too much on this except to say it seems… important and unexpected. Kermit Gosnell’s attorney, Jack McMahon, spends 8:30 minutes defending Gosnell, proving himself to be one of the few still willing to align themselves publicly with the former abortion doctor, convicted of three counts of first-degree murder of infants this month. Having spent so much time with a late-term abortion doctor and defending him even post-conviction, one assumes McMahon is among the most understanding and lenient toward the pro-choice position of just about anyone in the country.

And yet, in his last 30 seconds, McMahon asserts that he now believes a 16-week cut-off for legal abortions would be preferable to Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit. That would be more restrictive than the 20-week viability limit many pro-choice activists decry and much earlier than many states, which allow abortions much further into the second and third trimesters. He also places much of the blame for Gosnell’s clinic conditions on a lack of regulation, partly as a way of absolving Gosnell, calling for more frequent inspections and more regulation for abortion clinics and undercutting a key pro-choice talking point that it was regulation that caused the problem.

The whole interview is fascinating, thanks to Kelly’s sharp but respectful questioning and McMahon’s surprising pronouncements.


“I’ve come out of this case realizing that 24 weeks is a bad determiner. It should be more like 16, 17 weeks. That would be a far better thing because the babies would not be even arguably viable at that point in time and I think the law should be changed to that. I think pro-choice would have still the right to choose, but they’ve got to choose quicker, and I think that’s something that should come out of this. More regulation should come out of these locations. I’m not sitting here saying this was all done right.


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Having spent so much time with a late-term abortion doctor and defending him even post-conviction, one assumes McMahon is among the most understanding and lenient toward the pro-choice position of just about anyone in the country.

Have you read some of the people of who comment around here AP?

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM

“the babies”

That, right there, is all you need to know.

UnderstandingisPower on May 22, 2013 at 6:46 PM

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Good point.

KCB on May 22, 2013 at 6:46 PM

I’ve come out of this case realizing that 24 weeks is a bad determiner. It should be more like 16, 17 weeks. That would be a far better thing because the babies would not be even arguably viable at that point in time and I think the law should be changed to that. I think pro-choice would have still the right to choose, but they’ve got to choose quicker, and I think that’s something that should come out of this. More regulation should come out of these locations. I’m not sitting here saying this was all done right.

Not even Gosnell’s attorney could sit in that courtroom, and see those images, and not come away unaffected. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: No wonder the MSM ran from this trial like it was the plague.

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 6:47 PM

because the babies would not be even arguably viable

This really is a disgusting and self serving comment, all living things are viable until they die, the only thing taking a babies viability away is the abortionist.

clearbluesky on May 22, 2013 at 6:53 PM

[NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM]

It’s Mary Katharine.

Dusty on May 22, 2013 at 6:54 PM

because the babies would not be even arguably viable

This really is a disgusting and self serving comment, all living things are viable until they die, the only thing taking a babies viability away is the abortionist.

clearbluesky on May 22, 2013 at 6:53 PM

DITTO, what “clearbluesky” wrote ^^.

Lourdes on May 22, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Having spent so much time with a late-term abortion doctor and defending him even post-conviction, one assumes McMahon is among the most understanding and lenient toward the pro-choice position of just about anyone in the country.

Understanding and lenient? To defend a guy who brutally murdered babies? How about without conscience and evil?

Understanding and lenient implies empathy and mercy are possible emotions to have toward those who are willing to either kill a child or have the child they are carrying be killed. The choice is between death and life for a baby.

Sorrow, grief, and anger for the unborn child are appropriate emotions to have. Empathy and mercy are for those who have repented and turned from this evil.

INC on May 22, 2013 at 6:55 PM

[NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM]

It’s Mary Katharine.

Dusty on May 22, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Oops. Sorry MKH.

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 6:56 PM

He also places much of the blame for Gosnell’s clinic conditions on a lack of regulation,

Gosnell didn’t have to keep his place so filthy, inspections or not. He didn’t have to re-use single-use instruments, or keep the parts of murdered babies in jars. He is simply a vile piece of human trash.

A sixteen week window is never going to be tolerated by the violent baby-killing Left who will do anything to stop it from becoming law. As MKH notes above, they’re not supportive of a twenty-week limit. I bet many in NARAL (which should be spelled ‘gnarl’ like the acronym sounds — twisted) think there should be no limit at all, even killing the infant just as he’s being born if the mother changes her mind about keeping him.

I don’t blame the lawyer for doing his job, and agree with the sixteen week limit as a first step. But if I were a defense attorney, I’d never have taken the case.

Liam on May 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Well, I can see why they’d go along with this, because you can still kill a LOT of babies in 16 weeks, but I’m not quite ready to call this progressjust yet.

Kensington on May 22, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Well, I can see why they’d go along with this, because you can still kill a LOT of babies in 16 weeks, but I’m not quite ready to call this progressjust yet.

Kensington on May 22, 2013 at 7:08 PM

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

The majority of abortions in 2009 took place early in gestation: 91.7% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation, and of the abortions performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation, 69.8% were performed at ≤ 8 weeks’ gestation. In 2009, 16.5% of all abortions were medical abortions.
–Center for Disease Control and Prevention
–Division of Reproductive Health, Data and Statistics

INC on May 22, 2013 at 7:15 PM

He also places much of the blame for Gosnell’s clinic conditions on a lack of regulation,

That’s the excuse of a 5 year old child. It doesn’t take regulators for you to keep your place clean. But butcher Gosnell was simply interested in making more money for himself.

rbj on May 22, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Going to sixteen or seventeen weeks is definitely a step in the right direction. Know what would be a better step? Zero weeks. Just saying.

Shump on May 22, 2013 at 7:17 PM

I thought McMahon was a sleaze when he used the race card during the trial. Now I know hes slime because of his vociforous defending of this monster after he was convicted of murder. Meagan is wrong and we can tar him with the same brush as his client. He is as vile as Gosnell

neyney on May 22, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Gosnell attorney: Maybe a 16-week deadline for abortion and more regulation would be better

Oh we can’t have that. Dear Reaper, I mean Dear Leader wants it to be 39 weeks.

VorDaj on May 22, 2013 at 7:20 PM

He also places much of the blame for Gosnell’s clinic conditions on a lack of regulation,

In that, he is incorrect. It was the willful abandonment of existing regulation enforcement by the state, due to a political climate created by groups such as NARAL and PP that led directly to the situation at Gosnell’s clinic. It’s blood on their hands as much as his.

A new law, enforced as well as the old, will do exactly as well; meaning not at all. In the Navy we have a saying – you can expect what you inspect.

Jeff Weimer on May 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM

I don’t really care what this legal streetwalker has to say, aside from from a bemused curiosity regarding self-debasement. There was never any real question as to what the demon butcher Gosnell had been doing; this mercenary apologist as much acknowledges that he was comfortable with the practice in theory if not -belatedly- in actual gruesome reality.

So lawyer McMahon took the money, and defended the indefensible. And now he tries reassert his humanity by musing depressively about the macabre procession that has just come to a meat-grinding halt. But he willingly marched a leg in that procession; at least he didn’t portray his steps, in tired fashion, as necessary measures in assuring that “the system works for all.”

I hope that for the rest of his life, his last thought before tortured sleep is of scissors.

M240H on May 22, 2013 at 7:36 PM

In 2009, 16.5% of all abortions were medical abortions.
–Center for Disease Control and Prevention
–Division of Reproductive Health, Data and Statistics
INC on May 22, 2013 at 7:15 PM

And that right there is one of the big horrors of the abortion industry. That 83.5% of abortions are performed for no greater reason than the mother doesn’t want the baby or the hassel of giving birth and putting the baby up for adoption.

It doesn’t take regulators for you to keep your place clean.

rbj on May 22, 2013 at 7:16 PM

It is if you are a liberal who can’t think for yourself and insist on regulating every aspect of life.

hopeful on May 22, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Having spent so much time with a late-term abortion doctor and defending him even post-conviction, one assumes McMahon is among the most understanding and lenient toward the pro-choice position of just about anyone in the country.

Have you read some of the people of who comment around here AP?

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Exactly. “Unwanted puppies and unwanted babies are the same thing.”~thujackass

davidk on May 22, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Never forget that the Allies once having liberated the concentration camps / death camps had to force march the local citizens through those camps to shock them into realization of the holocaust their pretending what was happening wasn’t happening had enabled.

— counting the seconds until psycho thuja spams us with his collaborationist prattle.

viking01 on May 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM

This really is a disgusting and self serving comment, all living things are viable until they die, the only thing taking a babies viability away is the abortionist.

clearbluesky on May 22, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Maybe you should call your congressman/woman and demand they sponsor legislation to lock up every woman who does an abortion.

HotAirLib on May 22, 2013 at 8:02 PM

I think pro-choice would have still the right to choose, but they’ve got to choose quicker,

Interesting comment by the lawyer.
Quickest would be choosing to avoid actions that tend toward becoming pregnant.

AesopFan on May 22, 2013 at 8:21 PM

because the babies would not be even arguably viable

This really is a disgusting and self serving comment, all living things are viable until they die, the only thing taking a babies viability away is the abortionist.

clearbluesky on May 22, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Well said, and worth repeating:

The only thing taking a babies viability away is the abortionist.

ITguy on May 22, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Stanek to testify for nationwide 20-week abortion ban

Tomorrow pro-life Republican Congressman Trent Franks will hold a hearing in the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, where he is chairman, on the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, of which he is lead sponsor.

And now that bill has grown by leaps and bounds. Reported the Washington Post today:

Franks’ bill, which originally would have imposed the 20-week ban only in the District of Columbia, over which Congress has some jurisdiction, was expanded after the Gosnell case.

expanded to a nationwide ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

I received a call yesterday asking if I might be able to testify, and I was happy to be in a position to do. It was before this very committee I testified in 2000 and 2001 about live birth abortions at Christ Hospital. My testimony tomorrow will make a link between infanticide and late-term abortions.

Congressman Franks is planning to show the photos taken by former employees of late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen of older babies he allegedly killed after delivery.

Jill Stanek is the IL former nurse who also testified in IL when Obama was in the IL State Senate. Does he ever know who she is.

http://www.jillstanek.com/2008/02/links-to-barack-obamas-votes-on-illinois-born-alive-infant-protection-act/

She’s got courage. She’s never let up. I haven’t heard if she’s been audited, but the FBI did show up at the door of her daughter and son-in-law last summer.

http://www.jillstanek.com/2012/07/obama-administrations-harassment-of-pro-lifers-gets-personal/

INC on May 22, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Maybe you should call your congressman/woman and demand they sponsor legislation to lock up every woman who does an abortion.

HotAirLib on May 22, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Or we could just lock up the Gosnell-esque ghouls and go from there. If doing that resulted in a de facto end to legal abortion, I wouldn’t feel bad at all.

gryphon202 on May 22, 2013 at 10:03 PM

— counting the seconds until psycho thuja spams us with his collaborationist prattle.

viking01 on May 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM

I’m sorry I had to go sit shiva tonight and was unable to perform my usual duty. Maybe someone else could take up the slack?

thuja on May 22, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Gosnell gave the left exactly what they wanted;

A woman’s right to an abortion anytime, for any reason.

If they tell you different, they are lying. And the lawyer is basically negotiating price… With the level horror being the currency.

These baby killers are just that vile and there is a special place for them…

RalphyBoy on May 22, 2013 at 11:24 PM

I usually like Megyn Kelly, but not in this interview. They guy’s trying to be calm and reasonable, and Kelly’s just killing him. What did she want the guy to say? “You’re right Megyn. My client’s a sleazeball, and he’s horrible, and he’s despicable.” Clearly, that wasn’t going to happen. So what was the point?

asc85 on May 22, 2013 at 11:26 PM

They won’t go lower than 20 weeks unless they can test for Down’s Syndrome earlier than that.

/sad but true

cptacek on May 23, 2013 at 12:27 AM

At the absolute minimum the standard should be heartbeat and brainwave activity. You wanna define the lack of those as death, then the beginning of same must equal life. Oh wait…liberals and logic don’t mix.

MelonCollie on May 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM