The scene inside a grim-looking, three story brick building in West Philadelphia was deplorable. Cats roamed freely and deposited feces wherever they pleased. White young mothers were ushered one way and black young mothers were taken another. And baby parts frequently plugged the toilet.
This grisly description is of the Kermit Gosnell “House of Horrors,” or the abortion facility called the Women’s Medical Center. Abortionist Kermit Gosnell could very well be killing babies today if it wasn’t for a 2010 raid on his facility. No, it wasn’t the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health who stopped him for unsanitary conditions. It wasn’t the American Civil Liberties Union who called him out on racial discrimination. Rather, the FBI raided the Gosnell facility on drug charges.
What the FBI found is shocking. In addition to the above conditions, they found baby feet in severed jars and baby’s bodies with open wounds on the neck. You see, Gosnell did abortions well past the legal limit of 24-weeks in Pennsylvania. Those testifying have said that he delivered live babies only to kill them by snipping their necks with scissors.
Gosnell was brought to trial this spring for the murder of seven infants and one adult, a woman named Karnamaya Mongar who was given a reckless dose of drugs. Not only have Gosnell’s employees testified against their former boss on the stand, several – including Gosnell’s wife, Pearl – have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from three-degree murder to racketeering.
If you haven’t heard about the Gosnell atrocities until now, sadly you’re not alone. Mainstream media outlets have been slow to cover the Gosnell trial, despite the jaw-dropping revelations. Typically, newsrooms follow a “if it bleeds it leads” mantra, but not in the case of Gosnell.
Four weeks after the Gosnell trial started, pro-life advocates started demanding answers as to why the trial wasn’t being covered. On April 11, a Virginia-based blogger named Mollie Hemingway tweeted at the Washington Post health policy reporter (who covered items like the Susan G. Komen funding flap and the Sandra Fluke controversy) about the lack of coverage. The Washington Post reporter actually tweeted back and said, “I cover policy for the Washington Post, not local crime.”
The same day, members of Congress took to the House floor to expose the Gosnell trial. Indiana’s third district representative, Marlin Stutzman, shared:
“In that building—crawling with animals, reeking of urine, and filled with bloodstained furniture—Kermit Gosnell was running a slaughterhouse. On a regular basis, he used a pair of scissors to sever the spinal cords of helpless babies who were born alive during illegal, late-term abortions. The loss of these lives should scar the conscience of civilized people everywhere. This is not a discussion about abstract concepts like ‘choice,’ we are talking about brutal deaths of newborn children. Mr. Speaker, Kermit Gosnell is a predator who must be publicly exposed and openly denounced and that’s why I come to the floor—to bring attention to this case.”
One day later, on April 12, pro-life leaders including Troy Newman of Operation Rescue and Bryan Kemper of Priests for Life organized a “Tweetfest.” This event was designed to give attention to the Gosnell trial on the popular social media platform, Twitter. Indiana Right to Life took part in the Tweetfest by sending 32 tweets that were retweeted a total of 147 times, effectively spreading the message. Astonishingly, a social media analytics company counted 600,000 tweets about Gosnell corresponding with the Tweetfest. That evening, CNN’s Anderson Cooper covered the story and the Washington Post executive director even stated, “We should have sent a reporter sooner.”
While the media blackout has started to crumble, there still is not wall-to-wall coverage that Americans saw on other trials like Casey Anthony or OJ Simpson. We believe the atrocities of Gosnell deserve exposing because it makes the horror of abortion undeniable. Abortion supporters must ask themselves, if Gosnell is a murderer for snipping babies’ spines moments after they were born, why is abortion okay moments before when the baby is in the womb?
We will keep fighting to expose this case, even though it happened hundreds of miles away. The trial provides a vast collection of graphic images and first-hand accounts that don’t exist out of other abortion facilities. To be sure, we have snippets of what really goes on in abortion facilities – video from Lila Rose here, state inspection reports there. But the Gosnell case provides a unique glimpse because all the revelations are on full display.
Too often, abortionists protest regulation and escape the public light. For example, notorious late-term abortionist, LeRoy Carhart (who also does first-trimester abortions in Indianapolis), recently did an abortion in Maryland that killed a young mother and her 33-week daughter. Carhart is under investigation, but at this point, we have no idea if he will be charged in the women’s death. Gosnell is different because his vast number of crimes are being made very public right now.
For women’s health and safety, we wish that the Gosnell conditions were an anomaly, but they are not. Earlier in April, a Delaware Planned Parenthood abortion facility was shut down for unsanitary conditions. Former employees gave eyewitness accounts of soiled and bloodied operating tables.
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Here in Indiana, there are nine surgical abortion sites that are required to be licensed and inspected. We pray that state inspectors fulfill their requirements, unlike the Pennsylvania officials who let Gosnell operate for 17 years without an inspection. And thanks to SB 371 that recently passed the General Assembly, soon chemical abortion sites will be required to undergo licensing and inspection like surgical sites. We hope this necessary oversight keeps another Gosnell from appearing in Indiana.
The Gosnell case is horrific. Even to those following the case since the beginning, the details send chills down one’s back. But, we use the horror of Gosnell to show the truth of abortion. And one day, when we end abortion, there will be justice for the precious babies and the mother that Gosnell murdered.
LifeNews Note: Becky Rogness writes for Indiana Right to Life.