Republicans accuse broadcasters of Gosnell 'cover-up'

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The Gosnell trial is slowly gaining national attention in its fifth week, and has been receiving more network coverage in recent days. 

The Philadelphia abortion provider has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of murder, seven for delivering and allegedly killing viable infants by severing their spines with scissors.

House GOP lawmakers seized on the trial last week and accused the press of ignoring a story that they said should send shockwaves through the abortion debate.

Several of those critics also complained Wednesday that networks ignored a recent controversy over a Planned Parenthood lobbyist in Florida who said that care for infants born alive after abortions should not be mandated by the state.

The woman, Alisa LaPolt Snow, was testifying against a Florida bill that would require doctors to care for fetuses at any stage of development that show signs of life following an abortion. Opponents of the bill argue that it would be onerous and legally precarious for doctors.

GOP lawmakers on Wednesday demanded more attention for the case, calling Snow's remarks an endorsement of "infanticide."

"The broadcasters’ blackout of the Planned Parenthood infanticide lobbying scandal and the Gosnell ‘House of Horrors’ murder trial are the biggest and most politically-motivated media cover-ups in our nation’s history," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) in a statement.

Letters were sent to ABC News President Ben Sherwood, CBS News President David Rhodes and NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Patricia Fili-Krushel.

Requests for comment were made to all three networks. CBS declined to comment on the letter.

The Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates (FAPPA) clarified Snow's remarks in a statement Thursday.

"A panel of Florida state legislators demanded speculation about a vague set of extremely unlikely and highly unusual medical circumstances," said FAPPA Board Chairwoman Barbara Zdravecky in a statement.

"Medical guidelines and ethics already compel physicians facing life-threatening circumstances to respond, and Planned Parenthood physicians provide high-quality medical care and adhere to the most rigorous professional standards, including providing emergency care.

"In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the panel of legislators should happen, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant."

—This post was updated Thursday with Planned Parenthood's statement.