Today marks the 38th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court travesty. As we've been horrified to learn, Kermit Gosnall ran a house of horrors that some would call an abortion clinic. If he and the others are guilty of the crimes they have allegedly committed, nothing would please me more than to see him and those others fried for their crimes. But this atrocity goes far beyond the criminal acts of monstrous abortionist, which is blatantly obvious when reading the grand jury report that came out on January 14, 2011. Allahpundit has a good round-up of reactions that have come basically from the pro-life side. Don't forget to read Michelle Malkin's amazing piece on the subject; it is most definitely worth it. And finally, Erick Erickson reminds us that we must stand firm and reject anyone who still is under the delusion that Roe confers a right while at the same time it destroys the rights of the unborn.
As I mentioned, this atrocity goes far beyond the alleged atrocities by Gosnall and his cohorts. Ace lays it out beautifully, and I'd like to expand on it.
The report is damning to the pro-abortion zealots. Those who knew what was going on did nothing to stop it. That is key here: nothing. The only reason the rest of us found out about what was going on at Gosnall's butcher shop didn't have to do with abortions, mentioned in page 8 of the report:
In the end, Gosnell was only caught by accident, when police raided his offices to seize evidence of his illegal prescription selling.
The report goes on to say it was only after the raid that police saw what had been going on in the facility.
The first page of the report tries to say the following:
This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women.
But as you go through the report, it isn't. This case starts out being about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. But it hardly ends there. Worse, this case ends up not even being about just this one abortion clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Those who wrote the report can't deny it [emphasis mine]:
After 1993, even that pro forma effort came to an end. Not because of administrative ennui, although there had been plenty. Instead, the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all.
So it wasn't just that officials from the state's DOH stopped looking into Gosnall's clinic, they stopped inspecting ALL abortion clinics in the state. ALL OF THEM!!! FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS!!! It's bad enough that the DOH was negligent in its follow-up of various violations at Gosnall's clinic going back decades (the report said beginning in 1989), but the Department hasn't done one inspection of ANY abortion clinic for the last 18 years.
In contradiction to the report's opening line, the authors clearly state what happened beginning in 1993 [emphasis mine]:
The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.
Where have we heard that highlighted phrase before? From every single pro-abortion zealot who maintains that Roe v. Wade confers some kind of right found somewhere in the Constitution. We hear from these zealots that they want abortions to be safe, legal, and rare. That's what we've been hearing from the pro-Roe crowd since the case was brought up. I have no doubt the pro-abortion Pennsylvania officials whose job it is to provide oversight of these clinics have said the same thing. After all, they would say it was in their best interest to make sure the American people would be "educated" to see abortions as benevolent as possible, to "destigmatize" the practice, to make it palatable. This has been what the zealots have been saying for nearly 40 years. Yet, we have these same pro-abortion officials completely abrogating their responsibilities, criminally so in my opinion, allowing alleged monsters like Gosnall to go on their merry way while the zealots keep spewing their garbage. And because these derelict pro-abortion DOH officials haven't performed any of their specified inspections on any Pennsylvania abortion clinic for nearly 20 years, we may yet uncover a slew of houses of horror like the one run by Gosnall and his cutthroats.
Oh but it doesn't end there folks. No, no, no, no, no, no, not by a long shot (page 10) [emphasis mine]:
Another agency with authority in the health field, the Pennsylvania Department of State, could have stopped Gosnell single-handedly. While the Department of Health regulates facilities, the Department of State, through its Board of Medicine, licenses and oversees individual physicians. Like their colleagues at Health, however, Department of State officials were repeatedly confronted with evidence about Gosnell, and repeatedly chose to do nothing.
Nor was this negligence at the state level:
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health does not regulate doctors or medical facilities; but it is supposed to protect the public’s health. Philadelphia health department employees regularly visited the Women’s Medical Society to retrieve blood samples for testing purposes, but never noticed, or more likely never bothered to report, that anything was amiss. Another employee inspected the clinic in response to a complaint that dead fetuses were being stored in paper bags in the employees’ lunch refrigerator. The inspection confirmed numerous violations of protocols for storage and disposal of infectious waste. But no follow-up was ever done, and the violations continued to the end.
Is that it? Sadly, no. This went beyond government:
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and its subsidiary, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, are in the same neighborhood as Gosnell’s office. State law requires hospitals to report complications from abortions. A decade ago, a Gosnell patient died at HUP after a botched abortion, and the hospital apparently filed the necessary report. But the victims kept coming in. At least three other Gosnell patients were brought to Penn facilities for emergency surgery; emergency room personnel said they have treated many others as well. And at least one additional woman was hospitalized there after Gosnell had begun a flagrantly illegal abortion of a 29-week-old fetus. Yet, other than the one initial report, Penn could find not a single case in which it complied with its legal duty to alert authorities to the danger. Not even when a second woman turned up virtually dead.
And did you know that there is a "professional association" of abortion providers? I didn't. But there is [emphasis mine]:
So too with the National Abortion Federation. NAF is an association of abortion providers that upholds the strictest health and legal standards for its members. Gosnell, bizarrely, applied for admission shortly after Karnamaya Mongar’s death. Despite his various efforts to fool her, the evaluator from NAF readily noted that records were not properly kept, that risks were not explained, that patients were not monitored, that equipment was not available, that anesthesia was misused. It was the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected. Of course, she rejected Gosnell’s application. She just never told anyone in authority about all the horrible, dangerous things she had seen.
So in addition to the Pennsylvania DOH, we have a state department, one city department, a hospital near Gosnall's facility, and a federation of abortionists who did nothing about Gosnall. Well, not exactly nothing; Gosnall was rejected when he attempted to join the NAF. That's it.
The report doesn't say, as it did with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, that politics had a role in why any of these other officials completely neglected their duties in regards to shutting down Gosnall's horror show. But I'll bet you see a pattern there, don't you?
Over the last couple of weeks, we've seen liberals (not all, but a large number) point the finger at various conservatives, especially Sarah Palin, for using rhetoric (Krugman invented a new phrase, "eliminationist rhetoric") that may have pushed Jared Loughner over the edge in murdering six people (including a 9-year old child) and wounding a number of others in Tuscon, AZ, most famously Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (who is, thank God, making a miraculous recovery). To date, the jerk liberals who dared make these accusations have refused to back down from them, despite facts showing Loughner was as apolitical as they come, along with other facts that have come to light.
By way of comparison, the grand jury report dramatically outlines how the pro-abortion politics of officials at the Pennsylvania DOH had a hand in not only their criminal negligence of regulating Gosnall's facility, but all abortion mills in Pennsylvania for nearly 20 years. And to reiterate what I said above, the pro-abortion zealots have been using the same language about abortion for decades: they want it safe, legal, and rare; they want to make sure the American people would be "educated" to see abortions as benevolent as possible; they want to "destigmatize" the practice, to make it palatable. So to believe that pro-abortion politics and rhetoric of officials at the other agencies had nothing to with what is went on at Gosnall's abortion mill, one has to engage in what then-Senator Hillary Clinton called a willing suspension of disbelief. Ed Morrissey has an update of the hideous hypocrisy of this atrocity in Pennsylvania as new Republican Governor Tom Corbett is demanding a probe on the state's failure to regulate abortion clinics.
And how have the pro-abortion zealots reacted to this story? To Jill at Feministe, the Gosnall story tells us nothing about late-term abortion. Vanessa at Feministing says the seven known babies that were murdered after being delivered had nothing to do with abortion. Of course, neither of these "fine" "ladies" mentions all the illegal late-term abortions Gosnall is known to have done. Yes, I guess to these two, denial is just a river in Egypt. Amanda Marcotte goes so far as to blame those she calls "the anti-choice movement" and issues related to abortion access for what happened in Gosnall's hideous facility. She continues her pathetic meme in another post. Rob at the Abortion Gang makes this stunning statement:
This is a prime example of how the stigma attached to abortion, and the attacks on abortion which limit a woman’s access to safe procedures, gives rise to this kind of barbarism.
This is just a small subset of the pro-abortion zealots lurking out there. What should be readily apparent reading their posts is they have either not read the grand jury report, or have read it and are deliberately ignoring what it said. Their belief in their "climate of death" is so strong leads me to believe the latter. The officials required to oversee the activities of Gosnall's abortion facility and all other such facilities in Pennsylvania ignored their mandate due to the officials' pro-abortion beliefs and rhetoric. Access to abortion clinics wasn't a problem. The stigma of getting an abortion wasn't a problem. What was a problem was the criminal negligence of government, a criminal negligence born of a disgusting political belief.
Unfortunately, we have a the most radical pro-abortion individual for President. When in the Illinois state senate, Barack Obama made it a point to keep babies born alive from failed abortions in the state from being considered human beings with rights guaranteed by the Constitution. He is an ally of those like Marcotte and the others who spread their pro-abortion filth as if it were somehow a badge of honor.
But we must hit back, and hit back hard. It doesn't matter if the object is a Democrat or Republican; note that this started when the pro-abortion Republican Tom Ridge became Governor of Pennsylvania, followed by pro-abortion Democrat Ed Rendell. There is no doubt in my mind that Roe v. Wade not only led to the tragedy in Pennsylvania, but the Stalin-esque proportions of dead Americans these zealots would call a "choice". Let's hope the rest of America learns of the horror that went on at Gosnall's freak show and take action to get Roe overturned soon.