Hiding Sandy Hook: The Gosnell Trial, Double Standards, Abortion, And Journalistic Malpractice

Have you heard about the Gosnell trial?

The reserved press section at the Gosnell trial, because baby-killing is no longer news in America.

The reserved press section at the Gosnell trial, because, apparently, baby-killing is no longer news in America.

Neither had I until recently, and there’s a reason for that: the news media doesn’t want you to hear about it. Not just the news media, however; elected public officials, advocacy organizations, bloggers and social media-users apparently don’t want you to know about the trial either, because it graphically and sickeningly exposes the ugly and brutal side of abortion, which owes its continuing legal status  and public support to the avoidance of inconvenient truths.

Imagine, if you will, a Sandy Hook massacre that the national media and politicians decided to ignore as a “local story,” because they knew it would spark a national debate over gun control. Imagine Piers Morgan, CNN, Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, Fox News and the rest scrupulously concentrating on other news stories so what they believed would pose a possible threat to Second Amendment rights would “blow over” without leaving any mark on public opinion. Imagine all of these and more concluding that the incident would be hyped and shamelessly exploited by anti-gun advocates, perhaps leading to a tipping point in societal attitudes toward gun violence, so in order to prevent this possibility, the story, and the deaths of the children, were deliberately marginalized and kept out of the public eye. Would that trouble you? Anger you? Frighten you? Would it cause you to worry that our democracy is becoming a sham, with fact and truth being manipulated so that our Constitutional rights of self-government were a sham and an illusion?

I am angry, troubled and frightened, because this is exactly what is occurring regarding the Gosnell trial. The only difference is that it is abortion, rather than guns, that unethical journalists and unethical public officials are protecting by employing a blatant double standard.

The murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began almost a month ago, on March 18. He is charged with the murder of seven infants in late-term abortions of the sort that reveal how Orwellian that euphemism is.  A former Gosnell worker described how he snipped the spinal cords of living babies, referring to his actions as beheadings. Testimony described babies crying before they were essentially decapitated. Another former Gosnell employee testified that Dr. Gosnell taught her this “snipping” technique to use on unwanted infants when they were born alive. Another told the jury that he saw at least a hundred babies born  in Gosnell’s clinic and then “snipped.” “It would rain fetuses,” he said. “Fetuses and blood all over the place.” The Associated Press deceitfully headlined its story about the testimony this way: “Staffer describes chaos at PA abortion clinic.” I saw that headline. I thought it was about a badly-run clinic, not infanticide, and didn’t read it, which was exactly what the AP intended. And I had less of an excuse to be misled than most, because I had written about Dr. Gosnell when he was first charged, more than two years ago. “Out of sight, out of mind” is not just a maxim. By the time of the trial, I had forgotten the name, the charges, and the story.

At least the AP covered the story a little bit.  Not a single news show on three of the major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial since it began. The Washington Post has not done any original reporting on the trial; the New York Times buried its story on the opening of the trial deep in its A section, and has added no coverage since. Meanwhile, CNN’s Headline News Channel has been broadcasting the Jodi Arias trial gavel to gavel, because, you see, an attractive young white woman who stabs her lover into mince-meat is national news, and a doctor who beheads dozens of living babies is not.

Why? A Florida Planned Parenthood representative recently testified against a proposed law that would require doctors and medical personnel to provide medical care to live babies who survive botched late-term abortions.  She was asked about Planned Parenthood’s attitude was toward a baby lying screaming on a table after an attempted abortion: what should happen next?  She answered that it should be legal to kill the child, if that’s what the mother wanted.

Now, perhaps you agree with her. Perhaps your agreement isn’t based on the fact that you don’t have to see and hear the doomed baby, or witness the killing. Perhaps knowing that these things occur, and that in the case of Dr. Gosnell, allegedly occurred routinely, would not alter your stance on abortion at all, just as the Newtown massacre hasn’t changed the minds of many gun enthusiasts. But don’t you think you have a right to know these things, so you can re-examine your views and beliefs? Ethics progress and advancement requires experience and facts.

Religion commentator Mollie Hemingway asked Sarah Kliff, a health policy reporter at the Washington Post, about the paper’s blackout of the Gosnell trial. Kliff had written extensively on the controversy when the Susan G. Komen Foundation exercised its judgment and decided not to automatically give millions to Planned Parenthood, thus increasing the pressure on the Foundation to return to its original policy. She felt that Rush Limbaugh, a radio host, mocking  Sandra Fluke was worthy of multiple news stories, and intensely covered the idiotic but bloodless remarks of Senate candidate Todd Akin. She has not, to date, written about Dr. Gosnell at all. Kliff’s explanation for the apparently discrepancy was that she covers policy for the Washington Post, not “local crime.” That’s right: the fact that a doctor regularly stretched the concept of “late-term abortion” to slaughtering living infants, and that he  carried on in this fashion for years without any regulatory interference, has no policy implications at all.

Pro-abortion Daily Beast columnist Megan McCardle, in an odd mea culpa for her own lack of coverage of a story she was well aware of, explains the media’s disgraceful non-coverage of the Gosnell trial as well as her own by saying that it was  so “sickening” that reporters couldn’t bring themselves to do their jobs. What utter, dishonest, self-deluding, rationalizing garbage. For some reason the media could stomach Newtown, Jeffrey Dahmer, the Nazi death camps, the aftermath of Katrina, the Hillside Strangler, Ted Bundy, and worse, but this one story is just too awful to contemplate, investigate or write about? Who is so intellectually and ethically bereft as to believe that?

Any abortion advocate who isn’t as alarmed by the lack of news coverage of Dr. Gosnell as an abortion foe is a hypocrite and worse, a fool. If journalists can selectively report the news to support one agenda, it can do so to support another. There are pro-gun citizens who believe, as I do, that the Newtown tragedy has been outrageously exploited to distort the policy debate on gun regulations, but I have never heard or read about any of them arguing that the tragedy didn’t deserve thorough coverage as a national story, or that the news media should have embargoed the facts to protect the Second Amendment. There are two major ethical problems here. One is that the news media is not doing its job, because it no longer knows what its job is. It will not give the public the information it needs to know and has a right to know, but only the information those in the media believe will lead the public to support its agenda, its beliefs, and, yes, its President. That endangers our liberty.

The other is major issue that one of the most important and contentious moral, legal and ethical problems of this or any other time, abortion, cannot receive the constant and ongoing analysis that any ethical problem deserves if society is manipulated to keep its realities out of sight and mind. Lives are at stake, and for any of us to tolerate the news media’s coverage of the Gosnell trial is unconscionable.

In fact, it’s sickening.

_______________________________

Sources: USA Today, Patheos, Washington Post (George Will), Daily Beast (Megan McArdle), Washington Post

Graphic: Daily Beast

49 thoughts on “Hiding Sandy Hook: The Gosnell Trial, Double Standards, Abortion, And Journalistic Malpractice

  1. I agree with you, Jack, but you also hit it bang on the nose as to why this is so. As far as the media is concerned, this is a settled issue and they don’t want it to become unsettled. The fact is, a large portion of the public view it as a settled issue too, so looking at it too closely is something they don’t want to do. Is that an ethical shrug? You bet your last dollar it is. The internet makes it possible for voices like yours to be heard now, but this shows just how powerful the mainstream media still is and how they abuse that power.

  2. Here is another question:
    If the media has been hiding this issue – what else have they been hiding on other issues, including, but not limited to, same-sex marriage, the economy, the state of our nation’s budget, Obamacare…

    Seriously – if the media is this out of control, what then? Who can we trust?

  3. Because the Left and its ministry of propaganda, the media, know they have a practical monopoly on information flow. They don’t care at this point and feel assured that their ideology is in solid enough control that they can make such malicious power moves like this.

    I think ‘frightened’ is an understatement.

    It’s truly a revolution.

    • We’re a long way from when Edward R. Murrow Jr. and Fred Friendly actually had principles. They started to go when Walter Cronkite became a clear activist against Vietnam, crumbled with Dan Rather and Mary Mapes’ unconscionable attempt at a journalistic “hit” on GWB, crumbled further with the sector-wide push to elect Obama, and now have collapsed completely. I have a hard time seeing a way out of this.

  4. Let me begin by saying I totally agree with you that the media is abdicating its responsibility by not covering this trial. I also agree with you about their motives. Personally, I think their logic is wrong-headed.

    Dr. Gosnell ran a clinic that would be typical if all abortion for any reason is abolished; we know that because this is the way it was before Roe vs. Wade. He ran a clinic that would never be sanctioned by Planned Parenthood. The testimony of the Florida Planned Parenthood representative, by the way, was “clarified” by Planned Parenthood, who stated that the baby as well as the mother would be treated as a patient in the scenario suggested. You can say too little too late, but at least they took an official position.

    Women will always get abortions. To the people who are against further gun legislation, this argument should sound very familiar. The pro-choice movement should be highlighting Dr. Gosnell as a look into the future if Roe vs. Wade is overturned.

        • My sentiments exactly. Thank you Eeyore, for making that so easy. The NYT is an abomination. Have you read any of the controlled comments after any article on the Gosnell trial? All pointing a finger at the right and blaming the GOP for creating a “you did it first” soup. Very telling of the moral corruption that pervades the liberal mindset. I worry for this world.

    • “Dr. Gosnell ran a clinic that would be typical if all abortion for any reason is abolished; we know that because this is the way it was before Roe vs. Wade.” Malarky.

      Abortion being illegal will make only inhuman monsters and psychopaths provide abortions? Certainly abortion being legal isn’t PREVENTING them from providing abortions. Gosnell’s not the only one on trial these days, you know. But any call for regulation on who may perform these procedures, or under what conditions – or in fact, any oversight at all, ever – is viewed as an assault on an inalienable right.

      And Roe vs Wade didn’t improve the state of abortion clinics one bit – the ‘coat-hanger’ horror stories are myths (look at the charts comparing abortion death rates and see when they started to fall – it was well before RvW-in fact, it was right about the time penicillin started becoming widely used to treat infections, which is the number one cause of death in abortions gone wrong…) In reality, the same doctors who were providing the procedures illegally before RvW were allowed to hang out a shingle afterward. Same doctors, same offices, same procedures. Or did it becoming legal somehow convince them “Hey, now that I won’t be arrested for doing this, maybe I should stop mangling the corpses of children, and start performing everything in a clean, antiseptic, respectful manner!’

      Abortion providers have always attracted the dregs of the medical profession, because it IS the dregs of the medical profession. Most doctors take one look at the realities of the situation and say ‘I’ll have no part of THAT, thank you.’ It takes a special kind of person to cut a child to pieces, even if it is for money. It takes a special kind of EVIL to encourage scared and desperate people to pay to do it to their own kids.

      • Turning women into criminals and labeling them as “evil” is exactly why this debate is so toxic. Labeling doctors the “dregs” is what gives crazy people license to murder them, all in the spirit of being “pro-life.”

        Banning abortion creates a two-tiered system where wealthy women can afford the choice, and poor women cannot afford it because the price goes up. This may suit your purposes of trying to discourage abortion, but as I stated earlier women will find a way, even if it is to attempt to self-abort, which is the most dangerous method of all. And it makes it more likely they will go to someone as unscrupulous as Dr. Gosnell. It is hard to dispute the fact that abortion related deaths would go up should it become illegal.

        I am not an absolutist on this issue. I believe that abortions should be restricted. My problem is that many in the anti-abortion movement are also against the very things that would prevent abortion in the first place, such as access to contraception and comprehensive sex education. Some would force a woman to have a child even if it threatens her own life.

        To get back on the topic of the post, Dr. Gosnell should be held up as an anomaly where abortion is safe and legal, and the media is missing the boat. I guess Jack and I agree, although for different reasons.

        • I believe that abortions should be restricted.

          No you don’t – you are using a man who killed babies who were actually born as an excuse for why we need more access to abortions.

          You are either lying to us, or lying to yourself. Whichever it is, please stop.

        • Turning women into criminals and labeling them as “evil” is exactly why this debate is so toxic.”

          This comment relies on a false generalization. It would only turn women getting abortions into criminals.

          Additionally, your comment relies on an undecided issue: whether or not the killing of an unborn human constitutes murder.

          If it does, then most certainly the doctor performing the abortion is a criminal and the woman seeking it is an accomplice.

          • This comment relies on a false generalization. It would only turn women getting abortions into criminals.

            That this is not the case should be clear to anyone who understands janpchapman would have been crazy to allege anyone was calling their dentist a “dreg”—the wording “Turning women into criminals relies on reading in context just as much as “Labeling doctors the ‘dregs'”.

            Additionally, your comment relies on an undecided issue: whether or not the killing of an unborn human constitutes murder.

            In what sense is this “undecided” if not in the legal sense where it has been decided very clearly? If you refer to different jusrisdictions, you could call the question whether women should be allowed to drive a car an “undecided issue”. Or whether adultery should make you eligible for postnatal abortion by stoning—after all, this is the prefered solution according to the holy book most people cite as a basis for the prohibition of abortion (although, unlike adultery, it doesn’t ever mention it)

            • Whether conduc is legal or illegal does not change its essential nature, and something that is murder is murder whether the law chooses to say so or not. If an embryo is a human life, then killing it is murder. I was “decided” that killing a slave wasn’t murder, too—that didn’t change the fact that it was. It is not at all inconceivable that future generations, having concluded that aborting a fetus is indeed killing a human life, will regard this period as barbaric, and the termination of millions of pregnancies a holocaust. It is certainly not a settled issue ethically, and a matter is only settled legally until the next court challenge.

              The comparisons with women’s right and stoning for adultery are sophistry.

              • Whether conduc is legal or illegal does not change its essential nature, and something that is murder is murder whether the law chooses to say so or not.

                Proof by Assertion? I don’t think so.

                If an embryo is a human life, then killing it is murder.

                Non Sequitur. Clearly not every taking of a human life can be murder as should be clear with a bit of reflection on e.g. recent deadly rampages my madmen. That’s why the law knows such categories as manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, killing in self-defense etc. instead of your black-and-white “murder or not”.
                Same goes for the Bible by the way. Its inconsistencies are not as daft as “thou shalt not kill, and by the way, kill people for doing this and that”.

                I was “decided” that killing a slave wasn’t murder, too—that didn’t change the fact that it was.

                It certainly wouldn’t be judged as murder even today if the slave happened to threaten your life, would it?
                That said, I agree in this case—but based on the conviction that the category “slave” was unjust in the first place.

                It is not at all inconceivable that future generations, having concluded that aborting a fetus is indeed killing a human life, will regard this period as barbaric, and the termination of millions of pregnancies a holocaust. It is certainly not a settled issue ethically, and a matter is only settled legally until the next court challenge.

                The comparisons with women’s right and stoning for adultery are sophistry.

                Only if you regard your culture as the be-all and end-all of ethics.
                Not actually your culture that is, but what you think might be some conceivable future expression of it. A bit thin as grounds to state something as objective fact.

                • 1. The point is that laws don’t change the nature of an act. You confuse compliance with ethics. You can make slavery, murder and robbery legal, but they are still wrong. This is not proof by assertion. It is self-evident, unless you are very confused. It is Lincoln’s “calling a tail a leg” example.
                  2. We’re not discussing excused murder when we are discussing abortion, though we should be. This is the essential dishonesty of the pro-abortion argument. The excusable murder justification is the one that should be at issue, but because pro-abortion forces know, or fear, that they can’t win on that basis, they have manipulated the debate to deny that murder is at issue at all, because a fetus “isn’t human” and “isn’t a human life.” But this is a scientific question, not a legal one.
                  3. The comparisons with women’s rights and stoning for adultery are sophistry. Cultures learn; cultures are always adjusting ethical values, or they become archaic. Our culture may well learn that it was mistaken about abortion, whereupon the laws will change.

                  • The point is that laws don’t change the nature of an act. You confuse compliance with ethics.

                    I would hardly have pointed texagg04 to the different interpretations of “undecided” if I had confused the two. “Murder” is a legal term describing the killing of a human being under certain circumstances and not something that is inherent in some nature.

                    We’re not discussing excused murder when we are discussing abortion, though we should be.

                    There is no such thing as excused murder. If it’s excusable, it’s not murder. You don’t get meaningful results if you (deliberately?) blur the categories you’re discussing.

                    This is the essential dishonesty of the pro-abortion argument. The excusable murder justification is the one that should be at issue, but because pro-abortion forces know, or fear, that they can’t win on that basis, they have manipulated the debate to deny that murder is at issue at all, because a fetus “isn’t human” and “isn’t a human life.” But this is a scientific question, not a legal one.

                    Straw man. If you want to know why murder is not at issue, it is sufficient to read the definition of murder.

                    The comparisons with women’s rights and stoning for adultery are sophistry.

                    Proof by repetition. If you wan to call the issue of women driving cars “settled” while millions of people disagree with you (and me of course, but their disagreement is a sad fact), your only way out is to not even acknowledge them as thinking beings.

                    Cultures learn; cultures are always adjusting ethical values, or they become archaic. Our culture may well learn that it was mistaken about abortion, whereupon the laws will change.

                    Of course. Our culture may also well learn to agree with the people who think women shouldn’t be allowed to participate in cultural life. Wouldn’t be the first time to happen — slavery had all but disappeared in the European Renaissance, only to be reinstated in the New World by descendants of the same people who had already decided it was a Bad Thing.

                    • 1. Don’t play rhetorical games, please—I can play them as well, and choose not to. Law does not change conduct, it merely designates society’s current approval or disapproval of conduct. Killing a human being illegally is murder, but murder is also killing a human being unjustly without reference to the law at all, but morality and ethics. This is an ethics site, and that’s the definition here. If one believes that unborn children are human beings, then abortion is legalized, excused, murder.

                      2. We are constantly searching for the correct definitions of right and wrong. When we are certain that we have reached a correct conclusion, and sometimes we are, we can treat it as settled. In this culture, the issues of equality and slavery were settled philosophically by the Declaration, and it took the government and the public a while to catch up. The issue of gender equality is settled. So is slavery. they are not changing. If you keep using those invalid and lousy examples to illicitly compare opposition to abortion to support for slavery and gender bias, I’m not continuing the discussion. Gay marriage? Sure. Drug legality? Evolving. Not those issues.

                      3. “Our culture may also well learn to agree with the people who think women shouldn’t be allowed to participate in cultural life.” This is your dishonest debate technique—you are characterizing an anti-abortion position by comparing it to a position that is specifically rejected in the culture and the founding documents. That is not at all the case with abortion, and the two issues are not on similar footing at all. One involves the taking of lives, the other does not. Both arguably do involve abuse of superior power. One over-reaching and poorly reasoned SCOTUS opinion cut off public policy debate, that’s all. Stop being smug.

                      4. People who disagree with human rights are not rationally thinking beings in this culture, they are estranged from the culture. The problem abortion has is that it is also counter to human rights, but the terms of the debate have been manipulated to avoid the core issue, which is how to fairly and pragmatically balance the welfare of one kind of human being against another.

                    • Sorry for pointing out your logical fallacies, Jack. Yes, that’s part of rhetorics but it does not follow that demanding logical stricture meant “playing rhetorical games”.

                      Law does not change conduct, it merely designates society’s current approval or disapproval of conduct. Killing a human being illegally is murder,

                      No, it’s not. Can you at least make a bit of an effort and look it up?

                      but murder is also killing a human being unjustly without reference to the law at all, but morality and ethics. This is an ethics site, and that’s the definition here. If one believes that unborn children are human beings, then abortion is legalized, excused, murder.

                      OK, let that be the definition. So your “If an embryo is a human life, then killing it is murder.” is still a non sequitur. It depends on some to be established standard of “unjustly”. Which brings us back to the permissibility of killing if one’s life is threatened that you have so nimbly avoided so far.

                      Stop being smug.

                      Dishonest, sophistic, smug … of course, ad hominem couldn’t be missed in your collection of rhetorical blunders.

                      People who disagree with human rights are not rationally thinking beings in this culture, they are estranged from the culture.

                      Oh, most definitely. Let’s see … Article 7, torture. Completely uncontroversial. That your ex-president famously cancelled a visit to Switzerland fearing he’d be arrested over related charges just goes to show <emhow estranged. Articles 9-11, arbitrary detention, fair trials, innocent-until-found-guilty—completely settled! Settled into Guantanamo that is. Oh wait, that’s out of borders and thus not a concern for your culture, I forgot. Articles 22ff, economic rights—oh, rrright! I wonder what percentage of the US public even knows they exist. Considering this 70’s poll of people’s reactions to the Declaration of Independence (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0004/000492/049249Eb.pdf Endnote 3) I dare bet it’s a single digit number.
                      It’s interesting to note that abortion rates in worldwide comparison are actually lowest in the parts of Europe where a) abortion is safe and fairly liberally regulated and b) the ideas of these articles are far more rooted in society than in the US.

                      The problem abortion has is that it is also counter to human rights, but the terms of the debate have been manipulated to avoid the core issue, which is how to fairly and pragmatically balance the welfare of one kind of human being against another.

                      I see, The Conspiracy is hard at work against the fair and pragmatic.

                    • So dishonest and so obnoxious–what a vile combination. You guaranteed getting thrown off the blog by denying the definition of murder, which is indeed as I defined it, and threw in your usual snotty tone. Strike three. I was a criminal lawyer. I don’t have to be lectured by the likes of you.

                      It’s nice to see you finally came out as the ideologically motivated fraud you are. This is the great thing about extended exchanges–guys like you always show their cards eventually.

                      We have the same Presidents, you and I, at all times. Your foray into torture and Guantanamo is irrelevant, and essentially a political rant, which is discouraged here. And I have twice asked you to stop the obnoxious and condescending tone. A tell-tale sign of the troll is resorting to the “ad hominem” line when he is called on the conduct he is engaged in. You are smug—you’re also insufferable. And you’re not very bright.

                      You have no interest in debating; you just want to grandstand and sell an agenda. Sorry—that’s not What Ethics Alarms is for. Goodbye.

            • “Law does not change conduct, it merely designates society’s current approval or disapproval of conduct. “Killing a human being illegally is murder,” –Jack

              “No, it’s not. Can you at least make a bit of an effort and look it up?” –stderr

              Yes it is

              “OK, let that be the definition. So your “If an embryo is a human life, then killing it is murder.” is still a non sequitur. It depends on some to be established standard of “unjustly”.” –stderr

              It isn’t a non-sequitur, if anything, it would be begging the question, because it assumes there is a common definition of “unjustly” (which in your mind there isn’t). It follows the syllogism:

              Unjustly killing a human is murder pretty much accepted by society, apparently not by you
              All unborn humans are human here’s where the debate begins
              Therefore unjustly killing unborn humans is murder

              It is a completely valid syllogism, therefore logical, the question is are the premises agreed upon? No. The 2nd premiss is the one that the pro-abortion crowd has turned into a debate.

              “Which brings us back to the permissibility of killing if one’s life is threatened that you have so nimbly avoided so far.” –stderr

              There’s an actual non-sequitur as well as a diversion. This concern was never raised.

              “Dishonest, sophistic, smug … of course, ad hominem couldn’t be missed in your collection of rhetorical blunders.” –stderr

              I don’t think you know what ad hominem is. Jack didn’t assert that your smugness debunks your arguments (that would be an ad hominem). He only called you smug because that is what you are acting like.

              ”The problem abortion has is that it is also counter to human rights, but the terms of the debate have been manipulated to avoid the core issue, which is how to fairly and pragmatically balance the welfare of one kind of human being against another.” –Jack

              “I see, The Conspiracy is hard at work against the fair and pragmatic.” –stderr

              No, it’s an accurate assertion. The pro-abortion crowd has worked up several ways of skewing the terms of the debate. One such blatant change among many is reforming the whole syllogism:

              A woman can do what she wants with her body yay, ok great hooray libertarianism!
              Unborn humans are part of a woman’s body massively debatable
              Therefore a woman can do what she wants with an unborn human

              That is simplified and leaves out some other supporting syllogisms, but it is the essence of the “You must hate women if you are against abortion” rhetoric.

              Of course another assertion by the pro-abortion crowd, which you’ve alluded to, is “legalize abortion so it will be safer, because women are going to do it anyway”

              Except that is just an irresponsible dodge of the core principle issues.

              • FYI: St. is banned, and his next comment gets spammed. I am not tolerating that tone, defending his ethical incoherence with a sneer.

                A core principle of ethical analysis is that what we choose to call conduct at any time does not in fact change what the conduct is. Legalizing murder doesn’t mean murder no longer occurs. There are arguments to be made, though not very good ones, against this plank of ethics, but he didn’t make any of them, but just chose to employ ridicule. Such discourse harms the forum, but more to the point, I don’t have to put up with that kind of rudeness.

                • I definitely agree.

                  Legalizing something doesn’t change it’s universal value.

                  For example, just because historic Viking culture considered revenge killings to be legal and just, did not mean the the revenge killings weren’t murder in their essence. Even Viking culture eventualy came to realize this and changed their legal attitude to align with the universal value.

                • It always disappoints me when [expletive deleted] like stderr show up on this blog when there are plenty of rational liberal commentators like tgt, Barry, etc. that they could have emulated.

    • Dr. Gosnell ran a clinic that would be typical if all abortion for any reason is abolished

      OK, to start with, I suspect that few back alley clinics would be performing partial (or in Gosnell’s case, post) birth abortions. A few too many questions for a woman when she suddenly becomes un-preggers after 6 months…

      Second, your entire argument is utter bullshit. Roe v Wade isn’t going anywhere, period, save via an Amendment, and there isn’t even 25 states that would pass that, let alone the 38 needed.

      And third, the “This is what happens when women don’t have access” is even MORE bullshit. There are 5 clinics in the Philidephia alone that are listed on Planned Parenthood’s website, let alone hospitals, and clinics that they DON’T list. There was plenty of access. The problem stems from the fact that this is the logical extension of “a fetus isn’t a person” – it takes little effort to extend the lack of personhood to those who were JUST born, not just those ABOUT to be born.

      • Not to mention there are 2 restrictions on all abortions 1st and 2nd trimester in PA: Minors must have parental consent, and the doctor has to talk to the woman and then she must wait 24 hours to think it over. Other than that, anything goes. That sounds like things are SUPER restricted – no wonder women are turning to monsters like Gosnell (who operated fully licensed for years with the full awareness of the state government).

        Clearly the restrictions to blame here, and not the practice. /sarc

  5. Well said, Jack. I believe I heard about the Gosnell trial once, back sometime in March, right around the time it got underway. But the absence of coverage of the trial is telling, indeed.

    Back in the 1980s, when re-runs of the old Mr. Ed TV show were easier to find on TV, I “copyrighted” some alternative lyrics to the show’s theme song. I titled it “Just As Dead,” for a little play on “justice dead:”

    A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course,
    But it isn’t a corpse you abort, of course,
    That is, of course, unless the corpse
    Is a babe its mom didn’t want dead.

    To get on this course, fools in the courts
    Said privacy justifies fatal torts –
    A selfish, whimsical, deadly force:
    Choice in Mother’s head.

    People mutilate, rape, abuse,
    And kill all kinds of ways,
    But fetal kids don’t ever speak,
    So abortion’s OK, some will say.

    A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course,
    Though you might ignore it’s a corpse, of course.
    You think there’s no corpse when someone aborts?
    Well just look at this:

    [I wrote the lyrics such that at this point, any singer(s) could hold up an enlarged photo of a gruesomely mangled but obviously human body of (late-term) fetal age – also obviously, a fetal person’s remains following her suffering of an abortion – for viewing by anyone who might look. At the same time, the singer(s) were intended to add an accompanying primal scream. The scream was intended/designed as a combination of: (1) the singers’ personal revulsion at the sight of, and the direct cause of, the condition of the body as shown in the image; (2) the singers’ expression on behalf of the dead person of the virtually certain pre-death pain she suffered while being stripped out of her mother’s womb, and (3) the singers’ suggestion that the primal scream is an appropriate reaction in horror for any and all sensible persons who happen to view the image, regardless of knowing whether an abortion had to occur in order for the image to exist.]

    AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!
    Lie – she’s just as dead. [end of song]

  6. Excellent piece Jack. The fact the the reader cannot discern your personal position on abortion (which really is irrelevant anyway) is a testament to your clear-minded ethical analysis.

  7. This doesn’t surprise me much. The media, the left-wing, and the AMA have all proven themselves untrustworthy on this issue since at least the mid-80’s. Late-term abortions have been particularly subject to obfuscation because very few Americans would support what the medical community does in these cases.

    It makes me feel better about humanity that things like Newtown, Aurora, and Virginia Tech seem to be done by very troubled people who probably don’t really know what they are doing. In cases like Gosnell and the Planned Parenthood representative, I see a part of humanity that I don’t want to admit exists (and don’t tell me they ‘clarified’ the remarks later, the representative wouldn’t have said that unless it was so ingrained in Planned Parenthood’s culture that she forgot you couldn’t say it in public). I see that same side to medical culture in Early Management and Decision Making for the Treatment of Myelomeningocele,” by R.H. Gross et al, in
    Pediatrics, Vol. 72, 1983. These physicians at University of Oklahoma’s Children’s Hospital selected children of wealthy parents to have surgery and live, and those of poor parents to die. The paper is about a study they conducted to see if you can do this without the poor parents finding out the rich parent’s children were treated. They were so excited that they could get away with it that they published the findings. When you read about what the Nazi physicians did to the ‘undesirables’ during WWII or what the Japanese physicians did to the Chinese, you try to tell yourself that that is an aberration. It’s not. It is easy for society to condemn the perpetrators of the Newtown, Aurora, and Virginia Tech shootings, but we protect, fund, and support people like Gosnell even today and even in the US.

  8. Amanda Marcotte claimed last year the this story just ‘shines a light on access issues’

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2011/01/19/crappy_abortion_providers_thrive_in_politically_fraught_environments.html

    Her 4/13 Tweet:

    “Man, the feeding frenzy over Gosnell is a sobering reminder of how much hatred there is out there towards women.”

    What!?

    http://twitchy.com/2013/04/13/despicable-amanda-marcotte-feeding-frenzy-over-gosnell-a-reminder-about-hatred-of-women/

    • The Washington Post is actually claiming that it didn’t cover the trial because it wasn’t aware of it, and, oh yeah, some conservative media didn’t cover it either, so there. Pathetic.

      • It also seems to me that, even after being shamed into discussing the trial, they’re all discussing why they didn’t cover the trial, what they’re learning from it, they’ve got to do better…

        But they’re still not covering the trial.

  9. because it graphically and sickeningly exposes the ugly and brutal side of abortion, which owes its continuing legal status and public support to the avoidance of inconvenient truths.

    It doesn’t do that at all. That’s you (again) improperly attacking abortion based on the behavior of one monster. We know people will misuse this story to attack abortion, and it’s wrong for the media to hide the story due to their worries about this. I agree fully with the conclusion about the media, but your improper side channel attack on abortion diverts you away from the actual issue.

    • Late term, “partial-birth” abortion is to abortion advocates what no back-ground checks are to gun advocates. That is the ugly and brutal side of abortion to which I refer, not Gosnell, who is not typical or representative of anyone. I should have been more clear. I accept the rebuke.

      • Perhaps. I know — from long experience — how easy it is to get distracted and off on tangents when writing a piece like that. Whether it’s spin or not, however, is almost beside the point — the author puts in information that isn’t provided above (or in any media source I’d seen before that).

        Some of it’s quite important.

        I’m about to provide a few more links (in a separate, first-level comment). The third one will be of particular interest to you.

  10. Defence has presented closing arguments. In the absense of presenting ANY witnesses to the defense, they seem to be relying upon blaming prosecution for racism, eletism, and the media blowing the story up into a witch hunt. “It wasn’t that bad”, “He was doing it to help”, “If this weren’t illegal, he’d be doing nothing wrong…” It’s like he used your ethical fallacies list to construct his entire defense.

    Is it a possible thing for a lawyer to throw a case they know they can’t win, so that they can get the conviction overturned on the grounds of a poor defense?

    • It’s been done, yes. Intentional malpractice is not recommended for career advancement, though. The lawyer has an impossible case. I don’t know what he could argue. I’ll bet he recommended a guilty plea, but the doctor thought pro-abortion warriors and media would rally to his aid.

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