Ground Zero for the Kermit Gosnell scandal

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

I have long awaited the opening of the movie “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” Given the many obstacles the filmmakers faced in landing a distribution deal, I actually wondered if this day would ever come.

But truth has a way of winning out, and it is important that people know the hard truth about abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

I believe I have a unique perspective on the movie, since I live in what was Ground Zero of the Gosnell scandal. I reside in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where bureaucrats gave a free pass to the West Philadelphia abortionist, despite the numerous lawsuits which had been filed against him.

I will never forget the day that the Gosnell story broke. I saw an article on the Philadelphia Inquirer website about an abortionist who had been caught illegally prescribing medication. The drug raid that followed turned up a treasure trove of aborted baby body parts. I placed the news report on our Executive Director’s chair. When he came in, I told him that this was a big story and we needed to pay attention to it.

The grand jury estimated that Gosnell killed hundreds of living, breathing, full-term babies by “snipping” their spinal cords after birth. As it turned out, prosecutors could only bring charges in a handful of cases because Gosnell destroyed so many records. The worst serial killer in U.S. history is now serving three consecutive life terms in prison for the murder of three babies and for causing the death of a female immigrant, Karnamaya Mongar.

How could this happen! State officials did not inspect his “House of Horrors” abortion facility for 17 years. That’s a lifetime. In fact, they did not inspect any abortion center in Pennsylvania for 15 years. As the Gosnell Grand Jury said in its withering 261 page report

Had state and local officials performed their duties properly, Gosnell’s clinic would have been shut down decades ago. Gosnell would have lost the medical license that he used to inflict irreparable harm on women; to illegally abort viable, late-term fetuses; and to kill innumerable babies outside the womb.

The reason? Governors Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell were pro-abortion, and they feared that inspection of abortion facilities would lead to closures.

As the grand jury in the Gosnell case reported, hair and nail salons underwent greater scrutiny than abortion facilities in the Commonwealth.

I have been fortunate enough to see a preview of the film and it does not disappoint. The portrayal of Gosnell is chilling, but entirely accurate. It is not gory—it is a true crime drama which is deeply moving. I highly recommend seeing it, because the movie expertly depicts what can happen when a society permits abortion on demand. In Gosnell’s diabolical practice, abortion gave way to infanticide. And murder became commonplace.

It may be hard to confront this horror. But confront it we must—for the good of the babies and their mothers and fathers, and for the good of our nation.