Americans Need to Know about Philadelphia Abortion Clinic Murders

April 11th, 2013

Today’s opinion pages offer a glimpse of hope that the American public soon will be informed about the atrocities allegedly committed by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who operated a house of horrors abortion clinic in Philadelphia where live babies were essentially beheaded to extinguish their lives, or as Gosnell called it “ensuring fetal demise.”

I commend Kirsten Powers’ for her opinion piece today in USA Today “Philadelphia abortion clinic horror” in which she derides the national press for failing to report the trial.  While I don’t often agree with her on issues, I commend her for standing up on this one.

Dr. Gosnell is accused of murdering seven infants and one mother at his clinic which mostly served the poor and minorities. While the trial is limited to the deaths of these eight, according to testimony, the number of babies actually killed could go into the hundreds.  The most common method of achieving death was “plunging scissors into their spinal cords” and “snipping” the spinal cord so as to separate the brain from the spinal column.

Whatever your views in the pro-choice/pro-life debate, I honestly can’t see how anyone can attempt to justify this practice. The late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called it “infanticide,” and I agree.

While once I may have held academic views on the subject, my response to the concept of late term abortion was cemented by my personal experience.

My oldest son was born prematurely at 30 weeks gestation.  Consequently, I spent seven weeks for as many hours in the day as the hospital staff would let me in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where he was born.  While there, I was surrounded by babies born as early as 25 weeks gestation.  My own son was what the hospital staff called a “feeder/grower.” He needed attention to thrive but his prognosis was always very good.  Other babies were in a little tougher situation, but while I was there, most came through it.  In fact, during those weeks, only two of the babies in the NICU passed away, and it was one of the largest NICU units in Dallas.

I understand the life of the mother issue, and I believe it is the only reason to have this discussion at the end of pregnancy.  However,  I feel that  in the third trimester we are clearly looking at issues involving two human beings each with rights to life, and any debate should automatically assume that relationship.

Last week, the lobbyist for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testifying before Florida lawmakers, suggested that it is open to debate whether a baby born alive in a botched abortion should be saved.  That’s pretty shocking.

I think part of the problem from a political standpoint is that sometimes partisans become so locked into their views on certain hot button issues that they feel that if they give an inch they’ll lose a mile, so they stand up with a straight face and argue for things that end up making them look bad and hurting their own cause in the process.

Republicans are just as guilty as Democrats in this regard.  I know when I was Chairman of the Young Republicans, I received daily talking points from party leaders.  The idea was that if we all stuck to the same carefully crafted script, we’d be better off.  The problem is that sometimes in interviews a question comes up that if you literally stuck to the script you could end up sounding insensitive or frankly a little stupid.

With respect to the Philadelphia case, I hope that the few voices speaking out now grow to a crescendo and that we can have an honest national discussion about late term abortion.

I also hope that the doctor is found guilty as charged . . . with murder.