There seem to be two narratives forming on the left surrounding the horror story that is Kermit Gosnell’s monstrous abortion practice.
First, they say that Gosnell is an abnormality. A cruel monster who is in now way indicative of any sort of norm among abortion doctors.
Second, they say that Gosnell is an argument for legalized abortion. If we outlaw abortion, women seeking abortions will find people like Gosnell who are willing to break the law (and the basics of human decency) to provide them.
Both of these arguments are wrong.
To address the second argument first, let’s keep in mind that Gosnell’s house of horrors happened with legalized abortion as the law of the land. Despite reams of regulations, and multiple government agencies tasked with oversight, Gosnell was able to practice for decades spreading STD’s with unclean equipment and murdering living babies and women. These horrors would happen whether abortion is legal or not, I’d argue. We makes lots of laws, against lots of things, and criminals break those laws anyway.
That laws will be broken by some is no argument against instituting laws in the first place.
To the first argument, Gosnell didn’t perpetrate his crimes alone. The grand jury report about Gosnell’s crimes is one of the most alarming documents I’ve ever read, and not just because of the crimes Gosnell committed himself. What is terrifying is the complicity in his crimes by other employees at his clinic, and multiple state agencies who took no meaningful action despite reports of the disgusting goings-on falling in their lap.
The grand jury report attributes this complicity, this unwillingness to enforce the law, on the politics of abortion. And that’s sadly, stunningly accurate.
What scares me the most about Kermit Gosnell’s crime isn’t the murdering of live babies, and the mistreatment of the women who went to him for care. There are not enough words in my thesaurus to describe how awful those things are, but worse still is that so many were willing to let him go on committing those crimes- and even assist him in doing them – because abortion is a “right.”
That’s the slippery moral slope legalized abortion has put us on, with its flexible and politically-motivated definitions of when life begins.
If there can be a silver lining in something as monstrous as what Gosnell and his accomplices are guilty of, it’s that it will perhaps give America a chance to take a long, hard look at where we stand on when life begins.