Tears For Gosnell’s House Of Horrors

I recently saw the documentary “3801 Lancaster: An American Tragedy.” I went home and cried. I don’t mean tears of joy. No, I cried.

The last time I cried was when my dad died. The last time before that I can easily remember crying was when I was in the fifth grade and a friend was struck by a car and killed.

“3801 Lancaster” is about the work of physician Kermit Gosnell. Dr. Gosnell performed late-term abortions, the abortions that most other providers refused to do but for which they would refer clients to Gosnell. But it was not late-term abortions that led to the search warrant of Gosnell’s establishment; it was a drug investigation. The Philadelphia police who had seen a lot in their work on the streets had never seen anything like what they found at the address of 3801 Lancaster.

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What they found was a filthy medical facility. For example, a cat roamed freely, and there were uncleaned litter boxes through the building. There was nothing that even remotely approached sterile. Indeed, only one pair of surgical scissors was found in the entire establishment. But the unsanitary conditions were just the beginning.

There were dozens of frozen human fetuses whose spinal cords had been severed by being cut with scissors. These were human babies who would have been able to survive outside the womb. Gosnell justified severing the spinal cords as doing so would end the pain the baby was experiencing. There were specimen jars with human feet saved in them, some of them labeled with the names of clients. One of Gosnell’s victims came to learn that her name was on one of these jars. Gosnell had saved the feet of her baby. Imagine the horror and shock of learning that! During the investigation, it was also found that some women had died as a result of the procedures performed on them at Gosnell’s facility.

The documentary made me think of the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote to persuade those who were “moderates” on the issue of slavery that slavery was evil. These moderates personally would not own slaves, and wished it was not in their community, but thought that it was a necessary evil that could not be eliminated. Stowe wanted those readers to know that their refusal to oppose all slavery promoted the worst of slavery.

Read: Abortion’s Slippery Slope

Read: Abortion’s Slippery Slope

We have a parallel situation today. There are moderates who are uncomfortable with abortion, and wish it were not in their community, but do not want to deny people access to abortion. While troubling, they think there is little wrong with first-trimester abortions done in ostensibly warm, fuzzy, clean clinics. However, the warm and fuzzy clinics supported Gosnell—referring many patients to him. Those who want to think of themselves as moderates are in league with the extremists. Anything less than support for the freedom of all was support for Simon LeGree—the brutal Louisiana plantation owner in Beecher Stowe’s classic. Anything less than support for the right to life is support for the Gosnells of the world.

Gosnell’s facility was able to operate for decades because the government of the state of Pennsylvania had a policy of not inspecting abortion facilities. The government officials believed that some facilities would fail inspections. Closing, or temporarily shutting down, abortion facilities would make it harder for some women to obtain abortions. Clearly these officials, such as Governor Tom Ridge, were not concerned with women’s health. Many of them were pro-abortion, wanting abortions to take place even in facilities that would fail inspection.

Many women and men have been victims of the abortion industry and suffer from guilt. Forgiveness can be obtained. For those who need help in finding forgiveness beyond the spiritual realm, I recommend calling your local crisis pregnancy center. They are staffed by caring people who will not judge. Most centers have people on their staff who have been through abortions and found forgiveness.

Healing and forgiveness can be found, even with tragedies like 3801 Lancaster.

Correcting History: How Vietnam Vets Were Embraced

Photo credit: David Lisbona (Flickr)

Why is it that the American people rejected our troops who served in Vietnam? We know all about the protests not only against the war, but against those who served. Why were there no demonstrations of support? Why was there no welcome home parade? What if what we know about Americans’ lack of support for our troops in Vietnam is wrong?

Impressive evidence has been revealed, showing what we thought we knew was wrong all along.

The media have a great deal of control over the events that we think about. We only know about current events that get reported. When events are omitted from the record, history is effectively changed. In the early 1970s, we had only three national TV networks and a few newspapers that had a national reach. Today, the Internet is making it harder for important events to ignored. We can now read news from a vast number of outlets, both major and minor, from around the world.

The Internet is also permitting the collection and dissemination of historical material that was largely ignored outside of the local media during the Vietnam War. Americans’ patriotism did not wane during Vietnam; it was simply not widely reported. This collection of our forgotten history can be found at a new website sponsored by NCRP, the National Committee for Responsible Patriotism, a group that has been around for many years but more recently has been forgotten.

Included in this online repository is rare video of the third longest parade in U.S. history. That parade was called the “Support Our Men In Vietnam Parade.” This parade lasted nearly nine hours, through the heart of New York City. There were approximately 250,000 people, including 15,000 Teamsters, 10,000 Longshoreman, and 6,000 union carpenters. Vast numbers of young people can be seen marching. The parade was reported locally in New York, but not nationally.

This enormous parade was not the only event in support of our troops in New York. On March 31, 1973, “Home With Honor Day” was celebrated at a parade with more than 150,000 people. There were 1,000 soldiers at the head of the parade. At the end of the parade route, the troops sat in grandstands and were thanked and celebrated by the marchers. To be sure that it could never be said that our troops came home with no brass bands to welcome them, 100 brass bands were in the parade.

Again, there was no national press coverage.

Yes, there were people who protested the war. It is true that many returning soldiers were treated abominably and disrespectfully at the airport when returning from Vietnam. Our returning soldiers returned home as individuals rather than in units and almost always passed through one of three airports: Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. Because individual soldiers could be harassed more easily than a group, and only three airports needed to be staffed by protesters, the despicable acts against our men in uniform were committed by a relatively small group of people who not only opposed the war but America and its values as well.

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom