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NARAL’s Peculiar Reaction to Gosnell’s Conviction



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Pro-choice group NARAL reacted to the news of Kermit Gosnell’s conviction somewhat oddly:

“Justice was served to Kermit Gosnell today and he will pay the price for the atrocities he committed. We hope that the lessons of the trial do not fade with the verdict. Anti-choice politicians, and their unrelenting efforts to deny women access to safe and legal abortion care, will only drive more women to back-alley butchers like Kermit Gosnell.

“From the lack of funding available for low-income women to access abortion services, to the sharp decline of reputable providers in Pennsylvania, to the gross negligence of authorities to enforce the law after complaints were filed against Gosnell, each aspect of this case must be a teachable moment for lawmakers: until we reject the politicization of women’s medical care and leave these decisions where they belong — between a woman and her family and her doctor — women will never be safe. The horrifying story of Kermit Gosnell is a peek into the world before Roe v. Wade made legal a woman’s right to make her own choices.

“NARAL Pro-Choice America’s annual Who Decides? publication has given Pennsylvania an ‘F’ grade precisely because it has passed medically unnecessary laws that restrict access to safe and legal abortion care. It is my sincere hope that the women in Gosnell’s clinic did not suffer in vain and that Pennsylvania, and every state, will step up and join us in making the protection of women’s ability to get, safe, high quality, and legal abortion care a top priority.”

The “lessons of the trial”? Kermit Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder for murdering babies that had been born. What is the lesson that NARAL would like us to take from that? That people like Kermit Gosnell kill newborn babies because the state has placed certain restrictions on abortion? Or, perhaps, that there should be no point during a pregnancy at which it is illegal to kill an unborn child? One certainly hopes not.

NARAL, its press release says,

reject[s] the politicization of women’s medical care and leave these decisions where they belong — between a woman and her family and her doctor — women will never be safe.

Which decisions would those be? Is NARAL suggesting that one should leave the question of post-birth abortion “between a woman and her family and her doctor”? If so, they should say so explicitly. And what precisely would Pennsylvania’s receipt of an “A” grade change in this case? Unless NARAL is suggesting that the law should change, the “lesson of the trial” is that there are monstrous people out there who must be prosecuted for their barbarism.

I would have at least understood if the pro-choice movement had said, “We are in favor of safe, legal, and rare abortion. Kermit Gosnell not only disgracefully violated the law but also acted against all human decency. We wish to distance ourselves from him while insisting that his violations are not taken as representative of a procedure we believe should remain legal for all women.” That would have been a wrong but reasonable reaction. What NARAL actually said? Unhinged.



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