William F. Jasper
May 16, 2013
The stomach-churning accounts of the revolting conditions and practices at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion mill (shown) have caused even abortion activists and “pro-choice” media commentators to condemn Gosnell as a “monster” and an “appalling” criminal. However, the biggest players in the abortion industry —Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation— have admitted both to knowing about the horrors being committed at the Gosnell abattoir, and to doing nothing to stop them. They did not complain; they did not report Gosnell to authorities. In fact, for many years, up until his arrest, Dr. Gosnell also performed abortions at the Atlantic Women’s Medical Services in Wilmington, Delaware, a facility that is a member of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) and inspected and certified by the NAF. In fact, many of the illegal late-term abortions Gosnell performed began at the NAF Delaware “clinic” and were then transferred to his Philadelphia abortuary for completion.
On May 13, a jury (that included nine jurors who reportedly identified themselves as “pro-choice”) pronounced Dr. Gosnell guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter, as well 21 counts of performing illegal late-term abortions, and more than 200 other lesser charges.
The horrific details of malpractice, malfeasance, death, and abuse that were revealed in the Philadelphia grand jury report on Gosnell and witness testimony during the trial shocked even many abortion supporters. MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews, an ardent abortion-rights advocate, admitted that the accounts of the regular goings-on at the Gosnell clinic were so revolting that members of his MSNBC staff were unable to even finish reading them.
The Gosnell “House of Horrors” has become infamous for, among other things: blood-spattered floors, walls, blankets and furniture; cat urine and feces throughout; numerous baby feet and other baby body parts saved in jars and jugs as if “trophies”; unlicensed and untrained “assistants” administering drugs and medical procedures; distributing drugs illegally; callous disregard for the health and safety of patients; filthy instruments and lack of proper medical equipment. Most horrific or all, of course, is Dr. Gosnell’s signature “snipping,” his term for killing babies with a scissors. The grand jury report stated:
When you perform late-term “abortions” by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the Women’s Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn’t call it that. He called it “ensuring fetal demise.” The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that “snipping.”
Over the years, there were hundreds of “snippings.” Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the “snipping” was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff.
Another shocking passage in the grand jury report informs us regarding Gosnell’s gruesomely cavalier attitude toward killing the victim prosecutors identified as “Baby Boy A”:
His 17-year-old mother was almost 30 weeks pregnant — seven and a half months — when labor was induced. An employee estimated his birth weight as approaching six pounds. He was breathing and moving when Dr. Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. The doctor joked that this baby was so big he could “walk me to the bus stop.”
However, pro-life advocates emphasize two points concerning the terrible conditions and practices at Gosnell’s:
1) Gosnell’s facility is not at all unique; similarly horrendous conditions and practices are prevalent at many abortion facilities;
2) The real horror is not the shocking filth, depravity, and corruption exposed at Gosnell’s charnel house; babies aborted in immaculate, state-of-the-art hospitals and clinics are just as dead. And it is every bit as evil to kill them inside the womb with chemicals or suction machines as it is to kill them weeks, days, or seconds later outside the womb with a pair of scissors or other instrument.
Abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial will force many people to grapple anew with the fact that our abortion laws and policies have established arbitrary and irrational criteria that provide for the wholesale killing of an entire class of live human beings based simply on age and location. The real issue — which the abortion promoters and their media accomplices have been eager to obscure — is the crime of abortion itself.
“The abortion industry has tried to distance itself from the Gosnell ‘House of Horrors’ as if a clean, sanitized abortion clinic is a much better place for babies to die, and, for that matter, mothers to die,” says Ann Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League. “Don’t forget Tonya Reaves, who had her abortion in a nice, clean Michigan Avenue abortion clinic operated by Planned Parenthood in Chicago,” she adds. “No guilty verdict in her case. In fact, no charges.”
The Gosnell case, Scheidler avers, “forces America to look at the underlying conundrum of a society that accepts abortion as a legitimate choice, thereby admitting that the unborn baby has no standing among us.”
“Dr. Gosnell is only the front man; and the real trial has only just begun. The defendant is the abortion license in America,” says Robert P. George, a Princeton law professor and pro-life advocate. After the Gosnell trial, says Prof. George, “it will no longer be possible to pretend that abortion and infanticide are radically different acts or practices.”
“The unsafe conditions of the clinic do not cause our gut-wrenching response,” Collin Garbarino wrote in First Things at the start of the Gosnell trial. “No. Our horror stems from the very act of abortion itself, the most brutal and distasteful act tolerated in America today.”
Rep. Chris Smith (R–N.J.), co-chairman of the House Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said that “not much” difference exists between Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” and abortion clinics around the country.
“Some abortionists may have cleaner sheets than Gosnell, and better sterilized equipment and better trained accomplices, but what they do — what Gosnell did — kill babies and hurt women — is the same,” Rep. Smith said in a May 13 statement.
Some 55 million babies have been killed through abortion since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing it 40 years ago. Here is how some of the leading opponents of abortion see the Gosnell trial and verdict, in the context of that ongoing human holocaust:
We undoubtedly will now hear from other abortionists like Planned Parenthood how Gosnell is the exception and that he is not representative of the abortion industry. The highly paid pro-abortion public relations professionals will tell us how Gosnell proves that we need greater access for women to safe abortion.
But Gosnell is the exemplar of those in the industry who place no value on any human being prior to birth, or clearly after birth. He is not the exception; every abortion kills a human being.
Regulating abortion mills or the act of abortion will not solve this terror against the innocent. Abortion is a filthy business, and shiny clean abortion chambers do nothing to change the grievous crime to the most innocent.
Abortion cannot be regulated. It must be eliminated.
— Judie Brown, president of American Life League, the nation’s oldest Catholic pro-life group
The trial of Kermit Gosnell is over. His convictions will surprise very few. But nothing can bring back the innocent children he killed, or make up for the vulnerable women he exploited. We should keep the repugnance of his clinic conditions sharp in our memories, and we should remember the media’s inadequacy in covering his case, because Kermit Gosnell is not an exception. Others just like him run abortion mills throughout our country. We need to stop cloaking the ugliness of abortion with misnomers like “proper medical coverage” or “choice.” It’s violence of the most intimate sort, and it needs to end.
— Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
No sentence can bring back the lives lost at the hands of Kermit Gosnell and his employees, but this decision acknowledges the role he played and how this horror could have been prevented. It is unconscionable that some tattoo parlors, nail salons, and veterinary clinics have greater oversight and sanitary standards than today’s abortion clinics, where women are being maimed and murdered, instead of being protected.
— Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America CEO and president
Even as we celebrate this verdict, we honor and mourn as well those among our nation’s weakest children who did not receive “their day in court” — and we must remember that Gosnell is not an outlier within the abortion industry. We cannot allow these guilty verdicts, welcome as they are, to make us complacent when it comes to the continuing abuses happening even now in abortion facilities throughout our nation. We call upon Congress to investigate all those participating in or willing to participate in this kind of brutality toward vulnerable women and children, and end it.
— Lila Rose, president of Live Action News
The fate of the serial killer Kermit Gosnell is in the hands of the jury, but the fate of legalized child killing is in our hands: What will our verdict be?… What this case is actually about to me is the fact that when you are in the business of killing children for a living, there comes a point when lines can be easily blurred. It does not shock me in the least that an abortionist would have no problem killing a child outside of the womb. The abortionist knows all too well the true humanity of the child while he or she is still inside the womb. The abortionist understands that a fetus is a human being; he has just allowed himself to discount the value of that human simply because of certain criteria surrounding him or her…. The Kermit Gosnell trial is not about abortion because abortion is just a whitewashing word, used to deflect from what really happens in these clinics: the killing of human beings. This trial is shining a light that so many people want snuffed out, a light that is illuminating the gruesome, bloody and deadly reality that is abortion. In fact the Defense attorney himself, during closing arguments, declared abortion to be bloody and not pretty.
— Bryan Kemper, president of Stand True Pro-life Outreach
This article was posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 4:06 am