The Corner

The Unmourned

In 2011, I wrote about mass murder at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion “clinic”:

From the Office of the District Attorney in Philadelphia:

Viable babies were born*. Gosnell killed them by plunging scissors into their spinal cords. He taught his staff to do the same.

This is a remarkable moment in American life: A man is killing actual living, gurgling, bouncing babies on an industrial scale – and it barely makes the papers. Had he plunged his scissors into the spinal cord of a Democrat politician in Arizona, then The New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC and everyone else would be linking it to Sarah Palin’s uncivil call for dramatic cuts in government spending. But “Doctor” Kermit Gosnell’s mound of corpses is apparently entirely unconnected to the broader culture.

And so it goes two years on, at “Doctor” Gosnell’s trial:

Medical assistant Adrienne Moton admitted Tuesday that she had cut the necks of at least 10 babies after they were delivered, as Gosnell had instructed her. Gosnell and another employee regularly “snipped” the spines “to ensure fetal demise,” she said.

Moton sobbed as she recalled taking a cellphone photograph of one baby because he was bigger than any she had seen aborted before. She measured the fetus at nearly 30 weeks, and thought he could have survived, given his size and pinkish color. Gosnell later joked that the baby was so big he could have walked to the bus stop, she said.

Funny!

Notwithstanding Dr. Gosnell’s jest, and the fact that newborns delivered alive are generally regarded as “babies,” the New York Times’ only story on the case is punctilious enough to refer to Gosnell’s victims as “viable fetuses,” and its early paragraphs emphasize the defense’s wearily predictable line that this is a “racist prosecution.” Instead of my Arizona comparison, what about Sandy Hook? One solitary act of mass infanticide by a mentally-ill loner calls into question the constitutional right to guns, but a sustained conveyor belt of infanticide by an entire cadre of cold-blooded killers apparently has no implications for the constitutional right to abortion. As one commentator wondered two years ago:

Does 30 years of calling babies “blobs of tissue” have no effect on the culture?

For the answer, consider the testimony of “Nurse” Moton — and the clarification by AP writer Maryclaire Dale:

She once had to kill a baby delivered in a toilet, cutting its neck with scissors, she said. Asked if she knew that was wrong, she said, “At first I didn’t.”

Abortions are typically performed in utero.

“Typically.” So, finding oneself called on to “abort” a “viable fetus” in a toilet with a pair of scissors, who wouldn’t be confused as to whether it’s “wrong” or merely marginally atypical?

Gosnell’s murderous regime in Philadelphia reflects on him. The case’s all but total absence from the public discourse reflects on America:

It’s time for the lukewarm to get over whatever prejudices are keeping them from getting on the right side of this issue, for the good of the victims of this ghastly culture, and for their own good as well.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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