The Corner

Gosnell and NAF

Jonah, the National Abortion Federation’s attempts to disassociate with Kermit Gosnell are disingenous for another more basic reason – he worked at one of their facilities, and that work was intimately tied to the allegations of his criminal case.

Although the grand-jury report notes that NAF did deny his Philadelphia facilities’ application for membership, it records that he was also practicing part-time from a Delaware clinic that was a member of the National Abortion FederationGosnell worked one day a week at the now-defunct Atlantic Women’s Medical Services in Wilmington, Del., which was an NAF member. Many of the witnesses for the prosecution were employees of that NAF-member facility. The grand-jury report found that he routinely referred women who were too far along in their pregnancy to get an abortion under Delaware law to his West Philadelphia clinic, and the patients paid the NAF-member Delaware facility for the abortion services at the Philadelphia clinic. At least one of the abortions at issue in the indictment was started (given the need to induce labor, late-term abortions often take place over several days) at the Delaware NAF-certified facility and the unborn child was finished off at the Philadelphia clinic. 

So while Gosnell himself may not have been an NAF member, he certainly was affiliated with the organization. One of the recommendations of the grand-jury report (on page 259) was that NAF reconsider its association with the Delaware facility, and they suspended the Delaware facility in 2011. (I’d very much like to link to mainstream-media accounts, rather than, but alas, I couldn’t find any that really delved into this issue). 

As for Leroy Carhart, discussed in my prior post, I’m afraid I was underinclusive in his many plaudits. Courtesy of his website, here are some more:

  • California Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League “Emily Lyons Award for Courage”, October 4, 2000

  • Harvard University Ethics Department “Larry Lader Reproductive Choice Guest Lecturer”, October 10, 2000

  • Voters for Choice “8th Annual Gloria Steinem Reproductive Freedom Award”, October 13, 2000 

  • National Abortion Rights Action League “Courageous Advocate Award” October 18, 2000

  • Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. “Ophelia Settle Egypt Award, October 19, 2000

  • Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles “Margaret Sanger Award” October 20, 2000 

  • Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, “Courage Award”, October 21, 2000

  • Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project “Ades Award” October 22, 2000

  • Aradia Women’s Health Center “Guardian of Women’s Health Award”, November 3, 2000

  • California Women’s Law Center “Pursuit of Justice Award”, November 7, 2000

Shannen W. Coffin is a contributing editor to National Review. He practices appellate law in Washington, D.C.

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