“The bigger the baby, the more he charged.” That was abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s pricing plan. So when one woman came to him about seven or eight months pregnant, Gosnell charged her $2,500, according to the grand jury report.
“Sue,” as the grand jury report calls the mother, came to Gosnell’s gory abortion clinic at 9 in the morning. Gosnell’s staff induced labor. At 11 p.m., Sue finally gave birth to her son. Gosnell’s assistant Kareema Cross testified that the boy was 18 or 19 inches long, “nearly the size of her own 6 pound, 6 ounce, newborn daughter.” Then Kermit Gosnell allegedly did what he always does after he delivers a baby: He murdered it. “The doctor just slit the neck,” Cross testified. Snipping the back of newborns’ necks was allegedly how Gosnell aborted babies after delivering them.
But with “Sue’s” son — Baby Boy A, as the grand jury report called him — Gosnell apparently failed. The baby kept twitching in the little plastic box where Gosnell had discarded him, according to testimony. Gosnell allegedly tried to falsely dismiss this as “reflexes.”
“Sue” went home shortly after delivering her son. For days, she was in pain and vomiting. When she finally went to a hospital, she was admitted with infections and blood clots. Gosnell is on trial for murdering Baby Boy A and six other babies, as well as causing the death of one mother. During the trial it was revealed that Gosnell’s clinic had not been inspected by the State in more than 10 years. No wonder he didn’t worry about the conditions he operated under. If the authorities didn’t care, why should he.
Until late last week, almost nobody outside of Philadelphia or the pro-life activist community had heard of Gosnell or his trial, which began more than a month ago. The New York Times had one story at the start of the trial in March, and then nothing. Fox News has been reporting on the trial since it began. According to the Fox reporter the Press area was conspicuously absent of any other members of the press. Despite the obvious lack of interest of the liberal media, Fox and other Conservative outlets have kept it front and center. So while the rest of the media was featuring Jodi Arias and her travails, Fox combined the coverage of the two for a more well balanced approach.
Conservative media critic Mollie Hemingway of the blog GetReligion spent a good part of last week asking reporters who normally cover such issues why they were ignoring this trial. Washington Post writer Sarah Kliff, who covers abortion extensively, responded that she didn’t cover “local crime.” Many conservatives noted that the Newtown, Conn., school massacre and the killing of Trayvon Martin could be described as “local crime,” yet they warranted national media attention. Why not an alleged serial-killing abortionist? When you look at things objectively everything is local. It becomes national when the media decides that it should be covered that way.
It’s a good question, especially because the policy debate Gosnell stirs up could give ammunition to either side. Abortion defender Katha Pollitt, for instance, wrote after Gosnell’s arrest last year, “What fueled Gosnell’s business were the very restrictions the legislature was so keen on passing. …” it’s all in the interpretation of the reporter covering the story. Much of the reporting of the liberal media follows the path of their ideology. Reporters are supposed to be objective in reporting a story, but being human everyone is swayed by what they or their bosses believe. If the facts don’t bear you out then you have to bend it to make it fit.
On the other side, Gosnell’s crimes are also relevant to President Obama’s abortion record. As a state senator, Obama repeatedly voted against legislation requiring hospitals to care for babies born during abortions. Such laws might somehow be used in the future to infringe on abortion’s legality, Obama argued. Obama went so far to say that if a baby was born alive it should be left on the table until it succumbed to the effects of the procedure. He asserted that medical personnel should not attempt to revive the baby and defeat the purpose of the abortion.
As Baby Boy A lay in that plastic shoebox, he didn’t look any different than a sleeping newborn. In the picture one of Gosnell’s aides took, you see his hair, his pinkish skin tone. That was the boy that Gosnell is now accused of murdering. And that’s also what babies look like when one of Gosnell’s law-abiding colleagues, such as late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart, who practices in Germantown, Md., snips their spines with scissors. Except for the disgusting conditions that existed in Gosnell’s clinic, either one could satisfy Obama’s idea of what should be the outcome of the abortion. Gosnell’s method for aborting babies wasn’t substantially different from a procedure Obama enthusiastically defends.
In his first U.S. Senate race, Obama used Carhart’s procedure as a fundraising pitch. In a 2004 campaign mailing, Michelle Obama tried to rally the donor base by explaining how Republicans were trying to ban partial-birth abortion, “a legitimate medical procedure,” as Michelle put it. Now how does that sound from a mother’s point of view. With a mother like that in the house you have to watch where you lay your head.
The most substantive difference between the partial-birth abortions which Obama used for his fundraising and Gosnell’s abortions is: Dr. Gosnell did the snipping outside of the mother’s birth canal, while Dr. Carhart reaches his scissors inside the woman’s vagina to snip the baby’s spine. Talk about navigating the channel. One wrong turn and the mother would be compromised. Technically, Carhart’s was a late term abortion because it was snipped inside the birth canal as opposed to Gosnell’s which occurred after the baby left the canal. This fact points us to the most likely reason the mainstream media ignored the story as long as possible: The Gosnell story has an inherent pro-life bias, because it leads us to discuss the intricacies of abortion procedures.
When you discuss the act of aborting — even perfectly legal abortions — you have to discuss the blood, the scalpels, and the scissors. You might use terms like “dilation and extraction” or “dilation and curettage.” Think through those terms (“curettage” is defined as “a surgical scraping or cleaning”) and recall that what is being extracted or scraped has a beating heart. Now take it one step further and you have a standard Gosnell procedure. Even if the baby beat the odds, he/she didn’t stand a chance in Gosnell’s hands. Even his assistants had trouble carrying out some of the procedures he dictated.
Discussing Gosnell and his techniques threatens to start a discussion on abortion procedures — and that’s not good for anyone in the abortion industry. So you can see why no upstanding liberal abortion proponent would want to do that.