Twitter has been awash with the Gosnell case. In case you’ve been living under a stone, the facts are that Kermit Gosnell is an abortionist, working in Philadelphia in the USA, whose clinic clearly failed the most elementary standards of hygiene, two of whose patients died, and who killed probably more than 100 babies after they had been delivered alive. He specialised in late abortions, and things didn’t always go according to plan. Or maybe he had his own way of doing things. He has finally been charged, tried, and convicted of murder: of one of his adult patients, and of a sample of the babies.
The case has a special significance because of the media black-out surrounding it: the mainstream media in the USA, and the UK, don’t want to know. My suggestion is that it is embarassing to them for precisely the reason that it is newsworthy: it vindicates the highly controversial, but successful, approach of the US pro-life movement in recent years, of holding abortion clinics to existing laws, and where possible of imposing greater regulatory burdens on abortionists at state level. They demand (shock!) that abortionists are properly qualified, and (horror!) that their premises come up to clinical standards of cleanliness and so on. These obligations, which activists can invoke and pro-life states can impose and enforce in the way of ordinary local licensing requirements, have closed down many abortion centres, and the pro-abortion industry has been screaming blue murder about it. Cases have gone to court over whether they are covert ways of banning abortion, and therefore illegal. It all turns on whether the obligations are deemed ‘unreasonable’. (The interesting history of ‘Operation Rescue‘ illustrates the changing tactics.)
Gosnell was protected by a pro-abortion state, and wasn’t inspected at all over a 17-year period. So what the Gosnell case exposes is that there really is a problem of poor regulation in the abortion industry. We’ve had our own case of this in England, when the Telegraph exposed the fact that scores of abortionists were failing to get the required two signatures from doctors to authorise an abortion. The abortionists were enraged that they be kept to even the most elementary legal safeguards. They had been keeping boxes of pre-signed, blank forms to speed things up.
Gosnell fits into the same narrative as the exposure of Planned Parenthood as offering abortion to under-age prostitutes (when asked by their pimp), without informing the police of what is obviously a crime: the sexual exploitation, including rape, of young girls. This narrative terrifies the abortion industry, and with good reason.
The Savita case, which of course has been stuffed down our throats by the media without ceasing, fits the contrary narrative: that abortion is necessary to save mothers’ lives. Except, of course, that it doesn’t, because the medical facts don’t stack up. This is the narrative which must be exposed as a lie: abortion does not save women, it exposes them to harm, and even death.
The attempt to bury this story says much about the “free press”, and the main contrast I have been making is between the fascination for every little detail in the clerical abuse saga versus the denial of the rights of the newborn and the blatant injustice of a press that stubbornly wanted to remain silent until it was shamed into commenting. Being a rabit of a somewhat squeamish disposition, I found myself unable to read beyond the introduction to the story. Frankly, I do not understand a “free press” that turns its back on such injustice, just because that would support the arguments of anti-abortion campaigners that they despise.
Now I begin to see what persistence was needed by people like Wilberforce against the blindness of a culture that could not see the injustice of slavery. Every age has its moral battle to fight and this is the Big One. Whoever denies it aligns himself with Herod.
Well said, Frere Rabit!
I read a very interesting comment on the Patheos ‘Get religion’ blog the other day:
[Re lack of coverage of Gosnell case] “. . . And the fact that media disregard for this is almost universal suggests either some kind of quasi-conspiracy or that media pluralism and independence is an illusion, that the media are not really the indispensable guardians of public freedom that they like to imagine themselves to be, but a self-referential monolith that act as gatekeepers of permissible public thought, a massive organ of extraordinary power that is the very opposite of a free press and that is ultimately inimical to a free society.”
I think this commenter [‘Michael’] hit the nail squarely on the head.
I find it hard to believer – though not totally impossible – that the ‘the free press’ (whatever that is) would willingly choose to ‘bury’ this story.
However, mistakes are frequently made. Even by the media.
That the free press might be more interested in pedophile priests is quite another thing – and even more interested in the sex life of Prince Harry than either – is, and should be, no great surprise.
If we don’t like the media’s choice of story. the remedy is simple – don’t buy it…
I have learned – over many years hacking away mindlessly in the humbug mines – that the more sickeningly horrible a story is, the more the readers seem to respond enthusiastically to it.
It sells, in fact.
So I, personally, would have played this one from Christmas to breakfastime.
People are always saying stuff like, “Why are they playing Thatcher’s funeral so big, when the crisis in Syria (or the shocking price of Marmite, or whatever) is so much more important?”
“‘the free press’ (whatever that is)”
Is this your latest attempt at Canadian irony?
Toad don’t know irony from the hole in, well – in his ear – Rabit..
it would seem.
“This narrative terrifies the abortion industry, and with good reason.”
From what Toad reads, frequently on CP&S, he gets the impression that little or nothing terrifies the abortion industry.
Or else, what’s all the fuss about’
“This is the narrative which must be exposed as a lie: abortion does not save women, it exposes them to harm, and even death.”
Nobody ever suggested that the function of abortion was to “save women.” Its function is to stop babies being born.
“Is this your latest attempt at Canadian irony?”
Dear Alleged Ironists: My mea culpa for any offence caused and taken can be found on the immediately preceding thread.
But, CP&S: I wonder about the basic thrust of your posts regarding Grosnell, which emphasize, not the immorality of abortion, but rather the unhygienic, septic milieu in which that incompetent old geezer carried them out. To wit: “So what the Grosnell case exposes is that there really is a problem of poor regulation in the abortion industry.” I’m fairly sure we will eventually learn that the young Atlantic journalist, Conor Friedersdorf, who (allegedly) first broke this story is “pro-choice”, and if I’m right, his allegiance to that crew should be a red flag warning us that his agenda, conscious or otherwise, is to strengthen abortion rights by pressing for ‘best practice’. I somehow doubt Mr. Friederdorf is an advocate for the pre-born, or even the very recently born.
Ironically enough, you caused no offence whatsoever to Toad, JH. He reveled in it.
Possibly because he had, in the course of his ‘career,’* several ‘opinions’ sent back for re-write on the grounds that they were “too ironic,” and the readers would not comprehend, and would be upset.
I should have noted that my suspicions concerning a covert agenda to the Grosnell story were first raised here by srdc and Kathleen yesterday on the original Grosnell thread. Many good ideas expressed on this blog are placed inside folders in the filing cabinets we are pleased to call our minds, and their original sources only become apparent when we rifle through them.
There is something oddly disturbing about the whole business, I agree, JH. A covert agenda? Highly possible.
And our mutual friend Cyril (Connolly) seems to echo your thought, after a fashion…
“Our memories are card indexes consulted and then returned in disorder by authorities whom we do not control.”
…But, on the other hand, maybe he doesn’t do so at all.
Reblogged this on theraineyview.
Getting up to do what older men, like Toad and Frere, sometimes have to do in the wee, wee hours, I’ve decided to draw CP&S’s attention to their misspelling of Gosnell’s name at the top of this piece, which I duplicated, because I trusted CP&S to get their headline right. More fool me.
Thank you, Frere Rabit, for your first comment and for the important comparisons you suggested from other periods of history. In my opinion they are very relevant indeed in such a horrifying case.
A comparison with slavery is very significant. Our present culture identifies readily with the fact that slavery is wrong. But they often don’t realize how much effort and perseverance it took for Wilberforce to convince the culture of that time that it must be brought to an end. The opposition he faced was similar to that faced by pro-life now, and is certainly the big moral issue of our time. The sharp reminder of Herod’s deliberate killing of the little children to make sure that the infant Jesus did not survive is very appropriate.
Thank you also, C.P.& S, for gathering together so much detail in your articles. A very worrying aspect of it is the degree of avoidance and negligence which took place for so long on the part of Government agencies which had the task of legitimate inspection. I can’t help being very apprehensive that similar situations are occurring in other places.
JH: A thousand apologies! I would like to blame Joseph Shaw, the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society who wrote the article, but… the fault is mine. Toad’s wife once said we were poor at editing other peoples stories, and usually it is me that is the one who, in a rush to get things out that are current omits to do this – so please don’t blame CP&S as a whole as if there is this sort of of oversight it is more than likely to be my fault. Mea culpa (again 😉 )
Gertrude, I wish the only sins I needed to confess were an occasional misplaced letter; and as you know, I was just teasing.
Now you make The Family Toad feel rightly guilty, Gertrude.
You, and everyone on CP&S, do a splendid job, in the field of editing, which we all know is a constant and shifting factual minefield, and we Toads know it better than most.
Toad, as “Editor,” never once was responsible for any newspaper which was not later found have some sort of error in it, somewhere.
And he was/is not alone. (whatever others might think. Insert smiley face.) In fact, such a flawless paper has probably never been produced.
It is, as they say, the nature of the beast.
‘Operation Rescue’ has an article about the Gosnell case, re the death of the 41 year old woman, Karnamaya Mongar:
(Warning: the details of the disgusting state of the Gosnell clinic are truly every bit as terrible as related in the first article on CP&S about this case!)
Liberal commentator: we ‘made a decision’ not to cover Gosnell to protect abortion
Liberal commentators can make just as poor decisions as anyone else, it seems.
Toad thinks this was a “poor decision” because they missed a good story. If they do that too often, they’ll go out of business. it’s not their job to “protect” abortion, or anything else, for that matter. (Free speech, maybe?).
Oh no! Gosnell is not going to get away with these numerous murders of babies, is he?!
“Shocker: Gosnell Judge Dismissed 3 Murder Charges, Five Remain”
Philadelphia, PA – Judge Jeffery P. Minehart dismissed three of the eight murder charges against Kermit Gosnell this morning, leaving five counts that will eventually go to the jury. The three dismissed first degree murder counts dismissed today relate to the accused murder of three newborn babies, birthed during late-term abortions only to have their spinal cords severed…
“I am shocked that these counts have been dismissed. I have heard testimony by very credible witnesses to the effect that these babies were murdered in cold blood by Gosnell as they cried and struggled for life. We pray that justice will be done in the remaining five victims of Gosnell’s horrific slayings,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue, who has observed the trial and published first-hand accounts of the proceedings….
“If Gosnell gets off scot-free, that will send a message that murdering live babies and abortion patients is now acceptable behavior in America and that abortionists who engage in such depraved practices are above the law. This would put women and babies in grave danger – more than they already face — at abortion clinic throughout the nation,” said Sullenger.