Have you heard of Kermit Gosnell? If you only watch the nightly news on the networks, or even on cable, probably not. Gosnell is a physician who was arrested in January 2011 for murder, illegal abortions and more medical malpractice performed in his blood-smeared clinic of horrors in Philadelphia. His trial, which started last month, is gruesome, timely, relevant news.
But in the mainstream media, the amount of coverage his trial receives each night is measured in seconds—if any. cbs, abc, nbc, msnbc, cnn—they are all smothering this story. The ghastly details of his barbaric practice are now a matter of court record. But the press is trying to abort the story.
They won’t publish stories about unwanted babies whose mothers went to Gosnell so he could kill them before they were born. Stories about tiny babies who survived abortion procedures: one moved his arms and legs, one responded when a clinic employee lifted its arm, one was trying to swim when it was born in a toilet, one let out a soft whine, many were breathing. They don’t want stories about clinic workers taking these minutes-old children and plunging scissors into their necks and snipping their spinal cords. But this is what happened.
It’s stomach-turning to learn that plastic bags filled with aborted tiny corpses lined Kermit Gosnell’s clinic: its cupboards, its hallways, its overflowing dumpster. It’s heartbreaking to think of these women—so desperate to abort their babies that they didn’t flee at the horrifying sight of this clinic. It’s sickening to consider the woman killed by Gosnell’s unsafe practices, and the probable hundreds of babies murdered after failed abortions—not to mention the thousands of babies Gosnell successfully killed before they were born. He did it for 20 years. And the sign out front says “Family Planning” and “Family Practice.”
But this isn’t news. Why not? The media gives wall-to-wall coverage of mass murder (which, by one definition, is just four within a short period of time) and other grisly atrocities. In this case, though, as Melinda Henneberger wrote in the Washington Post, “I say we didn’t write more because the only abortion story most outlets ever cover in the news pages is every single threat or perceived threat to abortion rights.”
“What the Gosnell trial is proving is abortion advocates and their equally ardent media friends know the damage this story does,” wrote media watchdog Brent Bozell. “The more people understand what is being done, the more this country is revolted. So they censor the news from the masses .…”
The mainstream media is calculatedly trying to kill and dispose of this story. Some, realizing that their cover-up is being exposed, are actually arguing that Gosnell’s clinic is proof that there should be fewer restrictions on abortions. Kate Michelman, for instance, insists in the Huffington Post that America’s anti-abortion policies and culture brought women to Gosnell.
That is the exact opposite of the obvious truth.
Only a pro-abortion culture could produce a physician so unimaginably callous to human life. A doctor who didn’t view babies in the womb—or even newborns—as human. A man who beheaded babies and yet appears confused by the notion that he is a murderer.
Only in a pro-abortion culture could so many officials entrusted with the public trust look the other way over the two decades that Gosnell was in business. Only a jaded, hardened pro-abortion culture could produce National Abortion Federation investigators who came and witnessed Gosnell’s horror show firsthand, even rejected his application for membership—then failed to report him to police.
Only in a pro-abortion culture would the media collectively, strategically turn its back because exposing the mass murder of infants is less important than jeopardizing women’s rights to receiving abortions at will. Only in a pro-abortion culture could the federal government actually pass laws insisting that these procedures actually be paid for by taxpayers.
If you think that Gosnell is an anomaly, and that fewer abortion restrictions would mean more humane abortion practices, think again.
Consider three videos recently released by pro-life advocacy group Live Action. In the videos, women who are about six months pregnant visit abortion clinics claiming to seek to terminate the lives inside them. They go with hidden cameras and ask the doctors how the abortion is performed, what the abortion procedure does to the baby, and so on.
One particularly enlightening video was recorded at an upscale clinic in Washington, d.c. When the woman asked the abortionist what would happen if the baby somehow survived the abortion (which involved cutting the umbilical cord while it was in the womb and waiting for the baby to “expire” before they removed it), he explained that typically the baby would not survive such a procedure. Any child born at only 24 weeks, he explained, would require “vigorous” care to keep it alive. Its chances of surviving would be maybe 20 to 30 percent.
But if it did survive, she persisted, would I have to take it home and be responsible for it? What would you do? “Legally, we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive,” he began. After more explanation, he finally answered her question: “We would not help it.” He then pressured the woman to act immediately to terminate her pregnancy before it was “too late.”
The Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 states that any baby born with a heartbeat, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles—even after an abortion procedure—should be treated as a patient and is entitled to life-saving medical care. This legal abortion clinic in d.c., with its clean hallways and nice office, may not be as macabre as Gosnell’s killing chambers, but the results are the same: killing babies in the womb and, if need be, newborns.
Only in a pro-abortion culture.
Another Live Action video shows a pregnant woman getting advice from an abortionist in the Bronx, N.Y.—where half of all babies are aborted. She asked how the clinic would do the abortion, and the doctor explained that it was by suction. The woman questioned further, and the doctor said the baby would come out in pieces. Finally the doctor laughed, “I don’t know why you want to know all this! Just do it!”
Later the woman wondered what would happen if the baby comes out at home. The doctor’s response: “Flush it!”
Only in a pro-abortion culture. Only in a culture deadened to death, a culture that has devalued and destroyed the lives of our most innocent, most helpless.
The organization that calls itself “Planned Parenthood” is America’s most active provider of abortions (in 2010, it performed 333,964 of them). It receives nearly $350 million in government funding per year. The group prides itself on providing high-quality, affordable care, services and sex education. It is exactly the kind of legitimate, reputable abortion provider that “pro-choice” advocates promote as the humane, squeaky-clean alternative to “outlaws” like Gosnell.
Last year, a Live Action sting revealed a Planned Parenthood clinic encouraging a woman to abort her child if it was a girl when she wanted a boy—despite sex-selective abortions being illegal.
A few weeks ago, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow testified in favor of post-birth abortions. “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion,” she was asked by Florida legislators, “what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”
Her answer: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family and the physician.”
This child is born. She’s alive. She’s lying there. What do you do? Planned Parenthood and Kermit Gosnell say, If you don’t want it, kill it.
Such is life in our pro-abortion culture.
In 2010, Americans aborted an estimated 1.2 million babies. The exact death toll is hard to pin down, because abortionists are not required to report how many they perform, and some states refuse to submit the information.
From the time Row v. Wade passed in 1973 up until 2011, abortionists have taken some 54.5 million lives before they were born. And—it is now obvious—many of them after they were born.
But in our culture, whose collective conscience died off with each life that has been snuffed out and thrown onto the shelf in a plastic shoe box, we glimpse the real face of this holocaust, and we shrug.
When it’s just a number, it’s easy to ignore. Then the gory details inevitably rise up, brusquely and inconveniently imposing themselves into our consciousness. But we—along with our activist media—quickly close the curtain, shut the door, and go about our lives.
God’s prophecy of our day condemns what we really are, a culture so selfish it will murder its own newborns. “[I]n the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection …” (2 Timothy 3:1-3).
There could be no truer description of our calloused, pro-abortion culture. ▪