By Dave Andrusko
If you are committed to “abortion rights,” Kermit Gosnell comes close to qualifying as your worst nightmare. We don’t know as of 1:00pm on Monday what the jury will decide, but whatever the outcome, it will come at the expense of the Abortion Industry.
They insist otherwise—some even argue it will solidify support for abortion—but only someone wearing ear plugs and taking their own pulse could believe that absurdity.
It’s not just the horrific details that will turn people away; who can forget those ghastly descriptions of babies born alive and what was done to them. According to the Grand Jury report:
“The clinic’s employees used the term ‘snip’ to describe the severing of the spinal cord, but this is misleading. Our neonatal expert testified that, because of the bony vertebrae surrounding the spinal cord, it would actually take a bit of pressure to cut all the way through the spinal cord and the bone – even at 23 or 24 weeks gestation. At 29 weeks, on babies such as Baby Boy A, the expert said, ‘it would be really hard.’ The baby, we were told, would feel ‘tremendous pain.’”
In another place in the report, we read
“When we asked our medical experts if there could be any legitimate, medical purpose behind Gosnell’s practice, one said: ‘it would be the same as putting a pillow over the baby’s face, that the intention would be to kill the baby.’ Another likened the practice of severing babies’ spinal cords to pithing frogs in biology class.”
Like smothering babies…like pithing frogs in your high school biology class—THOSE are images you can never, EVER forget. Especially not when you hear former employees talking about Gosnell joking that one baby was so big, “he could have walked me to the bus stop.”
Nor is it just what happened to Karnamaya Monger, who died, according to prosecutors, because of an overdose of Demerol administered by Gosnell’s untrained staff. It’s also that the testimony presented to the Grand Jury and the jury hearing the murder trial was of routine indifference to women. The Grand Jury was convinced Gosnell was also responsible for the death of Semika Shaw but the paperwork had vanished so he couldn’t be charged.
Their 261-page report painted an unrelievedly grim picture of poor women carrying very, very developed babies drugged to keep them quiet until Gosnell finally arrived. And that doesn’t even get into all the nauseous details of what the Grand Jury called a “wretched, filthy place”—urine-splattered walls, “blood-splattered floors, and blood-stained chairs in which patients waited for and then recovered from abortions,” and cat feces and hair throughout the facility, “including in the two procedure rooms.”
What makes Gosnell so dangerous to the anti-life set is that the medical authorities—locally in Philadelphia and at the state level—winked at what he did to women and babies. Why? “[T]here was a concern that if they did routine inspections, that they may find a lot of these facilities didn’t meet [the standards for getting patients out by stretcher or wheelchair in an emergency], and then there would be less abortion facilities, less access to women to have an abortion.”
Try as they may to shift responsibility to pro-lifers, pro-abortionists can’t avoid this devastating conclusion from the Grand Jury:
“After 1993, even that pro forma effort came to an end. Not because of administrative ennui, although there had been plenty. Instead, the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”
Just to be clear, in the attempt to make sure no “barriers” were erected, countless women were left to the tender mercies of Kermit Gosnell. So much for pro-abortion politicians looking out for women.
And, by now, almost everyone who has followed the case closely knows that the National Abortion Federation found Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society “beyond redemption,” denied him membership in NAF, but told no one. So much for the Abortion Industry looking out for poor women of color. That won’t sit well with the general public.
Nor is the public—if they are ever told—going to casually stomach the truth that Gosnell is not some one-of-a-kind “outlier/renegade.” Remember, there are always stories reported in pro-life outlets about what takes place in places that are uncannily like Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society. They just never make them into the “mainstream” press, or, if they on occasion do, never receive the kind of attention they merit. So much for the crusaders in the press.
We’ve already read dozens of pro-abortion columns (and commented on more than a few) that brazenly insist that to require even the most minimal standards is to “take us back” to a time pre-Roe v. Wade. Or, alternatively, pro-abortionists already insist there were abortion clinic regulations in Pennsylvania, conveniently forgetting that until a new law was passed last year, there were (a) no provisions for unannounced visits and (b) no requirement that they meet the safety standards of outpatient surgery centers. Why is that important? Let’s fervently hope otherwise, but someday Pennsylvania could have a governor just like Ridge whose administration is not interested in inspecting abortion clinics.
And, without naming names, the consciences of at least some national columnists have been pricked not only by what allegedly happened in Gosnell’s abortion clinic but also by the near-total silence of their media brethren. They are reviewing their own positions on abortions and looking at their profession through new eyes.
Whatever happens to Kermit Gosnell, a few shafts of light have been cast on the abortion industry, heretofore almost entirely shrouded in darkness. We shall do everything we can to keep that light focused on the ugliness that is the abortion trade.
If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.