Gosnell: The Bad Fruit of Roe

shutterstock_136506377And undercover videos show Gosnell is no ‘aberration.’ Some honest advocates of ‘choice’ are seriously reconsidering their whole premise and belief system in light of recent news. While some ‘abortion rights’ activists are coming unglued over these revelations.

Here’s the latter case in point. Watch the video. Listen to the video exchange, and the studio exchange, which isn’t really an exchange at all. There’s no disputing what the Gosnell trial reveals about the logic of abortion. There’s no disputing what the Live Action video reveals. But Tamara Holder disputes alright, though not with reason and logic and the art of debate.

Over the past few years, I’ve seen Tamara Holder on television news shows many, many times engage in lively and sometimes heated panel discussions of politics and policy, and she tends to be very committed to liberal causes and positions. Which is fine. Let there be reasoned debate of each position.

But in this video with Lila Rose of Live Action, Holder comes undone in every way, visibly in her demeanor and body language  and verbally in the language she used to flail at the revelations coming out about abortion clinics and a more- widely-prevailing-than-we-knew attitude toward babies who survive abortion attempts as something less than human life worthy of rights and protection.

Even when Rose simplifies it to the fundamental question of whether they couldn’t find common ground agreement on protecting tiny infants who emerge still squirming and struggling for life, Holder devolves to the angry ad hominem attack on Rose and not her argument, nor on the content of her undercover video. It was ugly, and revealing.

That was after the second video was released. There’s a new one since then, and some call it more shocking. How can we measure such degrees of inhumanity?

For weeks now, during and after the Gosnell trial, ‘Democratic strategist’ and ‘liberal news contributor’ Kirsten Powers has been writing about the trial in USA Today and The Daily Beast agonizing over what we have allowed in social policy on abortion and facilitated by the language of choice, and covered up by a complicit media unwilling to report on any news story that runs counter to the narrative that abortion on demand at all times is what women want, need and deserve.

Thank God Kirsten Powers was noticed by some big media people who were willing to start paying attention earlier than the rest, and follow an idea through to its logical conclusions. Here’s one of her latest columns.

Abortion rights advocates have argued that there is nothing to see here. Move along. This is what illegal abortion looks like, they say.

Kermit Gosnell

Kermit Gosnell

But Gosnell’s clinic was not illegal. It was a licensed medical facility. The state of his clinic was well known: there were repeated complaints to government officials and even the local Planned Parenthood. He wasn’t operating under the radar but in plain sight, and he received referrals from abortion clinics up and down the East Coast. Gosnell performed plenty of abortions within the 24-week limit in Pennsylvania and worked part time for a National Abortion Federation–accredited clinic in Delaware.

The woman Gosnell is on trial for allegedly killing, Karnamaya Mongar, perished during a legal abortion while she was 19 weeks pregnant. Gosnell was not forced to operate in the dark because of anti–abortion rights regulations. It’s the opposite: he was able to flourish—pulling in $1.8 million a year—because multiple abortion rights administrations decided that to inspect his clinic might mean limiting access to abortion. It’s all in the grand jury report, if you don’t believe me.

I’ve linked to that grand jury report multiple times, and hope people will confront it, especially people who consider themselves pro-choice.

One of the bodies discovered in the raid of the clinic was of a 22-week-old baby with a surgical incision on the back of her neck, which penetrated the first and second vertebrae. The only thing that would make her death illegal would be if Gosnell failed to finish her off in her mother’s womb.

Does that statement make you uncomfortable? Good.

What we need to learn from the Gosnell case is that late-term abortion is infanticide. Legal infanticide. That so many people in the media seem untroubled by the idea that 12 inches in one direction is a “private medical decision” and 12 inches in the other direction causes people to react in horror, should be troubling. Indeed, Gosnell’s defense attorney Jack J. McMahon has relied on the argument that Gosnell killed the babies prior to delivering them, therefore he is not guilty of murder. His exact words were: “Every one of those babies died in utero.”

Gosnell is accused of aborting infants past the 24-week limit in Pennsylvania. But those same deaths – if done in utero – would have been perfectly legal in many states with sometimes abused health exceptions, which can include the elastic category of “mental distress.

The New York Times reported that MacMahon argued: “Because the women were given injections of the drug digoxin, which causes ‘fetal demise,’ any postdelivery movements were involuntary spasms.” The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney, who attended the trial, reported that McMahon argued: “The purpose of the shot…is to kill the baby so that it will not be a live birth.”

This is, finally, where the rubber meets the road. Keep going.

I cannot legitimately say I am a person who cherishes human rights and remain silent about our country legally endorsing infanticide.

Which, listeners of mine on radi have pointed out to me in emails, is too remote a name for what it is, the murder of an infant. True.

We live in a country where if a six-months-pregnant woman started downing shots of vodka in a bar or lit up a cigarette, people might want her arrested. But that same woman could walk into an abortion clinic, no questions asked, and be injected with a drug that would stop her baby’s heart.

Just watch those Live Action undercover videos to see what drugs are injected into a pregnant woman to stop her baby’s heart. And other ways they do procedures that assure ‘fetal demise.’

I’ll put my cards on the table: I think life begins at conception and would love to live in a world where no women ever felt she needed to get an abortion. However, I know enough people who are pro-abortion rights—indeed, I was one of them for most of my life—to know that reasonable and sincere people can disagree about when meaningful life begins.

I will, respectfully, take issue here with Kirsten Powers on the subject off “when meaningful life begins,” starting with ‘who decides?’ and ‘what do you mean by “meaningful life”, much less the question of when that begins.

They also can disagree about how to weigh that moral uncertainty against a woman’s right to control her body—and her own life.

I take exception to this as well, since the woman’s body is one thing, but when she is pregnant the doctor has two patients, and she is carrying within her womb a separate, unique, whole and complete human being with her or his own DNA, already fully in existence. So a woman can do with her body what she morally decides is best, but another human being is present by design of human procreaction, and her decision over her body affect the well-being of that other human body and her or his own life.

I have only ever voted for Democrats, so overturning Roe v. Wade is not one of my priorities. I never want to return to the days of gruesome back-alley abortions.

In case you missed this in an earlier post, Kermit Gosnell was a back-alley abortionist, who Roe ensconced in his own clinic. The clinic Pennsylvania authorities dubbed a ‘house of horrors.’

So this gets down to the anguish of reasoning through the obvious which forces confrontation with accepted beliefs.

But medical advances since Roe v. Wade have made it clear to me that late-term abortion is not a moral gray area, and we need to stop pretending it is. No six-months-pregnant woman is picking out names for her “fetus.” It’s a baby. Let’s stop playing Orwellian word games. We are talking about human beings here.

Finally. The awareness comes. Prof. Robert George helps focus that reasoning process.

I just finished watching the Fox News special “See No Evil” on abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is on trial in Philadelphia for multiple murders and other crimes. Gosnell can’t understand how it can be that he is facing prison and possibly even the death penalty for killing the babies whose necks he snipped after they “precipitated” (i.e., emerged from the womb.) The women who came into his clinic came in to have the babies they were carrying killed. That was the point of the exercise. “Terminating” the babies’ lives was the service he offered and performed. Had he killed the babies while they were still in their mothers’ bodies (by, for example, inserting a needle to inject a poison into their tiny hearts) that would not have been a crime. He merely would have been assisting his patients in exercising what the Supreme Court deems a constitutional right. So why, he would like to know, is he being prosecuted for killing the same babies moments later after they precipitated?

I must admit that I am no less puzzled by that question than Gosnell is. How can it be that killing a baby inside the womb is perfectly acceptable while killing the very same baby (or even a baby that is a few days or even weeks younger) outside the womb is first degree murder? Of course, in my view we should not permit the killing of babies inside or outside the womb. A baby’s status as a precious member of the human family, possessing profound, inherent, and equal dignity, does not depend on something as morally arbitrary as his or her location. But if we permit the Gosnells of the world to kill babies inside the womb, it seems odd to charge them with murder for killing them outside the womb. This is especially true in view of the fact that inducing delivery and then killing babies marked for “termination” eliminates the risk to women involved in the common abortion practice of dismembering babies inside the womb and removing their severed body parts.

The whole state of abortion and reality of what Roe wrought becomes clearer with the Gosnell trial revelations, and those coming out of the Live Action video series from abortion clinics around the US.

We’re finally talking about abortion, what we’ve legalized, what we’ve accepted, what we’ve told ourselves and come to believe as a society. Let’s be honest, for crying out loud.

 

fruit image credit: shutterstock.com

Sheila Liaugminas

By

Sheila Gribben Liaugminas, of Chicago, is a member of the Voices editorial board, and was host of The Right Questions on Relevant Radio and Issues and Answers news show. She and her husband have two sons, one a seminarian and the other a college student. Follow updates on this story (and contact Sheila) at www.inforumblog.com.

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  • fwt

    Not to be too picky, but this article was very confusing until I followed the link to Kirsten Power’s column, and realized much of this article is a direct quote, interspersed with commentary. However, the sections quoted from Power’s are not enclosed in quotes, making this article very difficult to follow and understand…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001299617319 Terry Carlino

    Kirsten Powers is a class act, a liberal who is actually in the process of following things to their logical conclusion. I hope that she doesn’t get the typical liberal backlash often reserved for liberals who have a brain and realize that causality actually works in the real world. She almost single-handedly moved the Gosnell issue from Fox news and the blogs to the Main Stream Media. She did that by shaming them, quite justifiably. I also hope that she’s not punished for that.

  • CTW

    Is this a quote from Kirsten Powers? “I have only ever voted for Democrats, so overturning Roe v. Wade is not
    one of my priorities. I never want to return to the days of gruesome
    back-alley abortions.” If so, you might want to reformat this article so that direct quotes are properly attributed. If not — i.e. if Sheila Llaugminas has only ever voted for Democrats and therefore overturning Roe v Wade is not one of her priorities — I’m concerned by that.

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