American women have been the object of a decades-long ideological war. The pro-choice side asserts that women - not government - should decide on termination of a pregnancy. The pro-life side asserts that abortion is murder.
Both sides have sought to have government enforce their views by law.
Political figures finally came up with a middle-ground mantra - that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare." This view took into account the horrors of back-alley abortions performed by unqualified people.
A shaky truce descended upon the land. Abortion - within limits - was legalized.
It did not become rare, however. And the horrors that surfaced as the result of a drug raid at a Pennsylvania abortion clinic raised unanticipated questions about the word "safe," the rallying cry of the pro-choice forces.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for performing late-term abortions in which he used scissors to kill babies who were born alive.
The filthy conditions at the clinic - blood-caked medical equipment, body parts stuffed down drains, bodies found in cat litter, bags, boxes, juice containers . . . . were horrendous.
The state of Pennsylvania hadn't inspected the clinic in 15 years.