GosnellGate: It's the A-Word

Conor Friedersdorf has written an excellent article in the Atlantic on the extraordinary case of 72-year-old abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell titled, “Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story.”

For those who have missed it -- and given Friedersdorf’s title apparently many have -- Gosnell is a doctor who regularly performed late-term abortions that verged on, or really crossed the line into, infanticide in a veritable grand guignol of a mad abortionist meets Krafft-Ebing.

You can read the gruesome details in Friedersdof’s column, but here’s a taste:

Charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, Dr. Gosnell is now standing trial in a Philadelphia courtroom. An NBC affiliate's coverage includes testimony as grisly as you'd expect. "An unlicensed medical school graduate delivered graphic testimony about the chaos at a Philadelphia clinic where he helped perform late-term abortions," the channel reports. "Stephen Massof described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, 'literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.' He testified that at times, when women were given medicine to speed up their deliveries, 'it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.'"

Yes, there are photos, if you care to look at them.  I don’t.

Friedersdorf gets to the crux of his article at the end when he asks why our normally scandal-hungry mainstream media has not covered this repellent but obviously newsworthy story.  He suggests it may have something to do with the fact that Dr. Gosnell is African American and was, allegedly, discriminatory toward his patients of color, treating them even worse than his Caucasian patients (a distinction without a difference, perhaps, in this case, since everyone was treated some degree of horrifically).  He also mentions that several government agencies are possibly culpable here, having not exercised proper oversight over a medical clinic perpetrating flagrant butchery under the most unsanitary conditions for decades.

These explanations may have had some minor validity, I don’t know, but Friedersdorf touches only briefly on what I am almost certain is the real reason this story is being given short shrift.

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.