In Philadelphia, at a human abattoir on Lancaster Avenue, is where it ends, not where it starts. It starts with the perversion of language. It starts when the icons of a dissipated culture reduce a baby to a “fetus.” From there, Yeats’s blood-dimmed tide rolls rapidly in. Before long, a baby is not a person but a punishment, as President Barack Obama framed the matter in his familiar off-the-cuff iciness.
Of course, to describe newborn children in their boundless possibilities and wonder would be to acknowledge, foremost, their humanity. That is why, instead, abortion enthusiasts must grope for words when circumstances force them to speak publicly about their gruesome business.
“That fetus, or child — however way you want to describe it,” Mr. Obama once stammered. This was back when, as a state senator, he was unnerved by the natural resistance of babies to the unnatural insistence of their mothers — of the culture — that they just disappear. If you’ve ever watched a hit man testify, you’ve heard the same stammer: the faint glimmer of a long-forgotten but stubbornly indelible line between right and wrong.
It is the line that makes killing much easier to do than to talk about. It is the line that now impels a self-imposed media embargo against news about the shocking trial of Kermit Gosnell.
Gosnell is a 72-year-old abortionist. The formal charges against him — the murders of a woman and seven babies — are but drops in a sea of carnage. Mounting evidence reveals him to be a mass murderer of epic scale and Mengele methods. It also spotlights the evil — the apparently unspeakable evil — of legalized abortion in all its coarsening gore. Plainly, the vaunted journalists of our debased mainstream have determined that there must be no meaningful coverage. No time in the 24/7 cycle to notice the inexorable path from dehumanizing the vulnerable through word games to mass-murdering them with casual sadism.
Better to shove the evidence into a dark closet. That’s what they did in Chicago. There, despite the best efforts of “physicians” (they of the “do no harm” oath), many “however way you want to describe its” were “not just coming out limp and dead,” as Obama haltingly put it. The abortionists’ answer was to stick the helpless survivors in a utility closet where they could die, out of sight and out of mind. Obama, in the pitiless logic of legalized abortion, labored to preserve this oft-practiced but never discussed form of infanticide against the Illinois legislature’s proposed “Born Alive” ban. (See senate transcript, April 4, 2002, beginning at page 29.)
A decade later in Philadelphia, “it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.” So said Stephen Massof, one of Kermit Gosnell’s fellow butchers, as he described for the jury the chamber of horrors that was the “Women’s Medical Society” on Lancaster Avenue. There, scores of babies — perhaps hundreds of them — were willfully mutilated after being born alive.
Standard fare was the “snip.”
“Snip” is a terse, antiseptic word. Like “choice,” it is tailored to those rare, discomfiting occasions when the intentional killing of a “however way you want to describe it” must be spoken of rather than silently done. It is an effort, as much mentally as verbally, to evade the monstrousness we abide in the United States, where nearly 60 million children — a population roughly equal to that of France or the United Kingdom — have been aborted since the Supreme Court’s 1973 fatwa in Roe v. Wade.
In a “snip,” the abortionist, sharp scissors in hand, grasps the squirming and sometimes squealing baby he has just delivered. He stabs the child in the back and then, snapping the blades, severs the spinal cord from the brain. Massof described the snip as “literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.”
He was testifying in exchange for a plea bargain that discounts his participation in numerous such “procedures” to a mere two instances of third-degree murder. After all, most of what he did at the “Women’s Medical Society” was perfectly legal.