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Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his legacy: Has America become Abortion Nation?

Written By | Feb 2, 2019
Gosnell and abortion

Dr. Kermit Gosnell smiles as he is arrested. Screen capture from the documentary “3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy.”

WASHINGTON. Remember Dr. Kermit Gosnell? Few people do, since neither the Democrats nor the media have much interest in the story. Gosnell is a now-former US physician and abortion provider. He was convicted of murdering three infants who were born alive during attempted abortion procedures at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania clinic.

In addition, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of of one woman during an abortion procedure. In total, in 2011, the prosecution charged Gosnell and a number of his employees with eight counts of murder and 24 felony counts of performing illegal abortions beyond the state.

Human sacrifice in history

Looking back in history, we soon discover that human sacrifice is nothing new in North America. 15th century French explorer André Penicaut once visited the Taensa people in what is today’s Louisiana. During that visit, lightning struck the tribe’s revered, pagan place of worship, setting it ablaze.

“With faces turned toward their temple they invoked their great spirit, crying like people possessed, for him to extinguish the fire… The fathers and mothers brought their children, and after having strangled them, they threw them into the fire.”

The Taensa people meet an early European explorer in a painting by George Catlin. National Gallery of Art.

On the sacrificial alter

That image came to mind this week upon hearing that several US states, Democrat-controlled of course, have late-term abortion bills pending before their legislatures. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam assured a radio audience that if an aborted infant just happened to survive the horrors inflicted upon his-or-her life due to his state’s pending third-trimester abortion bill,

“… the infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam holds a press conference to put a positive spin on his states pending late-term abortion bill. CBS News screen capture.

Gov. Northam – a practicing physician prior to his election – left it up to the listener’s imagination to decide the method employed for the disposal of the still viable infant. That is, once a consensus has been reached by all but the innocent victim. That reminds me of one chilling paragraph on page 108 of the 2011 Philadelphia grand jury report regarding abortionist and convicted murderer, Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

“Killing really had to be part of Gosnell’s plan. His method for performing late-term abortions was to induce labor and delivery of intact fetuses, and he specialized in patients who were well beyond 24 weeks. Thus, the birth of live, viable babies was a natural and predictable consequence. The subsequent slitting of spinal cords [with scissors], without any consideration for the babies’ viability, was an integral part of what Gosnell’s employees called the ‘standard procedure.’”

Standard procedure?

In today’s America, nothing quite adds the gloss of “standard procedure” legitimacy like a governor’s signature neatly affixed to legislation written in vague legalese. Laws like these haughtily proclaim the state’s defense of a woman’s “right to choose.” And – wink, wink – “health.”

New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo already knows this. He signed his state’s frightening new pro-third trimester abortion bill into law last month. Other Democrat governors appear eager to follow suit.

And more on the “health of the mother” later.

Dr. Gosnell, a man ahead of his time

Dr. Gosnell during an interview with Philadelphia’s Fox 29. Screen capture.

The Gosnell saga proved a seminal moment in America’s still-unfinished abortion debate. Forgotten in the meager, politically inconvenient reporting of his murder trial was this simple fact. Pennsylvania has “The Abortion Control Act” on its books. It requires physicians…

“… attending a child who is born alive during the course of an abortion” to “provide such child that type and degree of care and treatment which, in the good faith judgement of the physician, is commonly and customarily provided to any other person under similar conditions and circumstances.”

Notice how tortured the law’s language is when attempting to ascribe a modicum of humanity to entities the deep-thinking Olympian lords of the US Supreme Court proclaimed non-persons in 1973’s Roe vs. Wade decision.

Gosnell was ultimately convicted on three counts of murder for the deaths of three living infants. But the court only convicted him of manslaughter in the death of abortion patient Karnamaya Mongar.

“The health of the mother”?

Contrary to the tired pro-abortion trope claiming its primary concern involves the “health of the mother,” Pennsylvania officials ignored the deaths of young women who fell victim to Gosnell’s so-called “standard” abortion procedures.

When 22-year-old patient Semika Shaw died while in Gosnell’s care in 2002, the Professional Underwriters Liability Insurance Company paid her family $400,000. Then, the underwriters filed a grievance against Dr. Gosnell with the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Complaint Department.

Margo Davidson discuses the circumstances surrounding the death of her cousin Semika Shaw. Screen capture from “3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy.”

But Mark Greenwald of the Board of Medicine answered the complaint by deploying customary, bloodless, bureaucratic prose in his summary of young Semika’s death and its consequence to Gosnell.

“Although the incident is tragic, especially in light of the age of the patient, the risk was inherent with the procedure performed by Respondent [Gosnell] and administrative action against respondent’s license is not warranted.”

A hard pill to swallow

Eight long years passed before Gosnell lost his license to practice. That action did not initially follow as a result of the grizzly findings at his Women’s Medical Society of West Philadelphia. Nor was the action based on the deaths of women under his care. Gosnell lost his license because his clinic served as a pill-mill. Unbelievably, the clinic dispensed 600,000 tablets of oxycodone to “patients”  with no medical need of them, according to the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Women’s Medical Society of West Philadelphia. CNN screen capture.

What the Philadelphia grand jury in the Gosnell case said of its state regulators should resonate in our minds. That should hold true even as late-term abortion works its way into mainstream politics and ethics-free medicine.

“The Department of State literally licensed Gosnell’s criminally dangerous behavior. DOH [Department of Health] gave its stamp of approval to his facility. These agencies do not deserve the public trust… countless babies with severed spinal cords is proof that those departments were not doing their jobs. Those charged with protecting the public must do better.”

A nation of Gosnells?

There exists only one real protection for the “countless babies” now under threat in America. Our nation must once again live up to its foundational creed. We must recognize that these small souls are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Otherwise, America will become known as “abortion nation,” led in its inevitable decline by a growing cadre of soulless Gosnells.


Top Image: Dr. Kermit Gosnell smiles during his arrest.
Screen capture from the documentary “3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy.”

Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.