• Mon, Mar 4 2013

Dr. Kermit Gosnell Isn’t An Abortion Doctor, He’s A Murderer – And This Is Coming From A Pro-Choice Mom

DrKermitGosnellI’m extremely pro-choice. I think abortions should be safe, legal and rare. I will always fight for a woman’s right to choose. I will always feel that the majority of doctors who provide abortions are brave, caring, and heroic. But this is not the case with Dr. Kermit Gosnell, and I have a feeling that the case of one horrible doctor and his barbaric procedures are going to give the entire pro-life movement more ammunition in the choice wars. And this is extremely unfair because even though Dr. Gosnell operated under the guise of being an “abortion provider” he wasn’t. He wasn’t terminating pregnancies before the fetuses were viable, he was murdering babies and putting the lives of their mother at risk. In one case he is being charged with the death of one woman under his care. Today, jury selection begins in Gosnell’s trial. If he’s convicted, prosecutors want him put to death. And I can’t say that I can disagree with them. From the PDF of the report of the grand jury:

The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment – such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff – was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house.

 

There were no doctors at the clinic other than Gosnell himself. No nurses. He employed two people who didn’t graduate medical school, but that didn’t stop them from making diagnoses, performing procedures and administering drugs . According to the report, the Women’s Medical Society ran a highly-profitable prescription writing business during the day, when “patients” (who were never seen by an actual doctor) came in during the day and received prescriptions for drugs like Oxycotin written on blank Rx pads that Gosnell has signed and left lying around to be filled out by whoever was working. This brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. But the real business of the Women’s Medical Society was to provide abortions for women who couldn’t get them elsewhere, either because these patients were too young or too far along in their pregnancies:

At the Women’s Medical Society, the only question that really mattered was whether you had the cash. Too young? No problem. Didn’t want to wait? Gosnell provided same-day service.

The real key to the business model, though, was this: Gosnell catered to the women who couldn’t get abortions elsewhere – because they were too pregnant. Most doctors won’t perform late second-trimester abortions, from approximately the 20th week of pregnancy, because of the risks involved. And late-term abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy are flatly illegal. But for Dr. Gosnell, they were an opportunity. The bigger the baby, the more he charged. 

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  • chickadee

    This is the kind of abortion service that women will have to resort to should the anti-abortion loonies have their way.

    • Allyn K. Milojevich

      This is a great point! I really think that this is the future given the Republican social conservative view of the world. I mean, it’s not like abortions didn’t happen before Roe v. Wade. They just happened in hell holes like this. And if legal abortions are eliminated (as they are in many southern states), these “clinics” will become more and more common. I live in Tennessee (as a pro-choice feminist, fun!) and we have really high abortion rates compared to other states in the south because our abortion laws are much more humane than Mississippi, Alabama, etc. Thank god these women only have to drive a few hours to Tennessee for a safe, legal abortion not available at home. Luckily for Tennessee, our state Supreme Court has upheld abortion despite multiple legislative attempts to limit it.

    • chickadee

      You know, I read through some of the grand jury report and I was kind if disturbed to see that it seemed to use ‘fetus’ and ‘baby’ interchangeably. This guy is clearly ethically challenged and devoid of morals, but I would think that a grand jury report would adhere to legal definitions…

    • Dee

      The guy cut spinal cords with scissors, and the grand jury’s use of “fetus” and “baby” is what disturbs you? Smh…

    • chickadee

      It is *a* thing that disturbs me, yes. Particularly from a legal standpoint, which this is.

    • TheHappyPappy

      That is EXACTLY why abortion was legalized to begin with. I remember a book of stories from the pre-Roe v Wade era where a woman (8 years old at the time) described opening the bathroom door and finding her mom dead in a pool of blood. Poor mom and dad had no access to birth control and no way to feed the children they had. Because mom was desperate and had no choices, she made a risky decision and left 7 motherless kids behind.

      I also remember a dear friend (40 years older than me) who grew up in a Canadian province where they had the “no abortion except in cases of rape or incest” laws that many pro-birthers support now (Only Jains are truly pro-life). She sat on my couch sobbing while she described to me being date-raped by a man she knew (who threatened to kill her if she told anyone) and then being too afraid to tell anyone until she realized she was pregnant. Since she had no “proof” besides her word, her claim was regarded as somewhat suspect and worthy of review. She had to sit in front of an all-male panel who got to pass judgement over whether or not she “deserved” to be allowed to have an abortion. Lucky for her they decided in her favor, but still…

      It was obvious from the way she described it that it was one of the worst experiences of her life. She wept on and off through the whole story and said the experience was “almost as bad as the rape itself.”

      So, serious question any pro-birthers reading this, if you believe abortion should only be allowed in the case of rape, incest or the mother’s life, who will make the decision? Will a woman just have to say “I was raped!” to receive an abortion, no questions asked? What if, as in my dear friend’s case, it’s a case of he said-she said? Women can be coerced or threatened into silence by many means, and the truth may not come to light until all physical evidence except the fetus is gone. How then will we determine the circumstances under which it was conceived? Will victims have to “prove” their claim, as that poor woman did? How could we possibly ask a woman or girl subjected to such a horrific experience to justify herself without traumatizing her even more?

      Really, what happened to these fetus/babies AND their mothers is horrible. I hope this man does go to jail for a long, long time. But I agree with the author that this should not be used to outlaw abortion. As chikadee and Allyn said, this is an argument FOR reproductive choice, not against it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carmen-Finnigan/841528248 Carmen Finnigan

      Indeed these back alley butchers are what we are trying to avoid by keeping abortion safe and legal.

    • Scoop007

      That is partly why I am still pro-choice despite feeling deeply that abortion is wrong. I also refuse to support the pro-life movement until they eliminate the hypocrisy of wanting to outlaw abortion but not allow early and consistent sex education and birth control to teens. I think both sides agree abortion isn’t a good thing and we’d all rather woman didn’t have to make that choice. But only one side supports the things that need to be done to prevent abortion in the first place. This man deserves death and I don’t say that lightly. His actions made me physically ill and no woman or baby, should EVER be subjected to such horrors because they felt they had no other options.

    • chickadee

      I am also against the death penalty, but I agree that he deserves death. What he did was horrifying and demonstrates a level of moral depravity that is difficult to understand. Worse, he preyed on the most vulnerable women in his loathsome ‘practice.’

      I was surprised and upset to see how many women felt that late-term abortions were their only option. It makes me sick to see the distinction drawn between white women and those of color. And I totally agree with you that we need to put more energy into prevention….

    • michelle pittman

      EXACTLY!!! i feel deeply that abortion is wrong — BUT — it drives me CRAZY when i drive past the Planned Parenthood in my city and see protesters holding up signs – i get why they do it but…Planned Parenthood is the only place for a teenage girl to get free or affordable birth control so she can prevent getting pregnant…it’s already embarressing enough for her to go in there, but to have to walk past protesters? if she gets birth control she may not get pregnant and have an abortion!

  • Justme

    Kermit. Ha.

  • Annie

    This is what I imagine happened in a lot of unscrupulous doctors’ houses pre-Roe v Wade. And it looks like this will be happening again in certain states. Fun.

    I can only hope that the women in those states will be able to use some sort of shuttling service to take them somewhere for their procedures rather than having to resort to such dangerous, *creepy* illegal clinics.

  • faifai

    This is horrible. This is horrible and despicable and I really really hope he gets some kind of murder rap for killing these poor children. And I’m pro-choice as well, and I don’t even really like (little) kids, but this has me in tears. And you know what? You KNOW this is happening in other countries too, all over the world, everywhere where people can’t afford abortions or birth control or where just a simple pill is outlawed. Women shouldn’t have to live like this. And babies shouldn’t have to feel such pain.

  • Ollie_Cat

    The “snipping” part deeply disturbs me… see, I’m pro-life in many situations, but I can at least understand the motives behind having an abortion in most cases. However, if the pregnancy has gone on long enough that you give birth to a living baby… why not put it up for adoption? I never understood that even one little bit. If you cannot or do not want to love it and care for it, there *is* someone who will, and it’s grotesque to kill a baby instead. Any thoughts?

    • Laura

      Honestly, the “snipping” part made me cry. I just can’t imagine…

    • Kay

      I agree with you completely.

      “Snipping” is the same method used in partial birth abortion, only in the latter the baby is delivered feet first and the spinal cord is severed while the head remains in the birth canal. This breaks my heart. I’ll admit I am pro life (I’m sure I will get vehement opposition to this, but I don’t believe in abortion even in cases of rape and incest.) The points raised in the other comments are accurate. if the question is about rape, who determines rape and how? Sitting before a board of males who are trying to determine the validity of rape is a further insult to a woman who has already been violated. Before anyone jumps down my throat, I have many friends who were sexually abused and I was abused sexually myself as a child. It’s a sad comment on our society that a women can be driven to such a choice based on desperation. Women truly need OPTIONS so they don’t feel like abortion (particularity preformed by a monster like this douche-bag) is their only choice.

    • Katia

      I have not experienced abuse but I agree with everything you said…

    • michelle pittman

      the snipping is absolutely disgusting to the babies BORN…doesn’t every state have a Safe Haven law??? why couldn’t they drop the baby off at a police station or fire station? so, so, so, SO sad

    • Makabit

      Because a steady stream of newborns being surrendered at the police station would have sooner or later alerted the authorities that something was wrong.

      And because they really didn’t give a damn.

  • Diana

    So he’s obviously a psychopath and serial killer. What about his wife? Is she facing charges too? It always creeps me out how these people find partners. I guess birds of feather…

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  • Biblecia.com

    And shame on you for condoning murder at all. What a fool you’d be to separate what this man does from what any abortion “doctor” does. What? Size and age differences? Right. That makes it okay.

  • Pro-Lifer

    “This case can’t be used as a weapon in the war against choice, it can only be used as an example of a horrible doctor providing horrible “care.””

    This is an interesting comment from someone who is admittedly liberal. Because I have the same viewpoint regarding gun control and gun regulation. The Sandie Hook shooter can’t be used as a weapon in the war against gun control…it can only be used as an example of a derranged criminal committing horrible crimes against innocent people. Therefore, don’t touch my freedom to own weapons.
    Using the author’s logic you can’t argue against this as an anti-gun liberal or person, right? If not, then her comment above can’t be valid either.

    • Katie

      I think the equivalent argument in this case regarding gun control laws would be stricter regulation of medical degrees. Obviously the Sandy Hook shooter was deranged and probably shouldn’t have had access to gun control. Gosnell was also obviously deranged and shouldn’t have been able to “practice medicine”. I say that in quotes because this is obviously not medicine. So in this case, Dr. Gosnell should not have been able to be a doctor and run this terrible clinic, and the Sandy Hook shooter should not have had access to guns. But the women going to his clinic or to any other abortion provider are for the most part not deranged and should have access to safe abortions.

      The equivalent argument you are making about abortions by bringing up the Sandy Hook shooting is that instead of making sure mentally ill people don’t have access to guns, we don’t let our children go to school.

  • Youknitme

    The problem with the argument that this is the result of oppressive anti-abortion laws is the reality that this clinic continued right under the noses of the law even after repeated complaints. This man didn’t have to hide in a back alley. The state was negligent and chose not to supervise. Beyond that discussion is a disturbing question that honest hearts must answer. When can we truly justify the killing of a baby? Does a fetus magically become a baby when she is delivered, but seconds before she is inhuman? Could we truly justify what this man did to the babies if he could prove they were in the womb when they died? And what about Planned Parenthood’s Alisa LaPolt Snow testifying that it should be “up to a woman and her doctor” as to what is done when a child survives an abortion and is born alive. Will we now turn a blind eye to “post-birth abortions”? Where does it end?

    • LoveyDovey

      You keep asking the same questions expecting different answers. A fetus becomes a baby and a full person with rights after it is born legally, and after it takes its first breath biblically. I don’t know how much more clear we can make this to you. We already have a cutoff, and that’s before viability. Nobody is advocating we allow abortions “post-birth”, so stop spreading a lie.

      And once again, abortion is NOT killing a baby, as the term “baby” isn’t even a technical word.

      Also, you’re taking that quote way out of context. She’s talking about the bill in question here: http://www.bubblews.com/news/367180-planned-parenthood-supports-infanticide-really, that medical decisions (like abortions) should NOT be up to lawmakers since they’re not doctors.

    • Youknitme

      If you watch even the first 30 seconds of this you will hear a different story. In this case they are talking about a baby, not a fetus, who is born alive and is struggling for life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN0ILdq00vA

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  • B

    as horrific and heartbreaking as this is, one thing that disturbs me the most is that abortion doctors are already killing babies. this is just an example that is making it plain vision to people and moms to see how it really is. they think this is so terrible, when really this is what he did before, before the baby was born completely. the baby was still alive! so it just makes me sad that humans think it is ok to kill an unborn baby, but they are completely against killing a born one. even though they are both alive. to me, it is both so wrong!

    • ElleJai

      As far as I’m concerned, a conglomerate of cells is not “alive”. A zygote is not a baby. You can have abortions early enough that you’re not killing anything or anyone. Abortion is not universally murder.

      And as my Nanna said- everyone is against abortion until it’s their daughter who’s been raped.

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  • Rhonnygyrl

    I know this is old news, but after reading this article I did further research and may never sleep again. Reading the comments on this forum its clearly not necessary to say what side of the fence i am on; this is so utterly heartbreaking.