The facts of the Gosnell case are gut-wrenching enough: women treated worse than livestock going to the slaughter, babies sliced and diced and stored or disposed of any which way, the putrid stench, blood everywhere, STDs contracted through re-used medical equipment, on, and nauseatingly on.
Brute animals don’t treat each other with such disdain and hatred. The makers of horror flicks would not think of something so utterly diabolical.
What has also been absolutely disgusting to experience in the aftermath has been the apologia of abortion that has erupted in response.
I’m not just talking the non-coverage, then the coverage of the non-coverage, then the coverage of “how much we actually did cover it,” etc. I’m talking the defense of abortion by those who desperately need this Gosnell horror show to be separated in the national consciousness from the abortion industry. I noted one from The Atlantic the other day, here is another example:
Tim Carney at The Washington Examiner reports on a conference call put together by some abortion rights advocates who wanted to show off their asbestos trousers. He asked what is the difference between what Gosnell was doing—snipping babies’ spinal cords with scissors—and what “legit” late-term abortionists like LeRoy Carhart or the late George Tiller would do. The response from Tracy Weitz, an associate professor at UC San Fran, is amazing. From the transcript Carney provides:
A baby at twelve weeks. Would you like to see her skull collapsed in person? If not, do you think it would be okay to do inside Mom’s womb? If not, why not?
When a procedure that usually involves the collapsing of the skull is done, it’s usually done when the fetus is still in the uterus, not when the fetus has been delivered.
So this technique that he does is nowhere in the lexicon of practice in abortion care. So, in terms of thinking about the difference between the way abortion providers who do later abortions in the United States practice, and this particular practice, they are completely worlds apart.
First, what kind of self-induced blindness does it take to talk so cavalierly about the “collapsing of the skull” of a child in the womb? She talks about it as though the doc is clipping a toe nail or removing a tumor. “Collapsing” a skull means removal of the contents, which means brain matter, eyes, whatever, just suctioned out like puss is squeezed out of a pimple. Why does it matter if that is done to the living human while she is still inside her mother or outside, where she is screaming? Why does geography make it murder in one case but legally protected in the other?
Second, she insists that these practices are “completely worlds apart.” Try something: put your hand inside a glove. Get a knife. Slide the knife up inside the glove careful not to just cut yourself. Stab yourself in one of your fingers while it’s inside the glove. Now, take your hand out of the glove. Stab yourself in the finger again. Were the experiences “completely worlds apart” as far as your hand is concerned? If not, why not? Did the fact that your hand was inside something versus outside make the reality of what was happening to your hand any less wrong? Painful? Why would this be different for a premature baby versus a fetus?
As for late-term abortions, the ones where the baby (or fetus, if “baby” makes you see red) is almost certainly viable outside the womb, Weitz says,
When inductions for delivery — that is, in the third trimester, when procedures are performed, when abortions are performed, they are usually done as inductions. That is, they look much more like a labor and delivery. And the fetus is traditionally euthanized before that procedure is initiated. Two drugs, either potassium chloride or digoxin, are used to make sure that the fetus is not living before the procedure is initiated.
Yes: they intentionally kill the fetus before inducing labor. The little human is poisoned. “Euthanized” is a cute technical term for “intentionally killed.” She dies a horrid chemical burn death inside her mother’s womb, the place where the child comes into being, grows, develops a heartbeat, eyes, fingers, toes, hair, and is supposed to be as safe and cared for as she can possibly be. Then she is delivered, dead, silent, cold, sterile, no crying or reaching for Mom.
This practice is not different from what Gosnell did in any significant way. It is less bloody and noisy, yes, but the child involved is killed barbarically in both cases. The only difference is one way keeps the murder hidden within the mother’s body where it cannot so grievously affect the consciences of those present, while the other displays the grisly execution for all to see and hear. The child is no different: her life was ruthlessly ended for convenience sake.
These are distinctions without differences. They are semantic games played to assuage consciences and ignore the horrid reality that as far as the child killed is concerned, these abortions are no different than what Kermit Gosnell did.
I had a second half to this post with another ugly, recent apologia of abortion but decided to make two normal-length posts rather than one extremely long one. The other will go up within the next 24 hours.