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Gosnell Jury Goes Home for the Weekend


After a week listening to readbacks of graphic, brutal testimony, the Gosnell jury was dismissed for the weekend, after telling the judge that they’re “drained.”

Can you imagine having to think about this for hours on end since mid March? More of us should be.

Yesterday, Priests for Life, based in Long Island, held a memorial service for the babies cited in the Gosnell grand-jury report.

Baby C, who we are told breathed for 20 minutes after delivery, has been named Alex. Baby D was swimming in a toilet, according to testimony. He’s been named Chris. The cries of Baby E were reportedly heard. We remember him as Alex.

More names here.

Fr. Frank Pavone explains:

People have names. One of the first things we do when coming into the presence of another person — or even learning about their existence when apart from their presence — is to inquire as to their name. The name expresses the person, it invites the presence of the person, it both calls and welcomes the person, it acknowledges that there is something in common between the person and ourselves, and hence in receiving their name we offer our own.

Abortion requires a dehumanization. Fr. Pavone, a spiritual director to many confronting the pain and regret and desire for forgiveness after abortions, reflects:

One of the key moments of that journey of healing after abortion is when the parents name their child. The moment is powerful and freeing. Up until then, the child was a victim of de-humanization. Before we can kill, we have to dehumanize. “This is not a child,” we lie to ourselves; or we say, “This is not a child for whom I am responsible right now.” In these or a thousand other ways, a veil of dehumanization covers the child; a chasm is introduced between that child’s humanity and our awareness of our need to respond to it with an unconditional acknowledgement and acceptance. But the time is not right, the burden too great, and so we keep any semblance of the child’s humanity as far away from our consciousness as we can.

Last Friday night, a number of people, when they saw that Fox News Channel was airing an hour on Gosnell, told me they couldn’t watch. That it is all too terrible. But we can’t look away. Names don’t give these babies the life they were denied, but as we remember them, and refuse to look away and pretend this story is not about the poison that is 40 years of legal abortion in America, we have the opportunity to honor their lives while we spare others’.


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