What will Gosnell teach us?

Kermit_Gosnell_mugshot_CNA_US_Catholic_News_4_12_13On Monday, Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of three charges of first-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter along with numerous lesser charges.

While I’m sure all of those who followed the trial were disgusted over his crimes and heartbroken over the violence committed against the victims, I think many of us were, sadly, not surprised.

After all, what do we think abortion actually is?

“While Gosnell’s horrific actions were especially egregious,” Congresswoman Diane Black said in a May 13 statement, “we should remember that this is what happens each time an abortion is performed – a beating heart is stopped and an innocent human life is ended.”

Congressman Chris Smith said that while some abortionists may have “cleaner sheets” and “better sterilized equipment” and “better trained accomplices” than Gosnell, what they all do – “kill babies and hurt women – is the same.”

Dr. Patrick Lee, director of the Institute of Bioethics at Franciscan University of Steubenville raised the question, “Why is it wrong to kill a baby? What is it about a baby that makes it a reprehensible act to kill her?”

These are exactly the kind of questions we need to be asking in light of the horror of this trial.

As Dr. Lee explains, it is not the child’s size, location or age that determines his or her identity as a person.

“She is the same kind of being that she was 10 minutes ago. She is the same kind of being she was 10 days ago when she was swimming in her mother’s womb; she is a human being and she was a human being within the womb as well as outside the womb.”

Hopefully, this trial will bring more attention to the fact that abortion is never “safe” for anyone involved. Clearly not for the child being torn to pieces or killed by chemical injections or for the mother who is in such a terrified state of desperation that she thinks her only option to an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy is to have her child killed.

Gosnell and his associates should horrify, shock and grieve us. But now, what will we do to rebuild our culture?