Pro-lifers, indeed anyone who believes that the Establishment Media owes some allegiance to balanced coverage, were heartened by the surge of attention paid over the last week to the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. That hope was immediately tempered by the decision of the New York Times to confine its “daily coverage” to one day. (See “Prosecution to wrap up Thursday in Gosnell murder trial; NY Times already ends daily coverage.”)
We’ve offered our explanations for why there was a curtain over the entire Gosnell affair and why it’s been (at least temporarily) lifted. Conor Friedersdorf covers the explanatory waterfront in “14 theories for why Kermit Gosnell’s case didn’t get more media attention.” I would highly recommend his overview.
But as important as the media’s willingness to avert its gaze from a spectacularly gruesome case is, what is absolutely fascinating and utterly revealing is the reaction of our benighted opposition.
Even as you could have predicted their response, what does it say about those who would attempt to turn Gosnell’s “baby charnel house” into an indictment of pro-lifers?! That is, beyond the obvious that the best defense is a good offense? Here are six possibilities (of many).
#1. To acknowledge any responsibility for the likes of Kermit Gosnell would be to accept, even indirectly, a level of culpability for a man prosecutors say murdered seven unborn babies aborted alive and who was responsible for the death of a 41-year-old woman who prosecutors say died from an overdose of Demerol and other pain killers administered by untrained staff. The same people who will tar every pro-life on the face of the planet for anything any pro-lifer has said or done—real or imaginary—feign indignation at being depicted as soul mates of Gosnell.
#2. The Grand Jury says that Gosnell likely murdered hundreds of viable unborn babies but that they could only charge him with seven; records were missing for the vast majority of those babies aborted alive in the second and third trimester. That there are practically no “late-term” abortions is a talking point that pro-abortionists hold onto like a life preserver. In fact there own statistics tell you otherwise.
According to a May 2010 briefing by the Guttmacher Institute, 1.5% of the estimated more than 1.2 million elective abortions performed annually in the United States are on unborn children at 21 weeks LMP (19 weeks post fertilization) or older. This translates to roughly 18,000 abortions annually – a substantial number of which probably occur at 22 weeks LMP or later, which is past the point that the best evidence indicates that the unborn child is fully capable of feeling pain (a point that may well occur earlier).
Planned Parenthood would much prefer that conversation never acknowledge that tens of thousands of very developed babies who are capable of experiencing pain are being torn apart in D&E abortions.
#3. The theory is the louder they shout—and they have amped up the volume—and the more they slur pro-lifers, the less likely it is that anyone will notice that the National Abortion Federation checked out Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic, found it abhorrent, denied him NAF membership, but did not say Word One to Pennsylvania health authorities. To quote from the Grand Jury report
“The [NAF] evaluator told the Grand Jury that this was the first time in her experience that NAF had outright rejected a provider for membership. Usually, if a clinic is able to fix deficiencies and come into compliance with the standards, NAF will admit them. Gosnell’s clinic, however, was deemed beyond redemption.
We understand that NAF’s goal is to assist clinics to comply with its standards, not to sanction them for deficiencies. Nevertheless, we have to question why an evaluator from NAF, whose stated mission is to ensure safe, legal, and acceptable abortion care, and to promote health and justice for women, did not report Gosnell to authorities.”
#4. The Abortion Industry apparently wants to maintain an image of “moderation.” Yet it is not only impossible to get it to agree to even the most commonsense requirements ( see #5), the Abortion Industry really does believe that babies who survive abortion—whether deliberately, as with Gosnell, or as a result of a “botched abortion”—do not deserve medical attention. In that sense the Gosnell trial could not have come at a more sensitive time.
Alisa LaPolt Snow, a Planned Parenthood lobbyist, recently testified before a Florida House subcommittee. She was asked, “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?” Her reply? “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.” Cool as a cucumber or, better put, cold as ice. (See “Infanticide and its Planned Parenthood enablers,” http://nrlc.cc/11DVabM)
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
#5. For the Abortion Industry ANY abortion clinic regulation = the end of abortion. This response coexists uneasily with the insistence that there were laws on the book against what Gosnell was doing (true). The obvious answer is not either/or—either have regulations or not [the pro-abortion “answer”]—but both/and: make sure there are laws on the books to regulate abortion clinics and enforce them!
The alleged atrocities Gosnell and his staff are accused of were not a deep, dark secret. The level—yes—but not that the abortion clinic was woefully inadequate and that women were in peril. Various health officials knew about some and could easily have known about a lot more, if they were the least bit interested. They weren’t. Politics carried the day. There is this from page nine of the Grand Jury report:
“After 1993, even that pro forma effort came to an end. Not because of administrative ennui, although there had been plenty. Instead, the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”
Just to be clear: Gosnell was free to run wild because to rein him in would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions. Pro-abortionists insist they never lobbied for non-enforcement, in fact, just the opposite. How credible is that to anyone over the age of 8?
And #6 (and there could be a half-dozen more), once the Gosnell trial is over, the Media Establishment will return to its customary position—harassing pro-lifers, protecting pro-abortionists, and pretending that the best abortion clinic is the abortion clinic that sets its own rules free of “oversight.”
By attacking pro-lifers, the Abortion Industry (aided and abetted by their allies in the media) is hoping that they can shirk all responsibility for one of their own. But some of the American people have been given a look behind the curtain. They have seen what “safe, legal, and rare” really means.
And because of that, nothing will ever be the same.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. He writes NRL News Today — an online column on pro-life issues.