A Conversation About Abortion #Gosnell #Cuomo

We need to have a conversation about abortion.

Something big happened last Friday. In response to the anemic media coverage on the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, and at the prompting of Kirsten Powers’ powerful USAToday editorial, hundreds of thousands of individuals took the conversation in their own hands.

In a 12-hour tweet-fest, pressure mounted for the media to cover what is arguably the most historic abortion story since Roe v. Wade.

The trial of Gosnell began on March 18. He is charged with 8 counts of murder—one for a 41 year old woman patient and the other seven for babies whose spinal cords were snipped after they survived the abortion.

The details of Gosnell’s “practice” are horrific. Infants were beheaded. Dead baby feet were kept in jars. One staff member reported a child screaming after birth before being killed. Another said a worker played with a baby before killing it.

Gosnell’s clinic hadn’t been inspected for 17 years. Gosnell violated State laws. He disregarded basic standards of safe medical practice. All while Gosnell made a reported $1.8 million a year from his “practice.”

If there was ever a story that called for conversation on abortion, regulations, and the safety of pregnant women, this is it.

And yet there was “precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page.”  Until citizen outrage brought results, and media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and FOX began covering the Gosnell story.

But the pressure is still on for the media to get the story right, with details and facts that expose Gosnell’s horrific “practice,” along with what policy and regulation could protect women and children from such atrocities.

This is the conversation we need to be having.

In New York, Governor Cuomo is seeking to expand the abortion. Under the guise of “women’s equality,” he claims to be “codifying federal law.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Governor Cuomo’s plans for abortion expansion would establish abortion as a fundamental right. As my friend Helen Alvaré explains, this goes far beyond federal jurisprudence, which treats abortion as only a liberty interest. This would make the passage of any common sense restrictions—restrictions supported by vast majorities of New Yorkers and Americans, like informed consent, 24-hour waiting periods, and basic regulation of abortion clinics—impossible. Even more disturbing is Governor Cuomo’s push to allow non-physicians to perform abortions, a notion which is in no way indicated by federal law. That idea that this unnecessary expansion could possibly make women safer is, prima facie, absurd.

Bill Hammond of the New York Daily News noted that while “[Governor Cuomo’s] plan would not legalize anything Gosnell is accused of doing,.. neither does it take any positive steps to prevent future Gosnells — by, for instance, setting standards under which professionals can perform abortions and under what conditions.”

Abortion seems like a polarizing issue in America. That’s the way it plays out in the press and in politics: America is a 50/50 pro-life to pro-choice country, with the advantage trending in the pro-life direction as millenials of the “sonogram generation” poll more pro-life than their parents. But this 50/50 narrative on abortion doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of opinion about abortion in the real world in America. Many Americans, and probably a growing number, find themselves in what columnist James Taranto calls the “mushy middle.” These people can see that the difference between “snipping” the spine of a just born child and crushing the skull of the same child inside the birth canal is the difference between illegal and legal, and nothing more. In fact, it is the difference between Kermit Gosnell and Leroy Carhart. But only one of them is on trial for murder.

Even in New York, where a majority identify themselves as pro-choice, there is a strong consensus in favor of more restricted abortion. According to a poll we commissioned, conducted by McLaughlin and Associates, more than three-quarters of New Yorkers support restrictions on abortion, such as informed consent and parental consent. And only 17 percent think women should have access to abortion through all nine-months of pregnancy.

Maybe the Governor just hasn’t heard these details yet. So, let’s make sure he does.

Today is round-two of the #Gosnell tweet fest. Details can be found at this Facebook event page. https://www.facebook.com/events/465262610208738/

Here are some tweets to add to the conversation:

  • Prevent more #Gosnell http://bit.ly/gosnell-numbers oppose Cuomo’s abortion expansion @TimesUnion @AlbanyLG #prolife #prochoice #Cuomo
  • More abortion is not women’s equality/oppose Cuomo’s abortion expansion #Gosnell #prolife #prochoice #Cuomo
  • NY wants more restrictions, not more abortion. http://tinyurl.com/c2usal8 #Gosnell oppose #Cuomo abortion expansion @NYDailyNews @AlbanyLG

Let’s continue this conversation. Expose the Gosnell trial. Oppose Cuomo’s abortion expansion.

Learn more about the Chiaroscuro Foundation’s efforts in New York at http://www.nyc41percent.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/nyc41percent

Greg Pfundstein

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Greg Pfundstein is President of the Chiaroscuro Foundation.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1617107911 Gladys Whipple Hurtis

    More than half of the abortions are girl babies that were destined to grow up and become women. Killing baby girls is not helping women over all. Most of the women I know who had abortions (especially because it was inconvenient to become pregnant) went on to become alcoholic/drug addicts, who needed extensive counseling. Some still don’t get over it and commit suicide. How is that helping women?

  • Richard III

    It ain’t.

  • Richard III

    Something I’m wondering is where do people who want to be abortionists go to get their license to kill? Is it at corrupted medical schools or what?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.duncan.144 Jake Duncan

    Reading about what Cuomo is trying to do in New York – especially the part about non-physicians being allowed to perform abortions – brings back to mind the horrific stories of back-alley abortions that began to circulate in the years leading up the Roe vs. Wade. Women usually died of hemorrhages following those abortions. It makes one think of something another writer once pointed out. I don’t remember his name, or the exact wording of the quote, but I use it often: A Satanic sacrifice doesn’t have to be willing, or even aware of why it’s happening. I suspect that the one offering the sacrifice doesn’t really have to be aware of what he’s REALLY doing, either. Just the fact that he’s willfully committing a grave sin – whether he believes in “sin” or not – is enough.

  • Charlie

    Hey Cuomo;
    You are an insult to Catholics and Italians.You are as bad as your old man

  • Victoria

    I believe they are loser physicians. Most reputable physicians won’t touch abortion. But it’s required in some (most?) medical schools, I have heard.

    I got threatened with being kicked out of nursing school when I suggested that a woman scheduled for an abortion might not have had the counseling she needed.

  • Richard III

    Yikes! So in other words, your nursing school affirmed that women are deliberately being denied important information and counseling like you suggested. Sick. Sick. Sick. Thank goodness there are still good nurses like you who actually are concerned about true women’s health and well-being.

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