The Washington Post reported this week that American abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, 72, was found guilty on Monday of three counts of first-degree murder. The jury accepted the Prosecutor's case that Gosnell had conducted illegal late term abortions in his dirty West Philadelphia clinic, thus severing the spinal cords of three infants who were in fact born alive during the procedure. He was acquitted on a forth count of murder.
The Gosnell verdict arrives at a time for
about the legality and morality of abortion. The sensitive but emotional debate was fuelled following the discovery of 2000 fetuses in the grounds of a Bangkok Buddhist temple in late 2010 as reported by the New York Times. Thailand when the debate on abortion continues
Some point out that abortion should be legal in this day and age, and that there are many different reasons behind unwanted pregnancies. Others argue strongly that abortion is still a serious sin, and thus stand firm that the present law should remain.
Regardless of the strong views of the public both for and against,unless the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest or will endanger the life of the mother, abortion remains illegal in Thailand in accordance with sections 301-305 of the Thai Penal Code. Performing an illegal abortion can lead to a sentence of five years imprisonment, a fine of 10,000 baht (about USD 336 as of May 2013 exchange rate) or both, whilst a woman who undergoes an abortion is liable for three years imprisonment, a fine of 6,000 baht (about USD 222) or both.
In the meantime, Gosnell now faces sentencing at a later date, with the primary decision to determine being if he should receive the death penalty or face life in prison. Prosecutors have indicated that they will be seeking the death penalty.