Gosnell trial exposes abortion's horrific downward spiral

Kermit Barron Gosnell in an undated mug shot from the Philadelphia Police Department (CNS/handout Philadelphia Police Department)

"This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy -- and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors," states a Pennsylvania grand jury report regarding the alleged procedures of Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

From his Philadelphia abortion mill euphemistically named "Women's Medical Society," the report states Gosnell performed late-term abortions with few questions asked. "Too young? No problem. Didn't want to wait? Gosnell provided same-day service," the report states.

"The real key to the business model, though, was this: Gosnell catered to the women who couldn't get abortions elsewhere -- because they were too pregnant.

"Most doctors won't perform late second-trimester abortions, from approximately the 20th week of pregnancy, because of the risks involved. ... But for Dr. Gosnell, they were an opportunity. The bigger the baby, the more he charged."

The mostly pro-abortion U.S. media have been downplaying this grisly story, afraid that the public's abhorrence for infanticide might cause people to begin to look at murderous abortion with the same abhorrence.

The grand jury also reflects this prejudice. At the beginning of its report, it writes: "Let us say right up front that we realize this case will be used by those on both sides of the abortion debate. We ourselves cover a spectrum of personal beliefs about the morality of abortion. For us as a criminal grand jury, however, the case is not about that controversy; it is about disregard of the law and disdain for the lives and health of mothers and infants."

Well, I hope at least those of us who respect the life and dignity of each and every human being -- from conception to natural death -- will not buy into this false dichotomy. The brutal inhumane murder of a baby outside the womb is substantially no different than the brutal inhumane murder of a baby inside the womb.

The humanity of the child in both cases is equal. The only significant difference is a legal one -- the location of the child. Inside the uterus, murderous abortion is legal in most industrialized nations. Outside the uterus, infanticide is illegal.

However, murdering children -- either inside or outside the womb -- is logically and morally horrific.

Almost everyone abhors the killing of a newborn baby. Yet millions of people are indifferent to the killing of an unborn baby. The adage "Out of sight, out of mind" helps explain this inconsistent way of thinking.

The sight of a newborn baby imprints an innocent, precious image of that tiny child in our minds and upon our hearts. And so, when we even hear that one of these little ones has been murdered, we react with horror and sadness.

To help appreciate the innocence and preciousness of the unborn, people need to see an unborn baby. Modern technology now provides us with 4-D ultrasound images of unborn babies. You can see some of these wonderful images on the Internet.

And the highly acclaimed PBS NOVA film "The Miracle of Life" presents astonishing cinematography of human development from conception to birth. Believe me, it's worth watching.

Then, after watching the miraculous development of human life in its first nine months, go to The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform to see the shocking, hideous truth of what abortion does to the miracle of life.

[Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings about the principles of Catholic social teaching. His email address is tmag@zoominternet.net.]

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