Reflections on viewing “Gosnell” at the White House

By Dave Andrusko

Last Friday my wife and I were part of large room full of pro-lifers gathered at the White House to watch the movie, “Gosnell.” Let me offer a host of reasons why the viewing was memorable and why what the Trump administration did last week is representative of a very pro-life administration. I will not name anyone specifically, since I did not take notes and I respect their privacy in any event.

Over the years I’ve been invited to the White House for various and sundry reasons all of them good. But I am a compulsive workaholic and would always say, “Thank you, no.” I didn’t this time because “Gosnell” is a historical important film in the arc of the fight against abortion and post-natal murder.

*The department in the Trump administration that reaches out to the pro-life community is replete with true believers. Some of them I’ve known for decades, but most are younger women and men.

I suspect I will never forget one young woman who spoke eloquently about President Trump’s genuinely passionate embrace of our cause. She was visibly pregnant and told us that she had been told earlier in the day that a gentleman in his eighties had been attacked while peacefully praying outside an abortion clinic.

*We should not forget that Gosnell was also convicted of an endless number of charges having to do with exceeding Pennsylvania’s 24 week “limit” on abortion (“One Gosnell employee estimated that about 40 percent of the clinic’s abortions occurred after 24 weeks,” as the Washington Post belated reported) and for violating the 24-hour informed consent law.

But what the West Philadelphia owner of the “House of Horrors” is remembered for is that The Common Pleas Court jury of seven women and five men convicted Gosnell of three counts of first-degree murder for intentionally delivering late, late term babies alive and then murdering them by slitting their spinal cords. Gosnell was further convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, one of two women who died at his clinic.

*It would be impossible to be creepier than Gosnell. Any man who could have calmly eaten dinner at a table in his Women’s Medical Society abortion clinics minutes after aborting a woman, with blood on his gloves and in the presence of local and federal authorities who were there to investigate whether he was running an illegal pill mill racket [he was], is seriously, and I do mean seriously, ill.

But my wife and I agreed there is a special place for the “good” abortionist who testified at the Gosnell trial to try to make the point that he was not representative of abortionists in general, late-term abortionists in particular. Gosnell’s attorney gets her to admit to what happens in any late term abortion is enough to make normal human beings wretch. But those abortions were and remain legal.

*Those who wanted to bash either “Gosnell “ or “Unplanned,” the new film about Abby Johnson, insist the films are “gory.” Staying with “Gosnell,” had the director and/or screen writer touched on even a fraction of the most monstrous things Gosnell did, it could rightly be called gruesome. They didn’t.

Take this example from the trial:

There was one baby that when it was born, one of the workers was playing with it for several minutes before the worker did exactly what Dr. Gosnell did. Snip the back of the neck. And when we use the word snip, it is a scissors taking the bony part of a vertebrae and cutting it. This is a very, very painful thing. And some of these babies did not die immediately. And they describe these bodies as twitching and lifeless.

Or Stephen Masoff [an unlicensed doctor working for Gosnell], who testified

“We call [snipping the spinal cord] a transection, but it’s literally a beheading… [I] felt like a fireman in hell. I couldn’t put out all the fires…  I would run around with scissors.”

The film and the book, “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” discuss something that took place in 1972 that is so ghastly that to this day I find it almost unfathomable—the “Mother’s Day Massacre” of nine women who were in their second trimester. Randy Hutchins, a former Gosnell staffer, told the Gosnell Grand Jury

[T]here was a device that he and [Harvey Karman] were working on that was supposed to be plastic – basically plastic razors that were formed into a ball. All right. They were coated into a gel, so that they would remain closed. These would be inserted into the woman’s uterus. And after several hours of body temperature, it would then – the gel would melt and these 97 things would spring open, supposedly cutting up the fetus, and the fetus would be expelled.

Ben Johnson explained

Nine of the 15 women were injured. One required a hysterectomy. A joint federal-state investigation found other serious complications including hemorrhaging, infections, and portions of the unborn baby being left inside the uterus – still a common problem.

I could go on and on, about the film, all the areas no one film would have time (or the inclination) to show, and the hospitality of the Trump administration.

Let me just add that when Vice President Mike Pence calls Mr. Trump the “most pro-life President ever,” he is not exaggerating.

You can purchase the movie on Amazon and/or watch it on Amazon Prime.