Media blackout enables the next generation of Gosnells
PHILADELPHIA, April 15, 2013 (Heritage Foundation) - “Infanticide” is perhaps too soft a term to describe the brutality that became commonplace at the corners of N. 38th St and Lancaster Ave. in Philadelphia.
The trial of Kermit Gosnell, who ran the West Philadelphia Women’s Medical Center abortion clinic since 1979, has been underway for over three weeks. But the mainstream media’s refusal to cover the story has left many Americans ignorant of the horrific conditions and deadly procedures inflicted on women and children by Gosnell.
Among other crimes, the former doctor is charged with the murder of seven infants who were born alive after failed abortion attempts. According to former clinic staff, the murder of newborn infants after botched abortions was a regular occurrence, with one clinic worker estimating nearly 100 living babies were gruesomely murdered moments after birth.
Indeed, the over 200-page grand jury report on the Gosnell case acknowledges that hundreds of live infants were likely killed after failed abortions, but the clinic’s shoddy record keeping only allows for formal murder charges in seven cases. Many of the clinics abortions were also allegedly performed on infants older than 24 weeks gestation, the legal limit for abortion in Pennsylvania, including on babies old enough to be viable outside of the womb.
Gosnell’s disregard for the dignity of human life extended to the vulnerable mothers of the infants he and his staff are charged with murdering. Prosecutors and former clinic workers have testified to the decaying, dangerous operating rooms of Gosnell’s clinic, stocked with “filthy, corroded” instruments and outdated machines, which had gone uninspected for 17 years. Many of Gosnell’s staff were untrained in the work they performed on mostly low-income women in Philadelphia, including a then-15 year old girl who sometimes assisted in abortion procedures and administered prescription drugs to patients.
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Gosnell also faces murder charges in the death of a Virginia woman who allegedly died from an overdose of anesthetic drugs given to her during an abortion procedure at his clinic. Additional women were allegedly either injured or exposed to infectious diseases because of the clinic’s unsanitary conditions and incompetent staff.
The details of Gosnell’s “house of horrors” should be the stuff of front page news coverage, yet much of the mainstream media have ignored the shocking revelations described in the trial. Some conservative and pro-life outlets have kept the story alive on social media channels, and veteran political pundit Kristen Powers excoriated fellow members of the media last week for their refusal to report on a story “about basic human rights.”
Members of Congress likewise took to the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon to denounce the media blackout of the trial.
“[T]he national news media has not only taken a pass and looked the other away,” explained Representative Chris Smith (R–NJ), “but their stunning indifference has done a grave disservice to Gosnell’s victims—the woman killed, other women injured and children slaughtered by Gosnell.”
“The loss of these lives should scar the conscience of civilized people everywhere,” urged Representative Marlin Stutzman (R–IN), who likened Gosnell’s clinic to a “slaughterhouse.” “This is not a discussion about abstract concepts like ‘choice,’ we are talking about brutal deaths of newborn children.… How is it that, in our age of constant news, not a single major news outlet—not a single major news outlet—has devoted serious attention to the atrocities that weren’t committed halfway around the world but in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?”
The answer is simple: For those advocating for unrestricted abortion access, the reality of unsafe clinics, illegal late-term abortions, and the gruesome murder of newborns are truths too inconvenient to tell.
The United States cannot feign to defend and promote basic human rights—including the most fundamental right to life—if it does not fully protect the most vulnerable members of society. But reckless abortionists like Gosnell will continue to take innocent lives, unsanitary abortion clinics will continue to harm women, and policymakers will continue to send taxpayer funds to abortion providers unless the American people are shown the reality of the abortion industry’s darkest corners.
This article originally appeared on the Heritage Foundation and is reprinted with permission.