Editor’s note. This appeared in the April edition of National Right to Life News, NRLC’s online, digital newspaper. You can read this and 24 other stories at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsApril2014.pdf
This past week I wrote a post for National Right to Life News Today, NRL News’ younger sister, where I talked about the truly bizarre fact that paintings by the late “Dr. Death” were likely to fetch a whopping $45,000 per canvass. I contrasted Jack Kevorkian’s love of publicity—he embraced the “Dr. Death” moniker–with abortionist/murderer Kermit Gosnell, who bristled with indignation when his Women’s Medical Society was dubbed a “House of Horrors.”
Where Kevorkian lusted after the limelight, Gosnell preferred to operate in the shadows. That allowed him to abort hundreds of viable babies, an unknown number of whom he then murdered by slitting their spinal cords.
Another contrast. Even though he “assisted” in over 130 suicides, Kevorkian spent only eight years in prison, convicted of a single charge of second degree murder. He came out more famous than ever.
Gosnell will never get out. Charged with eight counts of first-degree murder, he was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder, enough to ensure Gosnell will never, ever be paroled.
But a different contrast, and far sharper in many ways, is the way they’ve been treated on film. Once out of prison, Kevorkian got to hang with the beautiful people when Al Pacino played him in the HBO production of ‘You Don’t Know Jack.”
“Kevorkian cut a vivid image at premieres and awards, sometimes wearing his iconic blue thrift-store sweater with a tuxedo,” wrote Joe Swickard of the Detroit Free Press at the time. “He almost glowed at receptions as women circled him and powerful men elbowed their way through the adoring crush to shake his hand.”
Gosnell? He was the subject of a remarkable documentary, “3801 Lancaster.” In a mere 21 minutes and 11 seconds, it explained in almost clinical detail the circumstances that culminated in Gosnell’s trial and subsequent convictions.
Whereas Pacino portrayed Kevorkian as a noble figure, the “actors” in the Gosnell documentary told a harrowing tale.
We watch interviews with two of the women who aborted at Gosnell’s abortion clinic. Their testimony reinforced the overwhelming conclusion of the Grand Jury report that resulted in Gosnell’s original indictment: it’s actually worse than what was heard in court. There is a sequel in the works—“3801 Lancaster: Part II,” which will be released May 13, 2014, to mark the one-year anniversary of Gosnell’s conviction.
‘You Don’t Know Jack” earned Pacino an Emmy and Golden Globe. “3801 Lancaster” was invisible to virtually everyone outside the pro-life community.
But a new film about Gosnell by Phelim McAleer and his wife, Ann McElhinney–while it will no doubt be panned by the same people who glorified Kevorkian and couldn’t be bothered with “3801 Lancaster”—is getting some publicity. Not for what it will tell but because of the double standard that has existed from the beginning.
McAleer and McElhinney are raising funds for a film that will tell the story the media did its collectively best of squelch. But as we noted over at NRL News Today, they ran into a buzzsaw when (as columnist Kirsten Powers wrote) “Kickstarter, the nation’s biggest crowd-funding site, refused to accept a film about convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell unless descriptions of his crimes were removed.”
Stuff like “stabbing babies” and the like.
In explaining its decision (in language that Powers described as “dissembling and contradictory”), Kickstarter wrote, “We understand your convictions … however … our Community Guidelines outline that we encourage and enforce a culture of respect and consideration, and we ask that that language specifically be modified.”
Now as many, many people have noted, Kickstarter regularly helps to raise funds for projects that would turn the stomachs of most people.
More relevant to us is (as Powers wrote)
“What type of movie on late-term abortion do our meddling gatekeepers want? Kickstarter accepted After Tiller, a hagiography of the abortionists who took over when Wichita doctor George Tiller was murdered. The film presumably doesn’t belabor the process of late-term abortion, where babies are often stabbed in the neck with scissors and the contents of their skulls suctioned out. One wouldn’t want to violate Kickstarter’s culture of respect and consideration. Or provide factual information.”
So, the Mainstream Media almost completely avoids the Gosnell trial until shamed into a few stories while it ignores the very existence of “3801 Lancaster.” To its credit, some media outlets are at least talking about how the elites are “muzzling those [McAleer and McElhinney] without the proper worldview,” in Powers’ stinging accusation.
She rightly concludes,
“Mob rule enforcing groupthink is as illiberal as it gets, and yet it was liberals demanding uniformity of thought — or else.”
Before there was Gosnell there was Kevorkian. Before he was finally convicted and sent to prison, Kevorkian basked in the glow of uncritical media attention for shouting from the rooftops that his bizarre behavior was good and proper and done on behalf of his “patients.” He ran a victory lap when he was released from prison, being feted by the Hollywood types and compared to (of all people) Martin Luther King, Jr!
Gosnell gave one reporter a rambling, confused, self-justifying set of interviews. Otherwise nothing since his imprisonment.
No one playing Kermit Gosnell will ever win an Emmy. The only “win” for Gosnell is if the truth is ignored, minimized, or rationalized away.
That is why the McAleer/McElhinney film is so important. We need to remember all those murdered babies, all those exploited women.
We need to be reminded (as the Grand Jury wrote, in explaining what police found)
“There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets.”
That is the real face of the Abortion Industry.