The depraved acts Dr. Kermit Gosnell is convicted of have sparked a new turn in the nationwide battle over abortion laws.
Groups that oppose legal abortion are using the horror surrounding his clinic, which garnered fresh attention during his murder trial, to push for new state and federal restrictions -- even though Gosnell's acts were already illegal.
Gosnell was accused of severing the spinal cords of babies born alive after attempted abortions in the sixth, seventh, and eighth months of their mothers' pregnancies at his Pennsylvania clinic, while operating amid dangerous, deplorable conditions.
A 41-year-old woman died due to an anesthetic overdose during a second-trimester abortion.
Gosnell was found guilty Monday of three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of the babies, and involuntary manslaughter for the woman's death.
Eight people involved in the Women's Medical Society clinic had already pleaded guilty to various charges, including four to murder.
Gosnell's co-defendant, Eileen O'Neill, 56, was found guilty of conspiracy and theft by deception.
The grand jury report from 2011 says the "people who ran this sham medical practice included no doctors other than Gosnell himself, and not even a single nurse," yet they still made diagnoses, performed procedures and administered drugs.
Pennsylvania bans abortions after 24 weeks.
Ever since the grand jury report came out, gruesome descriptions of Gosnell's clinic have become fodder for anti-abortion groups.
"In the state level (the case) is really changing the policy debate," says Mallory Quigley, spokeswoman for the Susan B. Anthony List.
"It's giving an incredible amount of context to the debates that are happening in state legislatures, where representatives are pushing restrictions on clinics and also later-term bans."
Several states recently passed tough new laws, setting up new potential constitutional challenges to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that women have a right to abortion during the entirety of pregnancy.
North Dakota recently banned most abortions after six weeks, the most restrictive law in the country. Arkansas banned them at 12 weeks. Alabama drastically changed requirements for clinics to operate.
Quigley does not declare the Gosnell case centrally responsible for getting these laws passed. But state lawmakers who oppose legal abortion have brought Gosnell up in their arguments.
Asked whether the case is fueling these efforts and more ahead, Charmaine Yoest, president of the anti-abortion rights group Americans United for Life, replied, "certainly."
"This really is a landmark case," she adds.
New push for a federal ban
The Susan B. Anthony List is pushing for a law in Washington, D.C., restricting abortions after 20 weeks. And, Quigley says, the group is making a concerted push for federal laws, as well.
"While the nation's attention is turned to this issue, we do think that we need to start having a question about viability and more limits to abortion based on viability nationwide."
On its blog, the organization posted YouTube videos of 18 anti-abortion lawmakers speaking out on what some call Gosnell's "House of Horrors" and insisting that "action be taken."
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, recently introduced a resolution calling for tougher abortion laws nationwide. In a statement, he called Gosnell "a wake-up call."
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, blocked Lee's resolution and introduced his own that focuses on safety of all patients, not just on abortion. All "incidents of abusive, unsanitary, or illegal health care practices should be condemned and prevented, and the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Blumenthal argued.
Abortion rights groups: Bans lead to 'back-alley abortionists'
More restrictions on abortions will lead to more cases like the Women's Medical Society, not fewer, abortion rights advocates argue.