Pa. abortion trial stirs debate on when life ends

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The murder trial of a Philadelphia abortion provider has spawned courtroom debate over when life ends, as opposed to when it begins.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is charged with killing four babies after they were born alive. Prosecutors say he cut the babies’ spines after they were delivered and wouldn’t have done so if they were dead.

In closing arguments Monday, Gosnell’s defense lawyer called it “ridiculous” to say babies were still alive after in-utero injections of the heart-stopping drug Digoxen (di-JOCKS’-en).

But Gosnell’s former staff members have quoted the doctor as saying it was tough to hit the fetal heart through the abdomen. And they have testified they saw babies move, breathe or cry.

Jury deliberations are expected to start Tuesday.

Gosnell is also charged in a patient’s overdose death.

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