The trial of Kermit Gosnell has put abortion on display in America. This is in spite of mainstream media attempts to ignore the grisly story of Gosnell’s little shop of horrors in Philadelphia. Previously Examiner reported how Gosnell and his employees were responsible for the death of at least one woman at his clinic and caused serious damage to the health of others. While many of Gosnell’s victims were the women who came to him, they were only the tip of the iceberg.
The other victims of Gosnell and his employees were too numerous to count. Gosnell had worked as an abortionist since 1972. The grand jury report on Gosnell makes a conservative estimate that Gosnell did 25 abortions each night for three nights per week. That works out to an estimated 3,900 abortions per year or 148,200 abortions in the 38 years he practiced until his arrest in 2010. The take for Gosnell’s work was an estimated $1.8 million per year… most of it in cash. A search of Gosnell’s house turned up $240,000 in cash hidden in his daughter’s closet along with a gun.
Gosnell will never be punished for killing the majority of the 148,200 babies who died at his hands. Many were under the legal limit of 24 weeks in which abortions are permitted in Pennsylvania. For others, many of whom were older than 24 weeks, Gosnell apparently destroyed the records, although he recorded the age of hundreds of babies as “24.5 weeks,” just over Pennsylvania’s legal limit.
Seven babies bear mute testimony to the horrors of Gosnell’s “Women’s Medical Society.” Some of these babies were photographed by staff members after they were killed. Others were discovered in the office when police launched a drug raid in 2010. Police found fetal remains “in bags, milk jugs, orange juice cartons, and even in cat-food containers. Some fetal remains were in a refrigerator, others were frozen” according to the grand jury. Forty-five sets of fetal remains were discovered in the clinic. Gosnell admitted to detectives that “at least 10- to 20 percent” were older than 24 weeks. The medical examiner determined that two or three of the babies were viable. The seven babies that Gosnell is accused of murdering are referred to by the letters A through G since they never acquired names.
Baby Boy A was 18 to 19 inches long and weighed about six pounds when he was born alive in Gosnell’s clinic. In spite of the fact that the baby boy was breathing, Gosnell slit his neck and put the body in a shoebox. The baby continued to move. A neonatologist testified to the grand jury that this means that the baby was still alive and in “a tremendous amount of pain.” Several staff members took photographs of the baby because of its unusual size. The details in the photograph showed hair, a developed scrotum and other features that indicated a development of 32 weeks.
Baby C was delivered by one of Gosnell’s employees, Lynda Williams. After delivering the baby, Williams placed it on a counter while she tended to the mother. Baby C was moving and breathing for about 20 minutes. Williams played with Baby C according to testimony and then slit its neck. Williams is among several clinic workers to plead guilty to murder.
According to testimony, it was not uncommon for Gosnell to perform late term abortions on babies that were viable outside the womb. In many cases, babies were born alive, often because Gosnell would arrive late, and then be killed by Gosnell or his staff. Many of these babies could move or cry on their own. When babies were born at the clinic, Gosnell or other staff members would cut the baby’s spinal cord or slit its throat. Gosnell is reported to have preferred it when the babies were already born because it made his job easier. He often made jokes about the size of the babies that he had killed.
Gosnell flagrantly disregarded the law. In Pennsylvania, abortions must be performed prior to 24 weeks, but the grand jury report notes that Gosnell had a reputation as a doctor who would perform abortions “at any stage without regard for legal limits.” Gosnell also disregarded Pennsylvania’s 24 hour waiting period law, often performing abortions on the same day as the initial consultation “as long as the patient paid in full, typically in cash.”
The revelations of Gosnell’s killings have already changed the abortion debate. Roger Simon wrote in Pajamas Media how he and his wife were affected by the Philadelphia atrocities:
“Both lifelong ‘pro-choice’ people, after watching only seconds, we embarked in an immediate discussion of whether it was time to reconsider that view. (Didn’t human life really begin at the moment of conception? What other time?) Neither of us was comfortable as a ‘pro-choice’ advocate in the face of these horrifying revelations. How could we be?”
It is an uncomfortable truth for pro-choice advocates that the legal line between a “fetus” and a baby is arbitrary and perilously thin. What Gosnell and his staff did is the logical extension of legal abortion where babies are dehumanized as inanimate growths in a woman’s body.
A number of prominent liberals made comments before Gosnell’s atrocities that come close to advocating his brand of post-birth abortion. Noted atheist Richard Dawkins said in a video clip available on Youtube that he could find no moral objection to infanticide on babies up to a year old. Princeton philosopher and bioethicist Peter Singer has written in support of after-birth abortions and infanticide for more than 20 years. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said in a televised congressional debate on CSPAN in 1996 that “I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born … the baby belongs to your family and has all the rights [of a person].” In 2001, then-Senator Barack Obama argued against a bill in Illinois that would have required abortionists to provide treatment for infants who were born alive during abortions. The audio of the session is on Youtube. A 2011 article in the Journal of Medical Ethics argued that after-birth abortion should be permitted, even when the newborn is not disabled. In March 2013, a Planned Parenthood lobbyist told the Florida legislature in a video on the Weekly Standard that if an infant was born alive during an abortion, the “decision [of whether to kill or seek treatment for the baby] should be between the patient and the health care provider.”
If support for infanticide is shocking, it is only separated by a degree from Gosnell’s crimes and that by a degree from legal abortion. Beyond all the euphemisms and carefully chosen words is the reality that abortion kills a living human being that, in many cases, would be viable to survive on its own. According to the law, it is legal to kill a baby up to the 24 weeks old as long as it is inside the mother, but if it is born, killing it is murder. The difference in abortion and infanticide is only a short trip through the birth canal.
JD Mullane, a Pennsylvania reporter and one of the few journalists covering the Gosnell trial, reconsidered his pro-choice views after hearing testimony at the trial. Mullane told Mike Huckabee, “Gosnell pulls the curtain back from the inherent violence of abortion. You can't sit in that courtroom and learn about what abortion does to the unborn child and to the woman in many cases … you can't sit there day after day and week after week and listen to that testimony and not be changed, and not have a change of heart, or at least reconsider your position.”
The idea that people will see abortion for what it is and reconsider is exactly what the pro-choice members of the media are afraid of. The Apostle John wrote, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed” (John 3:20). To put it in modern terms, “sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Read for yourself about the crimes of Kermit Gosnell and the Women’s Medical Society. The grand jury report detailing the charges against Gosnell and the clinic workers is available online at:
Originally published on Examiner.com: