Kermit Gosnell and justice that transcends one guilty verdict

By Melissa Ohden

Editor’s note. Melissa, the survivor of a “failed” saline abortion in 1977, speaks all over the world including at the last two National Right to Life Conventions and will again next month. She writes regularly for National Right to Life News Today.

gosnellguilty1I will forever distinctly remember when Dr. Kermit Gosnell was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter by a jury that included nine members who described themselves as “pro-choice.” I had heard through the pro-life grapevine that the verdict was near, so on Monday, I spent the afternoon perched at my desk, multiple news and social media websites open, waiting for word of the verdict. As I sat there for hours, trying to keep myself busy with all of the work that has been piling up these past few weeks, I struggled to complete my tasks.

Even before the verdict was read and reporters rushed outside to alert their audiences, I was blinded by tears. I wanted so desperately to hear a guilty verdict, not just for the children who lost their lives in Gosnell’s “House of Horrors,” but for the children who lose their lives in every house of horror–abortion clinics–across our country, every day. My tears came from the hopeful anticipation that the outcome of this trial would send a message to the world about the sanctity of life and continue to further cultivate a change in our culture.

Even today, as I reflect upon this case and the guilty verdict, I am overcome with emotion. Yes, I am pleased with the verdict. Justice was served. Yet, I am stricken by the reality that this is justice served only in this case.

Justice has yet to be delivered today for the 3,000 children who will lose their lives to abortion. Justice has yet to be delivered today for the children who survive failed abortions. (There are more of us than even pro-lifers realize. See

Will they face a similar fate to the children aborted alive at Gosnell’s clinic? Or will they be blessed enough to be provided medical care and a chance at living their life like I was? (If the advice of a Planned Parenthood representative in Florida were to be followed, the answer would be no.)

How will we know when justice is served for them? Are we going to be content that justice was served in the case of one abortionist, or are we going to see it as just a stepping stone to the greater work that needs to be done and not waste a second in getting down to that work?

What am I going to do? Well, you can guess. I’m not wasting a second. Like you, I have come away from the trial that was an indictment of Gosnell’s “Baby Charnel House” with a heightened awareness of the importance of this time and this work.

I believe that in the midst of horrific circumstances like those that Gosnell perpetrated, God can bring about significant good. As incensed as I am to read the headlines by the pro-abortion industry spinning Gosnell’s gruesome work as something is explained by pro-lifers to demand minimal safety requirements at abortion clinics, I am not surprised. I would have been more surprised if they wouldn’t have attempted to spin it. They have taken the ghastly, soul-numbing acts of Gosnell and his untrained staff and tried to make it benefit themselves and their fight for abortion at any time, for any reason, no matter what the cost, to women and to children.

Almost as bad, in my book, they have attempted to propagate the myth that tens of thousands of late-term abortions= “rare,” and the number of abortion survivors so small that people need not concern themselves about. Again, I am not surprised by this move, but I am disgusted. As I wrote about already this week for Secular Pro-Life’s Blog, I am not a myth.


Try as the abortion industry might to say otherwise, the very existence of lives like mine proves their falsehoods to be just that. Over the past week, I have had contact with three more abortion survivors (#131, #132, and #133 as I lovingly call my fellow survivors for the sake of anonymity). Our lives, the abortion procedures that attempted to end them, are much more commonplace than even the pro-life community had known before.

That is some of the good that God is bringing about in the midst of the horrors of Kermit Gosnell. More survivors are coming forward and finding support. And God-willing, the truth about the prevalence of late-term abortions and abortion survivors will keep being poured out to the world, even when the mainstream media attempts to avoid it and the pro-abortion industry tries to distort it.

Although I am grateful that justice was served yesterday, justice needs to be served today, tomorrow, and in the days and weeks that come– not just in Pennsylvania, but across entire nation.

No, I am not going to sit and revel in the moment of this important verdict, but I will always remember it, and I will use it to keep me motivated in ensuring justice for all.

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