WJBC Voices: The safe, legal and rare fraud

By David Stanczak

At one time, Hillary Clinton’s mantra about abortion was that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”  I suspected then that she really meant only the “legal” part, and time has borne out that suspicion. Case in point: a new movie premiering Friday October 12 entitled “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.”

Most people don’t recognize Kermit Gosnell’s name. Until about nine years ago, Gosnell was a Philadelphia abortionist. He was convicted by a jury of three counts of first-degree murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortions, and 211 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s 24-hour informed consent law. He is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole because he agreed not to appeal his conviction in return for the state’s not seeking the death penalty.

For 15 years, Gosnell operated the Women’s Medical Society, where he performed abortions on anyone at any time during the pregnancy.  His “clinic” where he “served” primarily minority women, was filthy beyond description, with blood-stained furniture and operating tables; he routinely falsified records; permitted unlicensed assistants to medicate patients with outdated drugs; was absent during critical times for his patients;  re-used single-use paraphernalia; ran a pill mill, freely dispensing pain killers; and failed to meet even the most rudimentary sanitation requirements for surgery. He probably would still be in business, were it not for the investigation of his pill mill and the death of one of his patients, a Bhutanese refugee, Karnamaya Mongar, from an overdose of a drug administered at his clinic.  The clinic’s trash-clogged hallways delayed getting Ms. Mongar to a hospital.  The more police looked, the more they were overwhelmed by the gruesomeness of Gosnell’s house of horrors. By the time police finished the investigation, they had learned that Gosnell made sure no infants survived his attempted abortions.   He routinely used his scissors to snip the spinal cords of any viable infants who escaped their mother’s bodies alive; police recovered the bodies of 47 infants with scissors wounds at the back of their necks.  Gosnell got away with his back-alley quality facilities in part because pro-choice Governor Tom Ridge instructed his Department of Public Health to go easy on abortion facilities; the Department complied, repeatedly re-certifying Gosnell’s clinic even though it failed to meet a host of elementary medical and health requirements.

The media covered up what should have been a sensational nation-wide story because it might reflect badly on the abortion industry. One scene in the movie depicts the empty area in the courtroom which had been roped off for the press.

The conspiracy of silence continues. Two pro-choice Irish journalists, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney wrote a book and decided to make a movie about the Gosnell trial.  Nobody in Hollywood or anywhere else would touch it.  So, they made the movie with private contributions. When they planned a large screening at a hotel in Austin, Texas close to a scheduled Planned Parenthood function, pressure was successfully applied to the hotel to cancel their event. The producers couldn’t take out ads on National Public Radio because NPR wouldn’t let them refer to Gosnell as an “abortionist.” Roget’s Thesaurus lists no synonyms for the term. This week, Facebook banned advertising for the movie.

The “rare” part of Hillary’s mantra is long since gone: abortions since Roe v. Wade are north of 60 million. The pro-abort symbol for restrictions on abortions is the coat hanger.  But back alley abortionists couldn’t have done much worse than Gosnell; low legal requirements for clinics and lax enforcement compromise the safety of women patients. So much for “safe”.  The movie, which accurately chronicles the investigation and trial, opens Friday October 12 at the AMC Classic 14 in Normal. Everyone who wants to know the truth about how the system failed not only infants but the women who carried them needs to see it.

David Stanczak, a WJBC commentator since 1995, came to Bloomington in 1971. He served as the City of Bloomington’s first full-time legal counsel for over 18 years, before entering private practice. He is currently employed by the Snyder Companies and continues to reside in Bloomington with his family.

The opinions expressed within WJBC’s Voices are solely those of the Voices’ author, and are not necessarily those of WJBC or Cumulus Media, Inc.


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