Two weeks ago we published CIVILIZED BARBARISM: China’s Abortions and Your Face Cream. The piece touched a nerve; it’s already the fourth most-viewed post (of 800) since we launched this blog 4½ years ago.
The article was about what is happening to babies in China, but it also referenced the Kermit Gosnell story here in the US, an account of which many Americans are ignorant. Gosnell is a Philadelphia abortionist charged with unspeakably violent murder of babies and the death of at least one mother. Yet the trial has received scant news coverage. Why? For reasons at multiple levels. Clearly a political agenda lies behind the news blackout: the nation’s politically correct establishment—including many media outlets—have too much invested in what they call “a woman’s right to choose” to risk making abortion look bad.
There’s also the related economic dimension, given the billions of dollars in profits generated in the nation’s abortion clinics. Neither the politics or the economics is defensible.
But there’s another dimension of this cover-up, related to our earlier Civilized Barbarism post. We Americans are refined. Sophisticated. The Gosnell story doesn’t fit that narrative. It’s the barbarian underbelly that must not be exposed. Roe v Wade legalized abortion without restriction in the first three months of pregnancy. States were permitted to regulate abortion during the second trimester, but only to insure the mother’s safety. Third-trimester abortions could be restricted by a state, but no woman could be denied an abortion if a doctor deemed it necessary for her health.
Babies are routinely killed right up to the moment of birth … and now after birth
That was the law. But even from that barbaric benchmark, protection to unborn babies has eroded. Babies are routinely killed, not just after viability (about 24 weeks) but right up to the moment of birth. How many babies have exited the birth canal feet first, only their head remaining in their mom’s body, and been slaughtered, with impunity, in the United States of America?
Now Gosnell (and not him only) has crossed even that threshold. He is on trial for the murder of four babies who were born alive. Gosnell and his staff literally butchered already-born babies. They cut off their limbs and put them in jars. They snipped the spinal cords of living infants, in effect cutting off the babies’ heads. One was old enough that, according to a witness, Gosnell joked, “This baby is big enough to walk … me to the bus stop.”
The US Supreme Court and President have maintained that abortion is acceptable before viability. But these are just words. It’s not about the law, nor about viability. It’s about the “woman’s right to choose.” Her right to choose takes precedence over the law and over the baby’s right to life.
Judged by US practices, a baby in the womb is not a baby, and a born-alive baby is not human. USA Today reporter Kristen Powers wrote a column on April 11 titled “We’ve forgotten what belongs on Page One.” The Gosnell story should be front-page news all over the USA and every “civilized” country. But it is not, because we do not want to know. We are too civilized to acknowledge such barbarism.
Want another example? Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the country, yet 55% of Americans don’t even know they do abortions. Why? Because the Planned Parenthood brand is so well marketed and because we are so civilized. We do not want to know. We see no evil because we will not look.
Not only Gosnell is on trial. Eight members of his staff have already pleaded guilty to charges in the case. One, 49-year-old Steven Massof, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and to conspiracy to commit murder. He testified to the grand jury that he witnessed more than 100 babies’ spines being “snipped” after they were born alive. He testified that severing the spinal cords of moving, breathing babies outside their mothers’ wombs was “standard procedure,” as was suctioning out the brains of born-alive babies.
In recent years, opposition to abortion has been growing. Praise God for the efforts of pro-life organizations and activists. Yet even now more than 3,000 babies are aborted in the United States every day. This is a travesty not only against the innocent babies, but also against the 3,000 mothers who have been sexualized and objectified by our society. The Gosnell case involves the murder of babies born alive after an abortion attempt. The facts are too ghastly to conceive, but the story must never obscure this truth: there is no moral distinction between killing a baby who is out of the womb and one who is still in the womb.
There is no moral distinction between killing babies out of the womb and killing babies still in the womb.
Having said that, here’s our point. Even for Americans largely insensible about the evil of abortion, the Gosnell images cannot fail to evoke powerful emotion. But, so far, relatively few Americans have seen the images or heard the story because most of the press has refused to tell that story or show those images.
One journalist, Twitter handle jdmullane, tweeted this photo of the virtually empty media seats at the Gosnell trial. Why has such a sensational murder case received so little press coverage? Contrast this silence with the media explosion late last year after the Sandy Hook massacre of precious children in school. Twenty 6-7 year-old school children, as well as six teachers and school administrators, were gunned down without mercy. For weeks, front-page headlines around the world covered the story. And to be sure, that story deserved coverage.
So does the Gosnell story. Any thinking person would agree. For decades, Gosnell and his staff have murdered babies. Why has the trial received so little coverage? Marc Lamont Hill, a “pro-choice” news commentator and professor at Columbia University, had the courage to answer the question with what many in the pro-life community already knew:
For what it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the Left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights. Whether you agree with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the Left.
In addition, the President of the United States has remained silent on the issue. He was asked about it on the Today show. After speaking repeatedly about the Sandy Hook story, when asked about the Gosnell horrors, Barack Obama had no comment.
Why is the President so silent on this modern Hannibal Lecter? Perhaps because he led the fight against The Born Alive Infant Protection act in the Illinois State Legislature that would have prevented Gosnell’s “procedures” on live babies. As a state senator, Mr. Obama championed the effort in the Illinois legislature to protect the right of the mother to have a dead baby at the end of an abortion procedure. The legislature was considering a bill to protect the life of a baby that had survived an abortion. State Senator Obama almost single handedly stopped the legislation. In 2001 he argued,
Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – a child, a nine-month-old – child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute.
As we published in a previous post,
This is chilling, for at least two reasons. First, he is essentially arguing that a baby born before nine months is not viable. Yet recent medical advances have proven otherwise. Research from 2003-2007 on premature babies shows the viability rates of six percent at 22 weeks and ninety-two percent at 28 weeks. Most infants 24 weeks or older survive. So State Senator Obama was being deceptive when he spoke of babies being “pre-viable” up to nine months.
Second, Senator Obama was saying that a baby is human if it is wanted and brought to term. If the baby is born alive after an abortion, the baby is not human. Given the intention of the mother and the doctor to kill the baby, the baby is not entitled to equal protection under the law. In this worldview, the human nature of a baby is defined not by the reality of biological science, or moral philosophy, or the Creator, but by the will of another person, the mother.
In 2002 State Senator Obama continued the fight, this time against a second version of the Born Alive Infant Protection bill.
I just want to be clear because I think this was the source of the objections of the Medical Society. As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child – however way you want to describe it – is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that its nonviable but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just out limp and dead, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved. Is that correct?
What is this if not civilized barbarism? If a doctor has already decreed that a viable baby in the womb is not viable, can he be trusted to protect that baby after it is born? This is all words and semantics, raging against reality and the Creator.
The current news story out of Philadelphia really began in Illinois in 2002.
State Senator Obama voted against the bill four times for reasons of “principle.” His argument is that the intention of the mother (the mother’s right to choose) takes precedence over the life of the baby both before it is born and after it is born. In the US, since 1973 the life of a baby in utero has not equaled the weight of the mother’s right to choose. Today, the baby once born is still subject to the mother’s right to choose. The current news story out of Philadelphia really began in Illinois in 2002. Dr. Gosnell is simply following the logic of President Obama’s argument. The blog Downshore Drift (April 15, 2013) summarizes where we are as a culture.
So, what do we make of this? The facts are that Obama voted FOUR times against a bill that would have better protected babies born alive after abortions because of an assertion that it would have weakened abortion rights. Obama weighed the survival of live babies against the possibility of weakening the ability to abort babies in utero. While this might fall short of advocating for infanticide, it most definitely shifts priority from a live baby to the desire of the mother to have that baby killed. That is the philosophical jump necessary for Infanticide to be accepted in our society and our president made that jump and voted for it officially FOUR times.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell in his “House of Horrors,” according to testimony, killed over 100 “born-alive” babies who survived the initial abortion attempt under the philosophy that the intent of the mother was to abort the child so that made it acceptable.
Some who are pro-abortion insist that Gosnell is an aberration. But this is false. The “good doctor” is merely the tip of the iceberg, as shown by two undercover videos recently released by Live Action. – Gosnell is not alone – Inhuman As long as a nation’s citizens “see no evil and hear no evil” we can continue to think of ourselves as civilized. That’s why President Obama won’t address the issue and the American press won’t cover it. To admit what is happening and do nothing about it would make them complicit with barbarians. If you are as horrified as we are, please circulate this post to your friends, so they become aware of this barbarism. Let us call our churches and our nation to repentance that God might heal our land.
– Darrow Miller and Gary Brumbelow