Obligatory Kermit Gosnell post.

03 May 2013 02:24 pm
Posted by: Donna

Right wing pundits have been furiously peddling the myth that “no one was covering Kermit Gosnell!”. Irin Carmon of Salon explains how this is nonsense but I do feel compelled to produce a post about it from my little corner of the Vast Liberal Media. In case you’re not familiar with the case, Kermit Gosnell is a Philadelphia doctor (to use the term loosely) who ran a filthy and unsafe clinic where he performed many illegal abortions and caused the death of some of his patients. He’s a monster and he’s where he should be right now, on trial for murder.

Anti-choice activists are frantically working to draw attention away from how Gosnell’s clinic is the standard of care many women would face under an abortion ban. (It should be noted that despite abortion being legal, the women who went to Gosnell were poor and minority and and probably had no practical ability to access earlier, safer abortions due to lack of funds and barriers put in place by abortion opponents.) So the antis are conflating his terrible practices with all abortion providers everywhere in the hopes that you’ll forget that the line from abortion bans to dangerous illegal abortions is a direct one.

I first became aware of of how anti-choicers blur that line back in the late 90s when I was visiting my sister, who worked for a major cable news network, in DC. We were ambling around Georgetown and she brought up a human interest story her department was working on, about girls giving birth secretly in bathrooms and abandoning or possibly killing the infants. My sister asked what I thought of the theory that conservatives they interviewed had – that these crimes happened because legalized abortion somehow cheapened human life. I replied that since bans on abortion would likely lead to more babies in trashcans, not fewer, conservatives had no business claiming any kind of high ground on those tragedies. I was rather gobsmacked that people would were even trying to tie safe, legal abortion to infanticide and that people in the news industry were giving that kind of lunacy any serious consideration.

They’re applying the same bizarro logic to Gosnell, only the antis aren’t stopping at blaming legal abortion for one doctor’s depravity. Life Site News, which I read daily so you don’t have to, is really pushing the theme that contraception is the express train to Gosnell horror clinics.

Bishop Conley says it’s wrong to think contraception can reduce the number of abortions, and, in fact, a “culture of contraception cannot avoid becoming a ‘culture of death’ – in which some lives are seen not as gifts, but as burdens.”

“Research shows that contraception leads to riskier behavior, more unplanned pregnancies, and consequently, more abortion,” he writes. “When contraception fails – as it inevitably does – couples are tempted to eliminate the ‘unwanted’ life.”

“Kermit Gosnell looked at these ‘unwanted’ lives, and saw burdens placed upon women. He was more ruthless than most, in his efforts to eliminate these living ‘burdens,’” the bishop continues. “Most people do not share Gosnell’s ruthlessness. But many in our society seem to share his attitude: that human life is sometimes an inconvenient and unnecessary burden, rather than a sacred gift from God.”

Yep, these are the folks behind the laws allowing your boss not to cover birth control in health insurance plans. I think it’s a safe bet to assume they’re just getting warmed up with that.


  1. Comment by Elizabeth on May 3, 2013 3:12 pm

    Logic dictates that, generally, if you use birth control to decide when to have a baby, any babies you do have eventually are wanted and you are less likely to do things like harm the baby.

    If you do not, then yes, you would view the resulting child as a burden.

    I am aware this is not including situations like post postpartum psychosis and the times that birth control fails, but in general, a person who uses birth control is trying to ensure that baby is wanted baby.

  2. Comment by Suzanne on May 3, 2013 4:25 pm

    I think it is tragic that Gosnell was able to get away with horrid conditions for so long without proper oversight.

    I think it is just as tragic that Gov. Brewer has now said she will ax provisions to Planned Parenthood in an effort to pass Medicaid expansion. So while I believe it to be an incredibly unjust trade-off, I would support Dems who are not inclined to go along with the Center For Arizona Policy.

  3. Comment by Mike Slater on May 4, 2013 2:39 pm

    As a conservative I’m against the governor that I voted for when it comes to the expansion of Medicaid.

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