Sickened and horrified but not at all surprised. That’s how veteran pro-life activists have responded to the oh-so-late charges against and murder conviction of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
Those who have stood outside of abortion clinics praying or counseling women have known for years that these horrid practices take place unexamined – “snipping” the spines of born babies, placing them in jars, or leaving them in bedpans to wriggle and die unaided. They have stood on the sidewalks and witnessed first-hand that many police are more concerned about preventing pro-lifers from crossing the imaginary, court-imposed “bubble zone” outside of clinics than helping the teen limping out the door alone after an abortion, or asking too many questions of a paramedic when an ambulance carts away another girl through the back door. Pro-lifers have seen too many cops look the other way, too many emergency rooms fail to report abortion as the source of a girl’s bleeding, too many violations unchecked because the health inspectors wish to see no evil when it comes to abortion.
No, sad to say, long-time pro-lifers are not shocked by Gosnell. He was just a bit more messy and less crafty than the average abortionist, but his grisly practices are common for the industry. Just ask the young women after they leave the abortion mill, as pro-life counselors have been doing for years. They talk about girls moaning in pain in other rooms, blood on the floor and sinks, the cold hands of the abortionist and the lies laid one atop the other about their stage of gestation, the size of the unborn baby, the little being’s beating heart and response to pain.
Just ask the abortionists who have left the industry and told their stories in books, radio and TV shows, and You Tube videos. They’ve been saying the same thing over and over, yet they’ve been ignored by the mainstream media and by lawmakers and health inspectors. They could have told the nation years ago about Gosnell and his ilk, if anyone in power would have listened. But when Big Abortion whistles the cultural and media tune, such former abortionists are looked upon as traitors to the cause, untrustworthy, or religious fanatics.
Everyone is now horrified at the gory details from the Gosnell trial and astounded by the lack of oversight by Pennsylvania officials, right up to the “pro-choice” governor. You would think that surely now there will be an outcry to cause the abortion industry to retreat and reform. But don’t be too sure that enough people, government officials and mainstream media outlets will care enough to push for change. Those “pro-choicers” who have been shamed into outrage remind me of the corrupt official in the movie “Casablanca” who claims to be “shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here” as the casino cashier hands him his winnings. In predictable form, the abortion industry has distanced itself from Gosnell, calling him an “outlier” and even blaming pro-lifers for making abortion appear so unseemly that only hacks like Gosnell get into the business.
That is why we must keep up the pressure, contacting our lawmakers, posting and tweeting the facts of the trial, telling our “choice” relatives, friends and neighbors about the horrors of abortion, supporting our local pro-life pregnancy center, and even joining a local group that prays peacefully outside an abortion facility. The dark door of abortion has been pried open a crack, and we must use this rare opportunity to let in the light of truth, for the sake of pregnant women and their babies.
* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.