Far, far better bloggers than I have been following the Philadelphia "house of horrors" story -- bloggers such as Michelle Malkin, Jill Stanek, and Ace of Spades HQ. So I will forgo rehashing all the hideous details. I am still making my way through the Grand Jury indictment -- the whole stomach-churning thing -- and it's as revolting as any "slasher" film; only worse, because the whole damn thing is true.
As I am finding out, it isn't even just one diabolical doctor; four other staffers from the hideous "clinic" have also been arrested for murder, and an additional four staffers have been arrested for multiple crimes ranging from theft, perjury and obstruction of justice, to conspiracy to commit murder, and violations of the Controlled Susbstances Act. Several of them, besides Gosnell, committed multiple murders by using scissors to cut through the spinal cords of living, breathing, crying, born-alive babies. In fact, Gosnell preferred for the babies to simply come out on their own (after labor was induced, as is standard for third-trimester abortions); if they were already delivered by the time he got there, he wouldn't have to chance perforating the woman's uterus, cervix or colon, as he'd done -- and been sued for -- numerous times.
It goes on. It gets worse. It boggles the mind.
So here are the two big questions I have about this whole deal.
The grand jury, which comprised a mix of people from all over the ideological spectrum concerning abortion, had no problem recognizing the cutting, with scissors, of born-alive babies' spinal cords as "murder." Yet, had Gosnell done a typical partial-birth abortion -- which involves delivering the baby feet-first and reaching up into the birth canal to puncture the baby's skull with scissors and suction out its brains while its head is still in the birth canal -- that would have been legal, and not, in the eyes of the law, "murder."
My question is: Why is what Gosnell did "murder," but this isn't:
I apologize for having to post this picture. It is the worst kind of pornography. Please don't go away, though. I beg you to keep reading. You know and I know that the only way a country of, mostly, otherwise decent people can allow this to continue is because it is so easy to just close our eyes to it. William Wilberforce was only able to get the slave trade abolished in England when he started showing people the insides of the actual slave ships.
So, again, the question: Why is what's shown here perfectly legal and "a woman's right"... while Gosnell, who simply waited until the baby was all the way out -- just a few inches further -- is being prosecuted on multiple counts of murder? To put it another way, how can people who see that it was wrong for American and British property owners to claim a "right" to enslave Africans, have such a hard time seeing what's wrong with women claiming a "right" to not only enslave but outright kill their own children?
I remember being at the National Rural Women's Conference back in 1992, in Des Moines, IA. Since it was an election year, the conference, with several hundred women in attendance, was developing a platform, i.e., a formulation of its positions and recommendations on a whole slew of issues, one of them being health care. There was a clause in there about "reproductive health." In the final plenary session, when the platform was being presented for the whole conference's approval, I stood up and said that anyone who hadn't been living in a cave for the past ten years knew that "reproductive health" was code language for abortion, and that there were plenty of us in that hall who emphatically did not support that. A fierce debate broke out, with people from all around the room standing up and speaking passionately about whether or not a fetus is a baby. Finally, one pert young lady stood up and ended the debate by saying -- and it made such a huge impression on me that 19 years later, I can still quote her word for word from memory -- "Look. We all know that abortion kills a baby. But that's not the issue. The issue is women's lives."
At that point, all us pro-lifers in the room saw, to our grief and dismay, that our opponents were impervious to any argument we could make. Kind of like the people William Wilberforce ran into who said, "Look. We know the conditions are awful in the slave trade, and that half the niggers die in the holds of the ships before they even reach their destination. But that's not the issue. The issue is our ability to run a business, and we need cheap labor to do it."
Sorry for the language, folks, but that is the way they talked. And it's not only for the sake of historical accuracy that I use that awful word. The language, you see, is not immaterial. Whoever owns the language wins the battle. As George Orwell said, "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable..." This is why babies are usually referred to as "fetuses" when they're not wanted, and "babies" when they are. (I have never heard a happily pregnant woman say, "Today I felt the fetus kick for the first time!" or "At the doctor's today, we got to hear our fetus' heartbeat!")
But that is precisely why I and other pro-life people at that women's conference were so flummoxed. We realized that the abortion debate had entered a new phase. Before that, the people who wanted to keep abortion legal tried to fool everybody with language. Call babies "fetuses" and people won't care if they're "terminated." Now the pro-legal-abortion people were admitting that, yes, it's a baby, and yes, abortion kills that baby.... and yet, they were saying, that doesn't matter!
I was in such a state of shock when I heard that, that frankly, I don't remember whether the final document included the bit about "reproductive health" or not. All I remember was the bright, clean-scrubbed, rosy-cheeked face of that vivacious, pretty young woman, who looked so wholesome and innocent and all-American -- until she said those horrendous words: "That's not the issue." We kill, so what? No biggie.
My second question of the day is one I don't see anyone else asking. Not even my fellow conservative bloggers. Not even the pro-life websites, God bless 'em. I must conclude that either this very, very socially unacceptable question -- unspeakable, even -- or else, that the answer is obvious to everyone else, and I'm the only person around who's too stupid to have figured it out. If so, I ask your forbearance in advance for being so clueless.
I honestly do not know the answer to this question: How could a woman -- any woman -- get an abortion when she's seven or eight months pregnant? I mean, not to put too fine a point on it, but by 7 or 8 months, you've been showing for quite some time! Even if you're obese, by the time you are eight months along, the whole wide world can see that you're pregnant! How exactly do you walk into your workplace the next day, not showing any more -- when everybody there knows you were expecting? Do you lie, and tell them you had a miscarriage? Do you just not care if the whole wide world knows that you had an abortion -- and not only that, but abortion of a nearly full-term baby, who could have survived on its own if it were delivered like any other preemie in a hospital? A baby whom, if you could just tough it out for another few weeks, someone would be eager to adopt?
In short: Who the hell are these women?
Call me a moron, but I honestly do not get it.
Cross-posted at West to the West Wing 2012