Sunday, March 31, 2013

The sedated coverage of Kermit Gosnell

Back in January of 2011, abortion doctor and abortion clinic owner Kermit Gosnell was arrested and charged with eight counts of murder. He allegedly killed seven newborn babies by snipping their spinal cords with scissors and gave a patient-- one Karnamaya Mongar--a lethal dose of painkillers in 2009. His trial is now well underway in Philadelphia and has already had some fireworks, as this article from the Washington Post notes.

The stories swirling around Dr. Gosnell and his activities are disturbing and macabre. Back when the he was first arrested, ABC ran this piece, wherein a former patient details how--when she was a  minor in 1998--Gosnell refused to allow her out of the room after she had changed her mind with regard to the abortion. According to her, Gosnell forcibly strapped her to a table, removed her clothes, drugged her, and proceeded with the abortion. She claims to have been unconscious for over twelve hours. Another former patient details her experiences with Gosnell and how fetal remains from a late-term abortion were left inside of her during the procedure.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. One employee has already testified to killing viable babies with scissors per Gosnell's orders, to watching Gosnell and another employee do the same. Many of Gosnell's current and former staff are not medical professionals, are unlicensed and largely untrained, yet they are called on to dispense medication, assist with procedures and--allegedly--kill off babies.

Gosnell has been running his abortion business since the seventies. By and large, he has served primarily poor and uneducated women, apparently accepting cash only--$1300 to $2000--for abortions as a matter of course. The conditions in his now-shuttered clinic were reportedly horrible, to say the least. Dirty, unsanitary, and unsafe would be improvements. And when the police searched his home after his arrest, they found some $250000 in cash. No doubt the IRS may end up involved here, as well.

The eight counts of murder Gosnell is charged with are most certainly not reflective of the totality of destruction caused by his practices; he's been at this for a long time, after all. The horror stories detailed above also won't lead to additional charges, nor will many others one can find by searching through the internet.

Regardless of how one feels about abortion in general or late-term abortion in particular, the tale of Kermit Gosnell should provoke outrage, revulsion, and sorrow for anyone with a modicum of decency, in my opinion. And it's a tale that needs to be told, loudly and continuously, for doctors like Gosnell who prey on the vulnerable, engage in unsafe conduct, and frankly commit murder are a blight on their profession and represent exactly the sort of thing that justifies government oversight of the medical industry.

And yet, there's precious little shouting going on about Gosnell. There's some coverage, a handful of articles after his initial arrest and a handful more now that the trial is underway, but not that much. The trial is certainly not a lead item on network news or on the cable news shows, despite the need of the latter to fill time.

Brent Bozell noted this dearth of coverage too, over at He believes it reflects the media's liberal bias, plain and simple. He compares the coverage of the Gosnell trial to situations wherein there is a very clear pro-life villain:
ABC, CBS and NBC piled up 96 stories on Todd Akin's medically inept comments on rape and abortion and also wallowed in outrage over Richard Mourdock's remarks on God's will and a child conceived in rape. Their pro-life rhetoric was sold as a major scandal. It's unbelievable that Dr. Gosnell's trial for his actions inside his "house of horrors" haven't drawn one network story.
And he has a pretty fair point. Witness this piece at ThinkProgress on the Gosnell case. Rather lamely, the writer attempts to twist the limited outrage over the case into evidence of a need to loosen--not tighten--standards for abortion providers:
Over-regulating the clinics like Planned Parenthood’s, where the vast majority of patients are already receiving incredibly safe care, will actually limit women’s options instead of keeping them safe. That could lead more desperate women who feel like they don’t have any other options left to seek out doctors like Gosnell.
The problem with that argument is that neither the State nor the city were doing even the bare minimum, when it came to mandated inspections and Gosnell's clinic. This wasn't a "secret" clinic in the least. Gosnell was a licensed practitioner and he was simply allowed to do as he pleased, by and large, despite the actual laws and regulations that existed for clinics like his.

An even more tainted piece is up at HuffPo on the Gosnell case. Written by former NARAL president Kate Michelman, it actually claims that Gosnell's actions were a direct consequence of people in the State of Philadelphia seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade. I kid you not. Ms. Michelman is actually using the horrible crimes (well, alleged crimes) of Gosnell as a platform for her politics:
But the Gosnell trial raises several inescapable questions: How could this happen? In particular, how, in a state that has led the nation in imposing restrictions on abortion, could such atrocities go undetected? Just as puzzling is why the numerous complaints against him were ignored.

The answer is simple: Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, when abortion policy was established, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's primary goal was to overturn Roe v. Wade and, barring that, impose as many barriers as possible to limit access to abortion. By and large, our policymakers have never viewed abortion as a medical procedure - instead placing it under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code -- and therefore have not nurtured a system of abortion care that is woman-focused, readily accessible, and responsive to their medical needs. The Commonwealth's focus has been on denying access, not protecting the health and safety of women who need this medical care.
Crazy, isn't it? The Gosnell case is barely getting any attention from the mainstream press, but the far left still feels compelled to manipulate the truth of the case in service to their own agendas.

But again, the issue of abortion in general need not even be a part of the discussion, with regard to Gosnell. Because killing a woman by over-medicating her is not abortion. Nor is cutting the spine of a living and fully delivered newborn abortion. Both are murder. That is what Gosnell is on trial for: murder. And not just one murder, but multiple murders. Of innocents, of people in his care as a doctor.

Yet, it would seem that giving this story too much attention is something our erstwhile media fears. We should never fear the truth, in my opinion.

Cheers, all.

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