A Human Rights Tragedy
of Epic Proportions
I might have been one of the few people who read about Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic in Philadelphia after it was raided by the FBI back in 2010. But the fact that I’m aware of the current prosecution is because my friends have made an award-winning short documentary about the case, 3801 Lancaster (a reference to the clinic address), and the “house of horrors” that masqueraded as a women’s clinic. It was an abortion clinic, one of the most gruesome places of medical practice you can imagine: filthy, unsafe equipment; unlicensed and underage (15!) practitioners; broken and rusty equipment; murders of babies born alive; and a bizarre collection of fetal parts preserved in jars and other containers. The grand jury report is sickening to read, not only because of Gosnell’s actions but also because of the complete lack of regulatory oversight.
Just recently, the mainstream media finally gave the Gosnell murder trial some attention. Kirsten Powers wrote about it for USA Today, chastising her fellow journalists for ignoring the story. She wrote: “Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell’s former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart. … You don’t have to oppose abortion rights to find late-term abortion abhorrent or to find the Gosnell trial eminently newsworthy. This is not about being ‘pro-choice’ or ‘pro-life.’ It’s about basic human rights.”
Then The Atlantic magazine picked up on it, noting the grand jury’s report that said, “We think the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion.” Others soon joined in, from Slate (which actually had published an earlier piece in 2011) to Anderson Cooper and CNN (with David Altrogge, the director of 3801 Lancaster, as one of the guests). One media outlet that has consistently covered the story has been the Philadelphia Inquirer. Their extensive library of articles can be accessed in their Gosnell collection.
Gosnell kept no records so it’s hard to know how many lives were taken at his clinic. But it’s a visible reminder of one of the biggest human rights violations in our generation–from the innocent babies who were killed, to the women who were subjected to the worst kind of “back alley abortions” in an era of “safe and legal” abortions, to the flagrant violations of basic medical standards and patient safety. It’s been said that a nail salon has more regulation than this clinic.
Pray that justice is done in this matter. Pray that Gosnell repents. Pray for the women who were treated there. Pray for our media that didn’t think there was a story here worth covering for so long. Pray for this divisive political topic to be subject to reasonable discourse. Pray for an end to abortion.
Read the original post and/or comment at Carolyn McCulley’s blog.
Carolyn is the author of two books, Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World (Moody Publishers, 2008) and Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred (Crossway, 2004). Carolyn is also a contributor to Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor (Crossway, 2005), as well as to other webzines and publications. She is a frequent conference speaker for women’s ministry events and also maintains a blog, Radical Womanhood.