The Pro-Lifers Made Him Do It
Near as I can tell, no one except the guy getting paid to do so is defending baby butcher Kermit Gosnell. Leni Riefenstahl Inc., knowing that informing the public about his trial might well cause a drop in support for killing the unborn, has decided to simply ignore it. But some go where devils fear to tread. Kate Michelman, the former president of NARAL Pro-
Abortion Choice America, wants the world to know who the real culprit is in the Gosnell horror show: the pro-life movement:
[T]he Gosnell trial raises several inescapable questions: How could this happen? In particular, how — in a state that has led the nation in imposing restrictions on abortion — could such atrocities go undetected? Just as puzzling is why the numerous complaints against him were ignored.
Actually, there isn’t a lot of mystery about it. As I noted here, the reason is that the agencies charged with enforcing those restrictions that Michelman finds so appalling were ideologically indisposed to do so. According to the grand jury report on Gosnell, the failure to close him down was symptomatic of a “live and let die” attitude toward regulation of any kind on abortion. The “atrocities” that Gosnell inflicted on so many live infants, and the filthy conditions in which women were “treated,” weren’t “undetected.” They were ignored by the very people who were responsible for dealing with them. Why? Because they were in Michelman’s pro-abort camp.
The answer is simple: Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, when abortion policy was established, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s primary goal was to overturn Roe v. Wade and, barring that, impose as many barriers as possible to limit access to abortion. The commonwealth’s focus has been on denying access, not protecting the health and safety of women who need this medical care.
This is utter nonsense, of course. Pennsylvania enacted a host of reasonable regulations which then went unenforced by the regulators, including the state Health Department. Period.
If the charges against Gosnell prove true, Gosnell was an outlaw who repeatedly violated numerous laws and should have been shut down years ago. But the state did not hold him accountable to its own laws and policies.
Right. Michelman’s allies in the enforcement agencies did exactly what she would have wanted them to do–undermine a reasonable regulation regime in the name of unlimited baby killing.
So why did women go to his clinic? Why not choose a legitimate, reputable provider of abortion care? Evidence suggests that a number of factors influenced a woman’s decision to seek care at Gosnell’s clinic: Medicaid’s refusal to provide insurance coverage for most abortions; the scarcity of abortion providers in Pennsylvania (and across the nation); the fear of violence perpetrated by protestors at clinics and the right-wing culture that has so stigmatized abortion that many think it is still illegal 40 years after Roe v. Wade.
This is also, to put it bluntly, a bunch of crap. Planned Parenthood operates four clinics in Philadelphia, two of which perform abortions (the others do referrals). Those PP sites were almost certainly cheaper than Gosnell’s. And the idea that anyone thinks abortion is still illegal is so laughable that it makes one wonder whether Michelman isn’t stuck in some kind of pre-1973 time warp.
It is critically important that the women of Pennsylvania know that abortion is legal and is a safe medical procedure. As set forth in the Gosnell Grand Jury Indictment, legitimate providers, like Planned Parenthood and members of the National Abortion Federation, follow the law and standard medical procedures.
Well, at least some of the time. Maybe.
You get the idea. Gosnell is your fault, pro-lifers. Of course, at the time Gosnell was doing his cut-and-snip act on live infants, NARAL under Kate Michelman’s leadership opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act when it was introduced in Congress in 2000. By 2001, realizing that opposing the bill was a public relations disaster, NARAL dropped its opposition, but did so in the tenor of long-time pro-abort Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who proclaimed:
“I support the bill simply to put at rest the fevered apprehensions about nonexistent threats. But let us not overstate those nonexistent threats,” Nadler said during debate on the bill. “It is a harmless bill. It is a bill that does nothing, but is harmless. And why not put people’s fears at rest? So I still urge people to support the bill. But we should not get carried away and imagine that under the guise or name of ‘abortions’ any of this nonsense is going on.”
By 2002, Pennsylvania health authorities had already received more than enough complaints against Gosnell to shut him down. They did nothing. In fact, this was the response before the grand jury–in 2011–of the state Health Department’s chief counsel when asked about why the state had taken no action against a guy with dozens of lawsuits against him:
Complaints about Gosnell to state regulators went nowhere, even though 46 lawsuits — including one over the death of a 22-year-old woman in 2000 — had been filed against him.
In its report, the grand jury said the department’s chief counsel, Christine Dutton, defended the department’s indifference. “People die,” she said.
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