For those who may not have heard of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the notorious late term abortionist in Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love) was arrested and charged with eight counts of first degree murder. One was a mother and the others were very late term babies, beyond the 24-week limit under law, who were born alive, and who were dispatched by digging scissors into their cervical spines and having their spinal cords cut.
This same man cut off their feet and saved them in jars, rows and rows of jars containing his macabre trophies. Gosnell’s staff were arrested for administering anesthetics without medical training or licensure, most often while the doctor was not in the office. One of his employees admits to having dispatched over 100 born-alive infants by “snipping” their spinal cords. The office was filthy, not surprisingly.
It is understandable that Gosnell and his wretched staff have sickened all who have read of their atrocities. It is also alarming.
Why are we so shocked and horrified?
On one level, even the most ardent pro-abort takes pause. Infants as long as 19 inches and in their eighth month writhe in agony as their calcified spinal columns are crushed before the cord is severed. Even then, death is not immediate. Having decapitated dozens of rats in spinal cord research, I can testify to the fact that the brain remains perfused with oxygen for a time, and is therefore sensate. As Gosnell severed the spinal cord, and as the heart is supplied by autonomic nerves outside of the spinal column, it is doubtless that the heart continued to beat for a time, keeping the brain perfused with oxygen and able to sense hearing, sight, and touch from the neck up for an indeterminate period of time. The severing of the cord would have paralyzed the muscles involved in breathing, but the residual oxygen in the lung, combined with a beating heart could only combine for an agonizing death. That’s why prisoners executed by lethal injection are first rendered unconscious.
Similarly, we reel from the thought of untrained personnel administering anesthesia, delivering the babies, and an office that was as filthy as a sewer.
The outrage is understandable.
But for the pro-lifer, the outrage begs the question: Why are we outraged at this? Have we come to expect some minimal standard of decency and medical professionalism in an abortion clinic?
Which is the more frightening reality, a mentally and spiritually diseased pig like Gosnell, or a cool, crisp professional who is neat and clean in their dismemberment of the child in the womb?
Have we come to expect some minimum standard of decorum and antisepsis in our children’s executioners?
Does ridding the industry of Gosnells not at once make society feel as though it has done something positive about abortion, while at the same time selecting for those who are more deadly efficient in plying their barbaric trade? What makes Gosnell a worse mass murderer than the doctor who does abortions up to the legal developmental limit?
Is it not the mass murder that is the true pathology? Is not collecting feet just a kinky twist on that foundational pathology?
What Gosnell did sickens me. That his case will be the clarion call for greater oversight leading to more clinical efficiency in the ongoing mass murder of babies frightens me.
We have lost our moorings. God have mercy on us that so many will take from this story that there is such a thing as a “good” abortionist and seek such a standard in the future.
That may well be Gosnell’s deadliest legacy.