At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Senate majority leader Harry Reid blamed laws restricting abortion and pro-lifers who picket abortion clinics for pushing women to the clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted Monday for murdering three infants.
"What led to these convictions of murder for this man is the fact that people have been pushed back into these holes to do something that's legal," Reid said before mentioning the picketing of clinics and "all these restrictive laws."
According to the Senate's top Democrat, the case highlighted the need for "clean and sterile" late-term abortion clinics.
"I think to keep pushing these clinics back into the situations where they wind up like this is wrong," Reid said. "I think no matter how you stand on the issue of abortion, people who make that decision should do it and not have to be worried about infections and some butcher like this doing the bad things they do. They should be in a place that's clean and sterile and have people that know what they're doing and care about what they do."
Reid's remarks came in response to a question from THE WEEKLY STANDARD about whether or not he supports a bill introduced last week that would ban abortion in the nation's capital after the fifth month of pregnancy, with exceptions for when the life or physical health of the mother is at risk. There are currently no restrictions on abortion throughout all 9 months of pregnancy in the federal district. Reid did not directly comment on the bill but expressed general opposition to restrictions on abortion.
In an undercover video released recently by the pro-life group Live Action, a late-term abortionist who operates five blocks from the White House is asked by a pregnant woman what would happen if her baby were born alive during an abortion. "We would not help it," the doctor said.
Update: Reid has said for many years that he's "pro-life" and even voted in 2003 against an an amendment stating that Roe v. Wade was rightly decided. In addition to expressing hostility to abortion restrictions this afternoon, Reid declared flatly that "the law of the land is now what the Supreme Court has said."