US abortionist Kermit Gosnell has been given life in prison after being found guilty of murdering three babies who survived abortion attempts.

In addition to three counts of first-degree murder, the doctor was convicted of over 200 violations of Pennsylvania’s abortion laws, including the performance of late-term abortions.

Dr Gosnell’s case has shocked people worldwide on both sides of the abortion debate. The level of brutality involved is unfathomable, with eyewitness accounts of babies who were born alive crying in pain before having their spines snipped with scissors.

Although this is an extreme case, this barbaric treatment of babies born alive after failed abortions is happening in our own country.

There was the infamous 1998 case in Darwin, when a baby about 22-24 weeks was born alive after a failed abortion and left to die after crying alone for 80 minutes.

The most recent Annual Report of Victoria’s Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM) shows that, of a total of 196 post-20 week abortions performed for “congenital abnormality”, 42 of the babies died neonatally (after birth). Even before the 2008 liberalisation of abortion laws, in 2007 there were 52 neonatal deaths out of 181 post-20 week abortions for “abnormalities”.

And in Western Australia, state MPs revealed there were fourteen recorded cases of babies left to die after failed abortions between 1999 and 2010.

The appalling case of Kermit Gosnell should awaken Australians to the fact that the same horrors are happening under our own noses. Late-term abortions are failing, and babies are being left alone to die even when they could be saved.

There must be investigations into the circumstances of these cases, and the law must be strengthened to prevent it and to punish those who allow it to happen.