Note: Niamh Ui Bhriain is an Irish pro-life activist with the Life Institute


February 7, 2011 (Life Institute) – It takes a particularly horrific crime to make a U.S. District Attorney describe the scene of the felony as a ‘house of horrors’. But, given what has now emerged about the carnage that took place in Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic, it seems that the DA, Seth Williams, may actually have been restrained in his choice of words.

The 281-page report from the Grand Jury investigation into Gosnell’s Philadelphia practice makes for difficult reading. I’ve been a pro-life activist most of my life, but the descriptions of how babies and mothers were butchered in this filthy abortion clinic were so disturbing, I literally couldn’t sleep that night. The photographs accompanying the report show the aborted children who were left lying about the clinic. They are simply heartbreaking.

It’s the kind of evil that makes you hug your own children closer; a litany of horror beyond our understanding. How much cruelty exists in the heart of a human being who can carry out such monstrous acts?

Dr Kermit Gosnell opened his abortion clinic in 1979. He made millions from killing babies. The Grand Jury used stark, simple language to describe his practise.

“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women,” they wrote. “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. 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. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.”

The investigators heard evidence from a clinic worker, Tina Baldwin, who said that Gosnell once joked about a baby who was writhing as he cut its neck: “That’s what you call a chicken with its head cut off.” There are many, many other such horror stories.

But the Grand Jury report is explicit in other ways too: it spells out that Gosnell was allowed to continue with decades of gruesome killing because a political decision was made to abandon regulation of abortion clinics.

So the failure to protect mother and babies wasn’t just about lack of regulation or poor co-ordination between various agencies. This was a political decision taken in order to protect the abortion industry.

The report states that in 1993 “… the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”

It’s difficult to read that paragraph without concluding that those politicians who made this appalling decision – most likely behind closed doors and without informing the public – should not be tried alongside Gosnell and charged with reckless endangerment. What they did was downright criminal, and they must shoulder their part of the blame. As more than one commentator has pointed out, on the watch of pro-abortion politicians, beauty salons and hairdressers were better regulated than abortion clinics.

The U.S. media has, of course, downplayed or ignored the involvement of pro-abortion ideologues in causing this house of horrors to happen. (The Irish media, for their part, have just ignored the Gosnell story, not wishing to let the truth about the abortion industry negatively impact on their push to have abortion legalised in this country.)

The Grand Jury report pulls no punches, and the anger and disgust of the investigators is evident in every line. But, while their revulsion is doubtlessly sincere, there is a confused morality underpinning it, because the investigators, despite all they had seen and heard, found it necessary to re-affirm a ‘right’ to abortion.

This is clearly contradictory and illogical. If it’s wrong to kill children, their age shouldn’t matter. But the law is perverse – and has warped morality to the point where the horror inflicted by people like Gosnell becomes inevitable.

Gosnell was killing babies in a filthy clinic – and he breached the legal time limit for child-killing in the state of Pennsylvania – but for most of the thousands of children that died at Gosnell’s hands, the law was fully behind him. Gosnell sought out the most lucrative part of the abortion business; late-term abortions. And while he broke the letter of the law, the spirit of the law had established his right to kill babies for profit. For Gosnell, it was then just a matter of bending the rules.

The report details how large, born-alive babies – at seven and eight months gestation – breathed and moved before Gosnell slit their necks or severed their spinal cords. It describes in sickening detail how Gosnell and others joked about the size of the babies they were about to execute, and sometimes even played with them before they killed them. Anyone with any sense of morality would be appalled by this sickening revelation.

But yet a great many people have allowed themselves to be persuaded that abortion is morally justified, and placate their consciences by pointing to time-limits and so-called restrictions. This is a perverse morality, because it’s nonsense to argue that at five months and thirty days a child can be killed – and that one day later it’s murder to kill that same human being. The truth is that the only way we can ensure that the law never again turns a blind eye to the horror revealed in Philadelphia is to restore the right to life of all unborn children and to bring an immediate halt to legal abortion.

Meanwhile, the abortion industry has not been called to task for what happened in Gosnell’s clinic for more than thirty years – even though the Grand Jury found that the National Abortion Federation had visited the practise, and that, while its inspector had found it to be filthy and inadequate, she didn’t share that information with the authorities. So mother and babies continued to die, in conditions that would literally make your heart weep.

In the same week that Gosnell and his co-workers were charged with murder, U.S. President Obama spoke of his continued support for legal abortion. It should have come as no surprise to seasoned observers – this is the man who talks up compassion while supporting late-term abortion and voting against the Born Alive Act.
He supports the abortion industry, who support late-term abortionists like Gosnell, and who are now attacking Ireland’s pro-life laws with everything they’ve got. Their greatest ally is the Irish media who are pathetically eager to publish Planned Parenthood’s demands for ‘safe, legal abortion’ which they claim is a woman’s ‘right’.

They conveniently overlook that Gosnell is being charged with the botched-abortion death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, a Nepalese refugee, and that the Grand Jury also heard evidence that he caused the death of at least one other woman and caused serious injury – including perforation of the cervix and the uterus – to many others. Former clinic workers have also accused him of performing abortions on “underage children” against their will if their mothers asked him to, and of performing other abortions without consent forms.

And these are the people who are meant to be supporting women’s rights? The charade – and the carnage – needs to end now.


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