Gosnell’s Guardians: Philly killer had plenty of help
By: Daniel Clark
News accounts of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell have portrayed him as an isolated lunatic, who committed acts so heinous that nobody else in his profession could have dreamt they were happening. That’s an understandable perception, but is it true?
The district attorney’s report on Gosnell’s “Women’s Medical Society” included a rebuke of the Pennsylvania Health Department, which had discontinued inspections of abortion clinics during the mid-90s. “Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety,” it says. This period of inaction has coincided with the administrations of two pro-abortion governors, Republican Tom Ridge and Democrat Ed Rendell, who must have felt that health inspections would place an “undue burden” on the “fundamental right” to abortion.
When the clinic was raided in February 2010, it was for the illegal sale of prescription drugs. Only when a detective from the DA’s office happened to learn what else went on there did he take the initiative to investigate. If the only crimes being committed had been those related to abortion and infanticide, they would surely have remained undiscovered to this day.
After killing a woman during an abortion, Gosnell applied for membership in the National Abortion Federation in an apparent attempt at damage control. The NAF evaluator denied him, but did not contact the authorities about her reasons why. She told the grand jury that the vital signs of women who were sedated there went unmonitored, and that sedation had been administered by an unlicensed employee. These hazardous practices warranted more than the simple rejection of an application. In addition, she’d witnessed a violation of the state’s required 24-hour waiting period, but kept quiet.
Not only isn’t the NAF facing any charges, but the report flatters the group as an “association of abortion providers that upholds the strictest health and legal standards for its members.” Not wanting to delve into the broader abortion issue, the DA dissociates the bad abortionist Gosnell from all the presumably good abortionists from the NAF.
Gosnell began committing more late-term abortions and infanticides, supposedly to make up for a decline in references from local agencies. Nevertheless, many women continued to be referred to his clinic right up until it was raided. Even after Gosnell had killed one woman, and settled lawsuits with five others he’d injured, some “counselors” had no compunction about sending him more potential victims.
Could it be that those within the abortion industry and its political support structure aren’t really surprised by what happened in Philadelphia at all? The “Women’s Medical Society” may be an extreme example, but none of the individual horrors that took place there seemed to shock anyone who was in a position to do anything about them.
None of Gosnell’s offenses are unfamiliar to anyone who has read Mark Crutcher’s 1996 book, Lime 5: Exploited by Choice. Crutcher is the founder of Life Dynamics, an anti-abortion group that the New York Times once dubbed “the CIA of the pro-life movement.” No espionage was needed, however, for this densely endnoted chronicle of abortion industry abuses, which was culled from public records.
The Gosnell report reads as if it was ripped right from Crutcher’s book: women killed and hospitalized by uterine punctures and perforations; the absence of standard emergency equipment; anesthesia administered by unqualified employees; filthy conditions; unsterile instruments; haphazard storage of dead fetuses; fetal body parts left inside the womb; improper storage of medical waste; and generally callous treatment of women.
Even Gosnell’s killing of already born infants is not unknown to “safe and legal” clinics. In 1999, a medical technician told Life Dynamics how he’d harvested fetal organs for sale to researchers, and said that he was sometimes brought specimens for dissection that were still alive. He claims to have seen a doctor drown a pair of twins that had survived an abortion attempt. On other occasions, he says, “the doctor would either break their necks or take a pair of tongs and beat the fetus until it was dead.”
This trafficking of human body parts was the subject of congressional hearings, but no consequences resulted. The whistleblower turned out to be an employee of an organ wholesaler called the Anatomical Gift Foundation, which was a member of the NAF. Many of the sadistic quacks and grimy clinics referenced in Lime 5 were NAF members also. If the DA really wants to know how the case of Kermit Gosnell could have happened, he must first realize that these supposedly ethical abortionists he praises are not so much better.
Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press [theshinbone.com] , where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.
Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.