Dr. Kermit Gosnell is the now-infamous Philadelphia abortionist who was finally arraigned this week on charges of murder after a decades-long career of death and mayhem. Gosnell subjected his victims ― mothers and babies ― to humiliation, filth, disease, and extreme pain.
Abortion advocates insist that this story is "not about abortion." They say Gosnell is an outlier whose evil deeds highlight the need for easy access to taxpayer-funded abortions. Some dare suggest that this case shows that "the system is working," and if there are any problems with the regulatory system, it's probably because "rabid fetus people" (pro-lifers) have distracted regulators from the real problems.
These apologists apparently have ignored or dismissed the facts of this case.
District Attorney R. Seth Williams (D) contends than Gosnell's incredibly brazen disregard for the law and for the value of human life was made possible by the generous support of state regulators:
State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design.
[emphasis in the original]
Seth Williams provides this scathing vignette highlighting of the culture of abortion corruption in Pennsylvania government, particularly at the Department of Health (DOH):
State health officials knew that Gosnell and his clinic were offering unacceptable medical care to women and girls, yet DOH failed to take any action to stop the atrocities documented by this Grand Jury. These officials were far more protective of themselves when they testified before the Grand Jury. Even DOH lawyers, including the chief counsel, brought private attorneys with them – presumably at government expense.
Gosnell's abortion mill was rarely inspected after it opened in 1979, and inspections stopped in 1993. This lack of governmental oversight persisted in the face of highly credible complaints of death, serious injuries and sexually transmitted disease:
According to DOH witnesses, sometime after 1993, DOH instituted a policy of inspecting abortion clinics only when there was a complaint. In fact, as this Grand Jury’s investigation makes clear, the department did not even do that...In January 2002, an attorney representing Semika Shaw, a 22-year-old woman who had died following an abortion at Gosnell’s clinic, wrote to Staloski [a high-ranking DOH official] requesting copies of inspection reports for any on-site inspections of the clinic conducted by DOH. Staloski wrote to the attorney that no inspections had been conducted since 1993 because DOH had received no complaints about the clinic in that time.
But DOH had received, and continued to receive, numerous complaints from physicians and attorneys:
- In 1996, an attorney reported that his client had suffered a perforated uterus, requiring a radical hysterectomy, as a result of Gosnell’s negligence.
- Between 1996 and 1997, Dr. Donald Schwarz, the former head of adolescent services at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, now Philadelphia’s health commissioner, noticed that patients were acquiring STDs at Gosnell's clinic. Dr. Schwarz hand-delivered a formal letter of complaint to the office of the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health. He never heard back from DOH, and no inspection resulted.
- In 2007 Dr. Frederick Hellman, the Medical Examiner for Delaware County, reported to DOH an illegal abortion of a 30-week-old baby girl at Gosnell's clinic.
- Janice Staloski, director of the DOH unit that is responsible for abortion clinic oversight, received two inquiries from attorneys’ offices about Gosnell’s clinic in the first two months of 2002. One was from the Shaw family’s attorney. The other was from a paralegal for yet a third attorney who phoned Staloski in February 2002, asking for information concerning the clinic.
The Grand Jury Report documents a callous political calculation that traded public safety for easier access to dangerous abortion clinics:
[DOH Senior Counsel Kenneth Brody] described a meeting of high-level government officials in 1999 at which a decision was made not to accept a recommendation to reinstitute regular inspections of abortion clinics. The reasoning, as Brody recalled, was: “there was a concern that if they did routine inspections, that they may find a lot of these facilities didn’t meet [the standards for getting patients out by stretcher or wheelchair in an emergency], and then there would be less abortion facilities, less access to women to have an abortion.”
Is there any reason to assume that criminal abortion activities à la Kermit Gosnell are confined to one practice, one city or one state? Will the spotlight that was used to expose corruption in the Catholic Church be used to shine a light on this scandal? Don't hold your breath (Exhibit A: Pharyngula vs. Pharyngula).
Ace notes that Jounolistas are neglecting this story by design: "Abortion Should Be Safe, Legal, and Rarely Mentioned In a Negative Headline."
Pundette: Baby A got his picture taken, Baby C had a playmate, and Baby X got to go for a swim.
Michelle Malkin: Deadly indifference to human life isn’t tangential to the abortion industry’s existence – it’s at the core of it.
Quote of the day: "After playing with the baby, Williams slit its neck."
Its funny how framing works. A massacre perpetrated by a deranged man is not about the deranged man; it’s about “rhetoric.” But a massacre perpetrated by an abortion provider whose violations against laws of the nation and of humanity were overlooked for years is “not about abortion.” It’s about criminal behavior, and that’s all. But some of our most prominent politicians have voted against the very bill — the “born alive” bill — that defines such behavior as criminal. Meaning, I guess, that if only enough politicians had voted with Sen. Barack Obama, Gosnell’s behavior would not be “criminal” at all, and therefore we wouldn’t even be talking about it?