According to the grand jury indictment, it was a regular house of horrors:
The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment — such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff — was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house.
Sounds like one of those back-alley abortion mills women who wanted to exercise their reproductive rights were forced to go to back in those bad old days before Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion safe, legal and rare. At least, that’s the narrative.
But wait a minute. Roe was handed down 38 years ago. This indictment was handed down just last week by a Philadelphia grand jury after an investigation lasting nearly a year. You mean Roe didn’t make abortions safe, legal and rare?
Nope, it just made them legal. For any reason. At any time.
As for the clinic that was subject to the grand jury report, the paragraph quoted above is the least of it. According to the indictment, the doctor who operated this clinic “regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.” And the women who got these “abortions” didn’t fare much better.
The clinic was the benign-sounding “Women’s Medical Society”, which was located in a low-income neighborhood in West Philadelphia, and the doctor was Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D. He and several members of his staff have been charged with eight counts of murder and numerous other crimes in connection with the operation of this clinic. Although murder charges have been filed in only eight cases, the indictment makes it clear that literally “hundreds” of live, breathing babies were murdered at the clinic.
And there’s more. These abuses went on for decades, but the state and municipal agencies responsible for regulating abortion clinics just looked the other way, even when they received complaints about the clinic. And, says the indictment, the reason for this lack of interest was political, and “the politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro”. The authorities moved to shut down the clinic only because of the publicity that resulted from a drug raid last year. It turns out that, in addition to jamming scissors into the backs of babies’ necks and snipping their spinal cords, the clinic did a lucrative side business in writing fake prescriptions for pain killers.
I first heard this story from Michelle Malkin, and my initial reaction was one of horror. My second reaction was a question: How are the Left and the pro-abortion news media going to spin this story? It didn’t take long for me to find out.
It’s the fault of anti-choice zealots, you see. If they hadn’t blocked taxpayer-funded and late-term abortions, the low-income women who in desperation were forced to seek out Dr. Gosnell could have had their abortions performed in suites at luxurious resort hotels while watching soap operas on big-screen TVs and sipping cocktails served to them by handsome, muscular young men wearing nothing but tight pants and bow-ties. This was the subtext of Time magazine’s coverage of the story.
An Associated Press story led off with the account of a young woman who had gone to Dr. Gosnell in desperation after being “frightened away by protestors” outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. Yes, anti-abortion protesters kept Gosnell’s house of horrors in business!
And a University of Minnesota biology professor charges that Gosnell’s clinic represents “the kind of back-alley deadly hackery that the anti-choice movement would have as the only possible recourse, if they had their way. If anything, the Gosnell case is an argument for legal abortion.” Get it? Gosnell is the kind of abortionist pro-lifers prefer.
And all the coverage has emphasized that this case is “not about abortion.” No, it’s about the activities of one evil doctor and his evil staff. And it’s about poverty. (Unlike the Tucson shooting, which was about “rhetoric”.)
No amount of media spin can hide what this case so starkly reveals: that abortion kills babies. Consider: what Gosnell did is no different in kind than a usually legal late-term abortion procedure called “intact dilation and extraction”, a procedure better known by the politically charged expression “partial-birth abortion”. The only difference — and what makes intact D&X legal — is that the scissors are jammed into the back of the baby’s skull before delivery is completed. It’s only murder if the baby manages to get out before he or she is killed.
America’s abortion regime is built on a tissue of lies. The biggest lie, of course, is that what is being killed is something less than human. You’d think we’d be past that one by now, what with all the recent advances in ultrasound technology.
Another lie is that abortion is just another medical procedure. No, it isn’t. It is, in fact, the only medical procedure that, if successful, results in the death of a human being. It is also the only medical procedure (in fact, about the only human activity of any kind) that liberals adamantly insist should be free from government regulation. A doctor cannot perform, say, heart surgery until he has completed a lengthy residency and has been board-certified, but he can perform abortions without any specialized training whatsoever. In fact, at Gosnell’s clinic — and, I am sure, at many others as well — abortions were regularly performed by people who did not have any medical training. Any move to regulate or provide oversight of the abortion industry invariably elicits howls of protest that this is just another attempt to interfere with a woman’s right to choose.
Not only is the abortion regime built on a tissue of lies, but those who support that regime know it. How do I know they know it? Because they cannot talk about abortion without resorting to euphemism. In fact, the term “pro-choice” is itself a euphemism. Whenever I hear people use the expression “a woman’s right to choose”, I want to ask, “a woman’s right to choose what?” Or, how about “reproductive rights”? Abortion is about killing, not reproduction. And Dr. Gosnell’s expression for his stabbing-and-snipping procedure: “ensuring fetal demise”?
Supporters of the abortion regime also go to great lengths to try to prevent women in crisis pregnancies from finding out the truth. Thus their adamant opposition to laws requiring abortion clinics to give an expectant mother the opportunity to see an ultrasound image of her unborn child. Not only do they want to hide the truth from women who come into abortion clinics, they also want to prevent them from going to crisis pregnancy centers where they can see ultrasound images and get reliable information on fetal development. Thus their drive to regulate and legislate crisis pregnancy centers out of existence. I trust the irony of this is not lost on anyone: crisis pregnancy centers, which offer only information, support and financial assistance to women who want to carry their pregnancies to term, are to be heavily regulated, while abortion clinics, where invasive procedures are performed on women, are not. Such is the mentality of pro-choice America.
Saturday was the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In the succeeding years, 50 million babies have been legally killed in the United States. Yes, that is an inflammatory statement. But it’s also a true statement. Another true statement is that, as a result, there are 50 million fewer people who will be working and producing the goods and services needed to support an aging population.
Back when states first started legalizing abortion, critics warned of a slippery slope, that legalizing the killing of the youngest members of our society opened the door to legalizing the killing of the aged and infirm. We are now sliding down that slope. Assisted suicide is now legal in three states, and more are sure to follow. Assisted suicide inevitably will become voluntary euthanasia, and that in turn will evolve into involuntary euthanasia. This is being driven by economics as well as evolving moral standards, but it was Roe v. Wade that set both of these processes in motion.
In her column Friday, Michelle Malkin wrote that
Deadly indifference to protecting life isn’t tangential to the abortion industry’s existence — it’s at the core of it. The Philadelphia Horror is no anomaly. It’s the logical, blood-curdling consequence of an evil, eugenics-rooted enterprise wrapped in feminist clothing.
After the Philadelphia Horror, they cannot hide the truth any longer.