Let’s take a closer look at that “women’s health” shibboleth, one of the things the murderous Left hides behind in its effort to sanitize the ugly truth of what it’s doing behind closed doors. From the grand jury report:
The “Women’s Medical Society.” That was the impressive-sounding name of the clinic operated in West Philadelphia, at 38th and Lancaster, by Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D. Gosnell seemed impressive as well. A child of the neighborhood, Gosnell spent almost four decades running this clinic, giving back – so it appeared – to the community in which he continued to live and work.
But the truth was something very different, and evident to anyone who stepped inside. The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment – such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff – was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house.
But what else could it be? David Harsanyi makes a good point.
If you’re the kind of guy whose idea of a “botched” medical procedure involves someone surviving, well, perhaps being charged with murder is a distinction without much of a difference. What distinguishes a late-term abortionist from an abortionist who uses scissors to sever the spinal cords of babies born alive is little more than a matter of tools and technique. The results, and the facts, are the same.
And all this was done, mind you, with the complete if tacit approval of the Pennsylvania authorities, who feared what they might find there and so failed to exercise even rudimentary regulatory control over the Charnel House of Harry Blackmun, the weak-minded Supreme Court justice who traveled from right to left, thus growing in office, and who gave us Roe. Naturally, Blackmun attended Harvard Law, which gave him this sendoff in 1999.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun ’32 died March 4 at age 90. Appointed to the Court in 1970 by President Nixon, he retired in 1994 after a 24-year career on the Court marked by a movement from moderate conservatism to outspoken liberalism. A 1932 graduate of HLS, Justice Blackmun returned to the School on many occasions, for the Centennial Celebration, to receive the HLSA Award, to deliver the Class Day speech, and to speak to students at HLS’s Saturday School.
Numerous Harvard Law School graduates had the honor of clerking for the Justice. Among them is Penda Hair ’78 – founding principal and codirector of The Advancement Project, a public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles – who served as a Blackmun clerk for the 1979-80 term. The Bulletin asked Hair to comment on the Justice’s legacy.
Justice Harry A. Blackmun will go down in history as the author of Roe v. Wade, but his contribution is much greater than that one seminal decision. Justice Blackmun’s life on and off the Court reflects a deep passion for protecting the disadvantaged and oppressed. Two hallmarks of his work are compassion for the real people involved in constitutional disputes and his eloquence of expression.
If that’s what Harvard calls “protecting the disadvantaged and oppressed” — and, by the way, does everybody from Harvard toss around Marxist jargon like a 1950s Pravda editorial writer? — then no wonder we’re in such trouble. Thanks, Harry, for making Gosnell possible, and rest assured that the evil you did in your lifetime lives on — and keeps killing.
My friend and PJ colleague Roger Simon puts his finger on just what it is that makes the Gosnell story so touchy to the left:
The trial of Dr. Gosnell is a potential time bomb exploding in the conventional liberal narrative on abortion itself. This is about the A-word.
No feeling human being can read this story or watch it on TV without being confronted with the obvious conclusion — like it or not — that abortion is murder.
It may be murder with extenuating circumstances (rape, survival of the mother, etc.) but it is murder nonetheless. Dr. Gosnell — monster though he is — has accidentally shoved that uncomfortable truth in our faces.
Pushing this case front and center in the media would change the national narrative on this subject.
And so, perhaps, it has. The left is right to fear that a Gosnell conviction — almost certain, given the evidence — really is the slippery slope toward rolling back Roe, and that once the American people fully understand the horror Blackmun unleashed, they will recoil like Alec Guinness at the end of The Bridge On the River Kwai, and exclaim, “What have I done?” They know, far better than we, that once they lose The Narrative, they’ve lost everything.