Saturday, April 13, 2013

That Gosnell case

Twitter has been awash with the Gossnell case. In case you've been living under a stone, the facts are that Kermit Gosnell is an abortionist, working in Philadelphia in the USA, whose clinic clearly failed the most elementary standards of hygiene, two of whose patients died, and who killed probably more than 100 babies after they had been delivered alive. He specialised in late abortions, and things didn't always go according to plan. Or maybe he had his own way of doing things. He has finally been charged, and is being tried, for murder: of one of his adult patients, and of a sample of the babies.

The case has a special significance because of the media black-out surrounding it: the mainstream media in the USA, and the UK, don't want to know. My suggestion is that it is embarassing to them for precisely the reason that it is newsworthy: it vindicates the highly controversial, but successful, approach of the US pro-life movement in recent years, of holding abortion clinics to existing laws, and where possible of imposing greater regulatory burdens on abortionists at state level. They demand (shock!) that abortionists are properly qualified, and (horror!) that their premises come up to clinical standards of cleanliness and so on. These obligations, which activists can invoke and pro-life states can impose and enforce in the way of ordinary local licensing requirements, have closed down many abortion centres, and the pro-abortion industry has been screaming blue murder about it. Cases have gone to court over whether they are covert ways of banning abortion, and therefore illegal. It all turns on whether the obligations are deemed 'unreasonable'. (The interesting history of 'Operation Rescue' illustrates the changing tactics.)

Gosnell was protected by a pro-abortion state, and wasn't inspected at all over a 17-year period. So what the Grosnell case exposes is that there really is a problem of poor regulation in the abortion industry. We've had our own case of this in England, when the Telegraph exposed the fact that scores of abortionists were failing to get the required two signatures from doctors to authorise an abortion. The abortionists were enraged that they be kept to even the most elementary legal safeguards. They had been keeping boxes of pre-signed, blank forms to speed things up.

Gosnell fits into the same narrative as the exposure of Planned Parenthood as offering abortion to under-age prostitutes (when asked by their pimp), without informing the police of what is obviously a crime: the sexual exploitation, including rape, of young girls. This narrative terrifies the abortion industry, and with good reason.

The Savita case, which of course has been stuffed down our throats by the media without ceasing, fits the contrary narrative: that abortion is necessary to save mothers' lives. Except, of course, that it doesn't, because the medical facts don't stack up. This is the narrative which must be exposed as a lie: abortion does not save women, it exposes them to harm, and even death.

Twitter has proved a useful way to by-pass the mainstream media. On my (seemingly endless) train journey from Leicester to my local stop north of Oxford yesterday, my timeline was full of people tweeting about #Gosnell, to make it 'trend' or simply to get the word out. Exceptions to this, like stationary rocks standing out of a mountain torrent, were the 'big name' Catholic bloggers I follow. They were all tweeting about each other's latest blog post or pop songs about Maggie Thatcher. Yup, they've been drinking the Kool Aid. Which is to say, that like many Catholic intellectuals (I realise I'm stretching a point to include journalists in that category), they measure respectability, or newsworthiness, by the standards of the World, even when those standards are distorted by anti-life priorities.

To illustrate the interest of the 'minor' Catholic bloggers, here's Mulier Fortis on the subject, here is the Counter Cultural Father, here is Mark Lambert.


  1. Sadly, this case is not only being ignored but there are many like this man. The entire industry is marked by greed. I have highlighted this horrible situation a few days ago on my list of life news. However, I guess you do not consider my blog a minor, although I get about 32,000 readers per month.

    Anyway, if we all work together, the truth will be spoken.

    1. I can't find it on your blog. Why not give me the link?

  2. The BBC are ignoring this Grosnell case completely