Kermit Gosnell is Not an Aberration, He’s Like Other Abortionists

Opinion   |   Wesley J. Smith   |   May 3, 2013   |   11:45AM   |   Washington, DC

To The Source asked me to reflect on the Kermit Gosnell abomination. I note that there have been other examples of babies born alive from an abortion and killed or allowed to die.

I also recall to mind the corruption in Kansas that had one doctor rubber stamping late term abortion second opinions for the (late) late term abortionist George Tiller. It was so blatant she lost her license to practice.

Recall also that a Planned Parenthood of Florida representative recently said that the lives of babies born alive from an abortion should depend on the mother and abortionist’s decision–before PP pulled it back. (Pardon me for disbelieving the organization’s sincerity.) No wonder our president is such an enthusiast of the organization since he once expressed a similar opinion. I also discuss the pro-late term abortionist film, After Tiller, that received cheers at the Sundance Film Festival–as did the “doctors” who kill well gestated fetuses for a living.

Late term abortion can’t be separated from the growing advocacy for permitting active infanticide in the bioethics discourse, which, in turn, is relevant to the Gosnell atrocities. From, “Gosnell is Not an Aberration:

This raises a cogent question: How is what happened in Philadelphia morally different from what Peter Singer’s “ethical” supposedly “human values” would allow? At a 2010 Princeton conference Singer explicitly said, “The position that allows [late term] abortion also allows infanticide under some circumstances. If we accept abortion, we do need to rethink some of those more fundamental attitudes about human life.” 

So, to answer my own question, other than technical issues of clinical procedures and sanitary methods, and absent the jars of trophy body parts found at the Gosnell clinic, I can’t think of a single reason why Singer’s values would not permit a “professionally” operated abortion/infanticide.

I discuss the actual infanticide occurring regularly in the Netherlands, with the bureaucratic check-list to determine which babies can be murdered (Groningen Protocol), which–demonstrating how respectable this is getting–was even published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

So this is where we are: Late term terminations are part of abortion practice in the United States. Many prominent voices believe that legal abortion amounts to a right to a dead fetus–no matter how late in the pregnancy. Late term abortions, in turn, sometimes result in the killing or lethal neglect of born babies, e.g., infanticide. And infanticide is actively promoted as ethical among some of the most prominent bioethicists and in medical journals in the world, and practiced in the Netherlands without meaningful consequence.



We face a true moral crisis in the West. Our future as a free and ethical society hangs in the balance. Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Secondhand Smoke.