Make Them Cover The Gosnell Story

The media are curiously uninterested in the trial of Kermit Gosnell. To his credit, Conor Friedersdorf of the Atlantic is an exception. Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Trial Should Be A Front Page Story.

As he reports:
The grand jury report in the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is among the most horrifying I've read. "This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy - and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors," it states. "The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels - and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths."
Dr. Gosnell is now on trial for 7 counts of murder, but his actual body count is in the hundreds. For years, in filthy conditions, he outright killed live babies -- and when he couldn't, he paid non-medical staff to do so in his stead.

From the Grand Jury report:
When you perform late-term "abortions" by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the Women's Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn't call it that. He called it "ensuring fetal demise." The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby's neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that "snipping."

Over the years, there were hundreds of "snippings." Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the "snipping" was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff.

But all the employees of the Women's Medical Society knew. Everyone there acted as if it wasn't murder at all. Most of these acts cannot be prosecuted, because Gosnell destroyed the files. Among the relatively few cases that could be specifically documented, one was Baby Boy A. His 17-year-old mother was almost 30 weeks pregnant - seven and a half months - when labor was induced. An employee estimated his birth weight as approaching six pounds. He was breathing and moving when Dr. Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. The doctor joked that this baby was so big he could "walk me to the bus stop." Another, Baby Boy B, whose body was found at the clinic frozen in a one-gallon spring-water bottle, was at least 28 weeks of gestational age when he was killed. Baby C was moving and breathing for 20 minutes before an assistant came in and cut the spinal cord, just the way she had seen Gosnell do it so many times. And these were not even the worst cases.
As Friedersdorf notes in his subtitle, there are SO many angles to this story about a filthy unregulated abortion clinic in the inner city of Philadelphia:
Dead babies. The exploited women. The racism. The numerous governmental failings. It just is insanely newsworthy.
And yet here is a picture of the space reserved for media at the trial.
 Shamelessly pinched from here

I pinched the picture from a go-get-'em post at Get Religion at which blogger Mollie asked some reporters why they aren't covering the story the same way they would any OTHER story featuring a mass murderer preying on minority women and children. 

Particularly excellent is the Washington Post's reporter's claim that she's a policy person and doesn't cover local crime. Riggghht. Like the Post hasn't covered local shootings in Aurora and Newtown. Or OJ Simpson's local stabbing of his wife. 

Rightly does Mark Steyn refer to the conditions at this clinic as the Government's Back Alley -- because everyone knows that Dr. Gosnell's clinic is not a one-off, but will force us to take a hard look at what "safe" means in the expression that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare." 

For that matter, what does "choice" mean when no one wants to shine a light on this aspect of Gosnell's behavior

FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Robyn Reid didn't want an abortion. But when her grandmother forcibly took her to an abortion clinic one wintry day in 1998, Reid figured she'd just tell the doctor her wishes and then sneak away.
Instead, Kermit Gosnell barked: "I don't have time for this!" He then ripped off her clothes, spanked her, wrestled her onto a dirty surgical stretcher, tied her flailing arms and legs down and pumped sedatives into her until she quit screaming and lost consciousness, she told the Daily News yesterday.
Nicole Gaither got an abortion from Gosnell in 2001. After four days, she said, the pain was so bad she could barely walk. She returned to the clinic, where, she said Gosnell blithely told her he'd left fetal remains in her.
"Stand up! It don't hurt that bad!" he yelled at her, she said, before suctioning - without any medication - her insides.
In 2001, Davida Johnson changed her mind about aborting her 6-month fetus after seeing Gosnell's dazed, bloodied patients in his recovery room, she said. But in the treatment room, Gosnell's staffers ignored her protests, smacked her, tied her arms down and sedated her into unconsciousness, she said. She awoke no longer pregnant.
Weeks later, she said, she was diagnosed with a venereal disease that she believes she contracted from unsterilized equipment Gosnell used. Now, she can't carry a baby to term and said she has miscarried four times since her abortion.
Dr. Gosnell, with his sadism and penchant for keeping the feet of the babies he killed in jars. is a particularly disgusting abortionist, but his is by no means the only unregulated, unclean clinic running a cash/volume business while preying on blacks and latinos in the inner city. And most women who go in for abortions report being pressured into it by boyfriends or parents. 
  • Planned Parenthood clinics won't report sex trafficking, they'll help pimps exploit young girls brought here from other countries. Here's undercover video to prove it.
  • Dr. Leo Carhart killed a woman in his Montgomery County, MD clinic last February.
  • Delaware abortion clinic botches 5 abortions in as many weeks. A former employee testifies:
    Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, former employee said, "It was just unsafe. I couldn't tell you how ridiculously unsafe it was." Werbrich alleges conditions inside the facility were unsanitary. "He didn't wear gloves," said Werbrich.
  • In New Jersey in February, a botched abortion that nearly killed a girl led a trail to an abortion clinic where health officials reported these conditions: 
the botched abortion caused so many medical complications that Newark Beth Israel Medical Center filed a complaint with state officials. The Department of Health and Senior Services investigated the abortion facility and found dirty forceps, rusty crochet hooks used to remove IUDs, and a quarter-inch of dirt and debris under an examining table.
Why is this so hard? Why do we hear no "choice" advocates condemning Gosnell and distancing themselves from him?

There is no "choice," there is no "safe," at 1.5 million per year and a multi-million dollar industry, there is no "rare."

There is "legal," though. Shouldn't we ask ourselves why? (Hint: forget about honest disagreement over when a human life deserves legal protections. Follow the money.)

But who the hell cares? It's only women.

Update:  Today was a "tweetfest" in which participants were to use the hashtag #Gosnell to shame the media into covering the story. And, lo, slowly, it is working -- tho' so far only among journalists we already knew were rational.

  • Terry Moran of ABC News tweeted earlier today that "Kermit Gosnell is probably the most successful serial killer in the history of the world." 
I knew about the Gosnell case, and I wish I had followed it more closely, even though I'd rather not.  In fact, those of us who are pro-choice should be especially interested.  The whole point of legal abortion is to prevent what happened in Philadelphia: to make it safer and more humane.  Somehow that ideal went terribly, horribly awry.  We should demand to know why.

What happened in Philadelphia should never happen again, and all of us--not just the Philadelphia police--should be asking how we make sure it doesn't.  I don't know the answer to that yet, because I still don't understand what happened in Pennsylvania.  But I'll be working to figure it out.

But WaPo still can't be bothered to mention it -- except offhandedly in paragraph 20 of a story about a clinic regulation bill in VA.