Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thoughts on Dr. Gosnell and Abortion

If you've been living anywhere outside of the Philadelphia area, odds are you know little or nothing about the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell that's been taking place the last few months.  You may not even realize that he was arrested in 2010, and that a horrific report by the Grand Jury was released in January 2011.

Yesterday he was convicted on three counts of first degree murder in the deaths of 3 babies, who were born alive in his Philadelphia abortion clinic.  He snapped their spinal cords with scissors.  According to testimony, he did this to hundreds of babies, because it was easier to deliver them and kill them afterwards.  

Late term abortions are difficult and dangerous, despite what the Pro-Choice movement would have you believe.  After suffering several lawsuits for malpractice, which he settled out of court for around 1.7 million dollars, Dr. Gosnell decided it was more profitable just to kill babies after they were born.  No chance of puncturing a uterus or damaging internal organs with sharp instruments.

The pictures were horrific.  It was obvious these were human beings, not blobs of tissue.  He had jars holding the severed feet of babies.  Fetal remains were stored in refrigerators with lunches of employees.

Numerous complaints were filed with the PA Department of Health, all of which went without investigation (for political reasons), until the FBI initiated a sting operation due to Dr. Gosnell's side business:  Selling prescriptions for controlled narcotics.  

The press gallery remained empty for much of the trial, as newspapers found Jody Arias to be a more national news story.  One reporter went so far as to say that Dr. Gosnell was a local story, and she didn't cover local stories without policy implications.  One perpetual college student's whiny hissy fit about how she was going bankrupt over her birth control pills was a national story.  An abortion doctor who butchered women and babies alike, nothing to see here...move on.  The press was eventually shamed into covering the story by Kirsten Powers, who was brave enough to say what most of us in the Philadelphia area were already thinking.  This story is a political football, and it's damaging to the wrong side of said ball.  If an abortion doctor is murdered, that's national news.  But we can't speak of the horrors going on in an abortion clinic, by a man who was one of the forefathers of the abortion rights movement. (See: Mother's Day Massacre.)

The story boils down to a few points.  A man, who was not a board certified OBGYN made millions (about 2 million a year), performing abortions.  Originally he did most of those within the boundaries of Pennsylvania law, until too many women were suffering complications.  He then turned to shady practices like selling prescriptions for narcotics, and performing illegal late term abortions in the middle of the night.  He made around 15,000 dollars a day.  He used untrained workers.  Complaints about his practices were unheeded, when Governor Tom Ridge and his administration decided to stop inspecting abortion clinics in the state.  Their reasoning was that too many violations were being found, and if clinics were shut down, it would restrict a woman's access to abortion.  Complaint after complaint went unheeded, or was shuffled away with the same attitude as the press:  Nothing to see here, move along.  In the end, Dr. Gosnell is likely to have killed hundreds of babies born alive, moving, one even swimming in a toilet.  He was complicit in the deaths of two women that we know of, and who knows how many more we don't know about.  And all of this because abortion is a political football too hot to touch.

Technology is the reason the press finally covered the trial, or at least made a half-hearted attempt to cover the trial.  It was a picture of the empty press gallery, tweeted by a Bucks County journalist, that got the ball rolling.  It was blogs on the internet by conservatives and Kirsten Powers that pushed the ball further down the road.  Technology is so prevalent that the presiding judge in the case banned reporters from using any electronic devices during the reading of the verdict.

And yet, as pictures were presented, showing fully developed human beings, we have removed that technology from playing any roll in the future of the abortion debate.  

When Roe vs. Wade was decided 40 years ago, we didn't have the technology to show what a baby looked like inside the womb.  It was easy to pass it off as a blob of tissue, as something sub-human at best.  Deciding when life actually begins, as a scientific matter, was next to impossible.  It's not anymore.  Now you can hear a clear heartbeat at 8 weeks.  4D ultrasound allows you to see all the moving parts.  Technology has advanced, but our national understanding of abortion has not.

The abortion rights advocates don't want mandatory  ultrasounds.  Maybe it's because those ultrasound images might show a confused single woman that she's not evacuating a blob of tissue.  They don't want to have to explain in detail what's going to happen, because maybe a confused hurting young girl would be horrified by the procedure.  People spouting about choice just don't want to know the facts.

The best way to test this theory, is to describe an abortion technique to an abortion rights supporter.  You will hear things such as "I don't want to know what it is", "you don't have to go into graphic detail", and my favorite "you are  trying to horrify me".  Okay.  

Abortion is horrific.  It is the killing of a human being.  The methods used are horrific.  Saline, which burns a baby alive.  Suction, which rips a baby into pieces and the removes those pieces one at a time from a mother's womb.  D&C, which is essentially cutting a baby into pieces and then removing them one at a time.  Chemical abortions, which induce violent labor that ends up crushing the baby during delivery.  A variation of the C-Section which cuts the umbilical cord in the womb, suffocating the baby.  And my favorite: Partial birth abortion. which involves the doctor grabbing the baby by the leg, pulling it out through the birth canal  up to the neck, stabbing it's skull with scissors and sucking out the brains.  And Amnesty International thinks lethal injection is inhumane.

This political football, which allowed a brutal butcher to operate unchecked since 1979 is something most people are not intimately acquainted with.  in the past few months, if you were lucky enough to get any news coverage on the trial, you got a birds eye view of the horrific, horrendous side of abortion. The one we don't talk about in polite company.  And while it's possible a majority of abortion clinics don't operate in this fashion, the outcome of legalized abortion was patently clear in this trial: a complete disregard for human life.

The defense of Kermit Gosnell didn't call a single witness.  People across the country who happened to be watching the most undercovered trial of the century, opined at why this was.  I will tell you why.  Simply put, Dr. Gosnell was killing babies outside the womb, that in places like New Mexico it is perfectly legal to kill inside the womb.  Think about that.  It is no more horrific to snap the spinal cord of baby outside the womb, than it is use forceps to dismember a baby inside the womb.  One is legal, one is not.  Yet, I can understand why the defense wouldn't call a witness.  Killing babies who aren't wanted, as long as we kill them before they are delivered by a parent who wants them, is the standard by which the abortion rights movement operates.  What Dr. Gosnell did was simply kill unwanted children.  The difference is a few inches.  

If you are horrified at what I wrote, good.  If you are horrified that I used graphic images, good.  You should be horrified.  The next time the words "it's a woman's right" pass through you lips, just remember... a few inches.  That's the difference between life and death for the most innocent in this world.  A few inches.  The difference between murder and a trumped up invented right to kill, is a few inches.  The difference between abortion and infanticide is a few inches.  Think about it.

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