Fox News reports a horrifying case in Philadelphia, about a doctor who murdered “minorities, immigrants, and the poor” with scissors for profit. He’s been doing it for thirty years, and raked in millions of dollars. His lair is described by authorities as a “house of horrors,” filled with “bags and bottles” holding the corpses of his victims. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says “there were jars, lining shelves, with severed feet he kept for no medical purpose.”
Incredibly, the authorities ignored numerous complaints about this doctor’s bizarre behavior and criminal medical practices. His clinic hasn’t been inspected since 1993, despite ten malpractice suits filed against him, one of which included a fatality.
Sounds like an astonishing stop-the-presses story, right? One detail I left out: Dr. Kermit Gosnell is an abortion doctor. He’s charged with eight counts of murder – one mother and seven illegally “aborted” live babies.
Since our media is obsessed with “climates” and “dangerous language” these days, maybe it’s time to review the antiseptic language that helped Gosnell carry on his grim trade for decades, while his heinous deeds were described as simple outpatient surgery to remove “unviable tissue masses.” Nothing about the first two paragraphs in this post was inaccurate or exaggerated. I just waited until the third paragraph to mention that seven of the “minority, immigrant, and poor” victims were babies, killed within moments of their artificially induced birth.
As long as we’re discussing the conditions that lead to murderous behavior, let’s talk about million-dollar industries which profit from a process they won’t describe as death, with targets they refuse to identify as human beings. Freshly minted presidential candidate Herman Cain has been calling for the government to defund Planned Parenthood, which he regards as a holding a “racist agenda,” since “75% of their clinics are located in black neighborhoods.” Why should anyone be surprised that we get more of what we subsidize? It’s a law of both economics and human nature. People like Kermit Gosnell’s prey have been told there is no reason to restrain their behavior, because the immunity from consequence is for sale in convenient, government-funded clinics. Further discounts were available in Gosnell’s house of horrors.
If we’re going to talk about the harsh tone of our bitter politics, let’s examine the effect of forcing a large number of people to support a practice they find abhorrent, with no way to express their dissent through constructive politics, thanks to a tortured judicial power grab almost forty years ago. Tell them their objections are tantamount to insisting the victims of rape and incest must be forced to die in childbirth, and no other degree of deviance from manufactured consensus is possible.
I’m not an abortion absolutist myself. I believe in exceptions where the mother’s life is clearly at stake, because I revere the courage of a woman who would die for her unborn child, but such a sacrifice should not be forced on them. Even in those dire circumstances, it is chilling and illogical to deny the result is the loss of a human being. It’s a question of moral gravity. The most callous quarters of our society have evolved in free fall.
There is no conceivable way the abortion question will ever be “settled,” as people of good conscience agonize about it throughout their lives… but we do pretend it was settled. We are compelled to do so. How could that fail to infuse our discourse with anger and frustration?
Are we still supposed to believe that all criticism of the government incites violent hatred? I guess that means we can’t ask any questions about the various government agencies that just now caught up with the Jigsaw of Philadelphia. I can’t wait to give them more control over our health care!
We often speak of people falling through the cracks. Dr. Kermit Gosnell lurked beneath some huge and bloody cracks in a society that insists on ambivalence about things it should see with terrible clarity. We can never create a perfect world, in which such people do not exist, but we can aspire to create a world in which frightened and vulnerable women don’t go looking for them.