History Of Horrors: Gosnell trial reveals nothing new
By: Daniel Clark
Since the start of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s trial, the leading drama queens of the pro-abortion movement have taken turns declaring, “I know ye not, old quack.” In reality, both Gosnell and his methods have been as familiar to them as Falstaff and his antics were to Prince Hal.
Gosnell was committing abortion-related atrocities in Philadelphia at least as far back as 1972, when he performed a series of second-trimester abortions with an experimental instrument called the “super coil.” According to testimony from a colleague of his, the super coil was “basically plastic razors that were formed into a ball.” Once inside the womb, this ball of tiny blades would spring open and kill the baby.
The Grand Jury report notes, unsurprisingly, that this humanity-shredding device caused “serious complications” for nine of the 15 women on whom Gosnell had operated. What’s more, the women had not consented to be experimental subjects. For over 40 years, Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry have known about Gosnell and these irresponsible practices. They also knew about the super coil’s inventor, Harvey Karman.
Karman was a psychologist with no medical degree, who had done time for killing a woman during an illegal abortion he attempted with the use of a nutcracker. He was pardoned by Jerry Brown, the same man who again serves as California governor all these years later. In addition to the super coil, Karman had a more successful invention called the Karman cannula, a flexible tube that is commonly used with a syringe to perform first-trimester abortions. So this is one of the pioneers of “safe, legal and rare” abortion – Dr. Nutcracker.
Months before Gosnell’s super coil experiment, Karman was sent by the International Planned Parenthood Federation on a depraved charity mission to Bangladesh. Not only did he inflict his super coil method on some of the women there, but he also began his decades-long campaign of promoting do-it-yourself syringe abortions. If someone as medically unqualified as himself could do abortions, he may have figured, then so can anybody. Either the IPPF knew about Karman’s lack of credentials and his criminal past, or it just didn’t care enough to find out.
For all their feigned outrage over “back-alley butchers,” advocates of legal abortion generally have no problem with those abortions that are done outside the law. The 1999 movie The Cider House Rules starred Michael Caine as a World War II-era illegal abortionist, whose protege (Tobey Maguire) had no formal medical training. The fact that these two were depicted as heroes prompted Planned Parenthood to give the film a Maggie Award for Media Excellence, which is named after PP founder Margaret Sanger. Hooray for the butchers!
Both PP and the National Abortion Federation admit that they knew about the state of Gosnell’s clinic, but neither organization reported him. If they had, they’d have been faced with the question, why stop there? A clinic in Muskegon, Michigan was closed down in December, after being found in a comparable state of squalor. Two nurses at Planned Parenthood of Wilmington, Delaware have recently been driven to leave that clinic, due to its hazardous conditions. Another clinic in Tidewater, Virginia has been closed for noncompliance with safety regulations that were passed in reaction to Gosnell’s arrest. These are just some of the most recent offenders. The 1996 book Lime 5: Exploited by Choice by Mark Crutcher, founder of the anti-abortion group Life Dynamics, thoroughly chronicled similar offenses in clinics across America. Many of Gosnell’s trademarks – unsanitary conditions, unsterile equipment, unqualified personnel, and haphazard storage of fetal body parts – are shockingly not uncommon.
Gosnell’s killing of already born infants is nothing new, either. When PP spokeswoman Alisa LaPolt Snow was asked what should become of a baby who’s born alive as a result of a botched abortion, she said, “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family and her physician.” In other words, it’s okay to kill it anyway.
When the partial-birth abortion ban was being debated in 1996, Republican senator Rick Santorum asked two of his Democrat colleagues whether it should be legal to kill a baby once it has been entirely born. Both senators Russ Feingold and Frank Lautenberg declined to answer. “I am not the person to be answering that question,” Feingold said. “That is a question that should be answered by a doctor, and by the woman who receives the advice from the doctor.” These are not innocent slips of the tongue. Abortion advocates are well aware of their need to excuse certain cases of outright infanticide.
In 1999, an employee of a fetal tissue and organ wholesaler told Life Dynamics that he’d frequently been asked to dissect babies who were still alive. “It happened again and again … all the way up to sometimes 30 weeks, we had live births come back to us,” he said. “Then the doctor would either break the neck or take a pair of tongs and beat the fetus until it was dead.” He told of one particular instance in which an abortionist had brought him a pan containing a pair of 24-week-old twin girls. When he pointed out that they were still breathing, the abortionist drowned them by filling the pan with water.
Those methods, like Gosnell’s “snipping” of infants’ spinal cords, are monstrous. Yet they are arguably less inhumane than the practice of abandoning babies who survive abortion attempts in a linen closet, where they are left gasping for breath until they slowly die of neglect. After nurse Jill Stanek blew the whistle on hospitals that were committing this act, the Illinois senate proposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, after which the federal bill of the same name would be modeled. Barack Obama, then a state senator and chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, opposed the measure, and blocked it from coming up for a vote.
The mainstream of the pro-abortion movement has a long history of condoning most of what has gone on in Gosnell’s “house of horrors,” sometimes tacitly, but often explicitly so. As far as the people who embraced Dr. Nutcracker are concerned, the only thing Gosnell did wrong was get caught.
The pro-abortion media narrative is that the practice of abortion has been made clean, respectable and even noble by its legality, but the only real difference is in its nomenclature. Yesterday’s “back-alley butchers” and today’s “reproductive health care providers” are one and the same. Their single and unambiguous purpose is to kill tiny children. Any additional harm that is done to the mothers’ health, medical ethics and the law may be dismissed as collateral damage.
If Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic is a “house of horrors,” then Planned Parenthood and the NAF are operating national chains that ought to have titles like “Horrors R Us.” For them to claim not to recognize Gosnell is plausible only if they, being bloodsuckers, cannot even look at themselves in the mirror.
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.