The Corner

Kermit Gosnell Is Not an Outlier

 

The horrible truth that the National Abortion Federation or Planned Parenthood or any other abortion apologist wants to hide is that Kermit Gosnell is not an outlier. Earlier this year, a 29-year-old kindergarten teacher died when “something went wrong” with an abortion of her unborn child. The woman was reportedly 33 weeks pregnant. And the doctor who performed this abortion, a full two months after the 24-week viability line, was the celebrated — and I do mean celebrated — Dr. Leroy Carhart. Dr. Carhart is the chap who bravely fought both the Nebraska and federal ban on “so-called” “partial birth abortion” — you have to use scare quotes you know. Carhart expanded his practice into Maryland a few years back in order to bring his specialty — killing babies well after the point that they could live separate from their mothers — to a larger, more diverse population than his old mid-west practice.  

No one in the mainstream media cried for that woman’s death. But a Washington Post columnist did write about the unspeakable invasion of privacy that befell the now-dead woman when pro-life activists expressed public concern about her passing: “The protesters are exploiting this woman’s death and making other women think that their privacy is never truly protected when they seek an abortion.” I guess fighting for the protections of HIPAA for the deceased victims of botched late-term abortions is truly keeping the eye on the ball. 

There’s very little difference between what Carhart does on a regular basis and what Kermit Gosnell stands on trial for. In one federal trial on the federal partial-birth-abortion ban, one abortionist testified (under a court-imposed cloak of anonymity) that his regular practice in late-term abortions was to decapitate a partially born child. So the horrors of what Jonah rightly called Gosnell’s “abattoir” should come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention.

As Kirsten Powers noted in her must-read USA Today column, whether Kermit Gosnell “was killing the infants one second after they left the womb instead of partially inside or completely inside the womb — as in a routine late-term abortion — is merely a matter of geography. That one is murder and the other is a legal procedure is morally irreconcilable.” And indeed, it should come as no surprise that moral “ethicists” have argued that if in utero abortion is legal, what on earth could possibly be wrong with “after-birth abortion?” Gosnell’s trial only exposes the callousness that goes along with this line of thinking.

Yet the Constitution is said by abortion apologists to protect this butchery. And while the pro-abortion industry appears embarrassed by the Gosnell trial, they’ve held Carhart up as their hero. Carhart was awarded the 2009 William K. Rashbaum, MD, Abortion Provider Award by Physicians for Reproductive Health — because there’s nothing like dying on the table to advance a woman’s health. Oh, and NARAL Pro-Choice America (which no longer stands for National Abortion Rights Action League, given that some people might think that name icky) gave him its Hero Award in the same year.  

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

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