As the trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell enters its ninth day of jury deliberations, a new Gallup poll reveals that the sordid story of the horrifying conditions at his clinic—where prosecutors say four babies were killed by sniping their spinal cords after they were born—hasn’t caused the public to become more anti-abortion.
In fact, the number of pro-choice poll respondents has increased.
According to the poll, 48 percent of respondents said they were “pro-life” and 45 percent said they were “pro-choice.” In 2012, a Gallup poll found just 41 percent saying they were pro-choice.
Twenty-six percent of respondents said all abortions should be legal, 20 percent said all abortions should be banned and 52 percent said they favor legal abortions under certain circumstances.
As for the age breakdown, adults between 18 and 34 were the most likely to say abortion should be banned in all cases, with 23 percent saying so, while 18 percent of 35-to 54-year-olds said they support an absolute ban on abortions, as did 19 percent of respondents over 55.
About 25 percent of poll respondents told Gallup they paid attention “very closely” or “somewhat closely” to the Gosnell trial, while 54 percent paid no attention to the case. Republicans were most likely to tune in, with 40 percent watching very or somewhat closely.
Gosnell, 72, who ran the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia, which served mostly low-income women and teens and went years without a state inspection, has been in custody since his 2011 arrest.
The jury includes several transit authority bus drivers, a water department inspector, a day care worker and a bank teller. They have been deliberating since Tuesday afternoon.
Gosnell could face the death penalty if found guilty of killing the four live babies with scissors.
At the end of the trial, both the prosecutor and defense attorney asked the jurors to show “courage” after the seven-week trial that both transfixed and horrified the nation.
In addition to the four counts of first-degree murder in the infant deaths, Gosnell also faces one count of third-degree murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 24 counts of performing abortions past Pennsylvania’s 24-week gestational age, 227 counts of performing abortions without giving the woman the mandated 24-hour waiting period, and other counts involving racketeering and operating a “corrupt organization.”
In addition, Eileen O’Neill, 56, an unlicensed doctor who worked in the family-practice section of Gosnell’s clinic, faces counts of theft by deception and participating in a corrupt organization. O’Neill has been free on bail since her arrest.
The jury deliberations were expected to be lengthy as the jurors have to work their way through the 30 pages of charges, deliberating on each one.