Why the Kermit Gosnell Murder Trial Doesn't Make Me Oppose Legal Abortion


In the past few days, some of my most conservative friends on Facebook have been ranting about the trial of Kermit Gosnell. Questioning why the case isn't being covered by the mainstream media. Wondering why more people aren't aware of who he is, what he is charged with, and all that.

I completely agree that the case needs more coverage, but I refuse to use this case as some argument against abortion in general. In fact, more than anything, it's an argument for accessible, safe, legal abortion.

Image Credit: ABC News

I have received a few requests from people to write about this, and while I realize that those requests are really just thinly veiled baiting attempts to try and stir the pot of abortion, I'm choosing to write about it anyway. Because it's my blog and I can.

As anyone who's read anything I have written for any length of time could tell you, I'm a liberal. Specifically, I am a liberal of the flaming, bleeding heart variety, or so I've been called on numerous occasions.

I am pro choice and have written about abortion many times in the past. I've written about the countless restrictions that have been placed on it around the nation in the last few years. I've written about the underhanded techniques employed to shut down clinics. I've written about the laws that make it difficult to obtain the earliest abortions. I've written about the state laws mandating providers have privileges at hospitals to administer abortions, and how every hospital denied those privileges.

Abortion is a contentious topic in this country. It always has been. It's also supposed to be settled law. And yet it isn't.

Some states seem determined to end it all together.

What they don't seem to realize is that whether abortion is legal or not, women will still have them. For as long as there have been unintended pregnancies, there have been terminations. In every time period of humanity, in every corner of the world, in every income level, age group and social status, women have had abortions. Erecting barriers to legal, safe abortions doesn't make them go away. It just forces them into back alleys and endangers the lives of women.

It forces them to see men like Kermit Gosnell in dirty clinics, to hand over whatever cash people like him demand.  It puts them at risk for diseases, for complications, for death.

The women who saw Gosnell, at least from the interviews I have seen, went there because Planned Parenthood was always loaded with protesters.  His clinic flew under the radar, and he would bend the rules if he had to in order to "take care of things".

What these women walked into was something out of a nightmare. Bloody chairs, contaminated and disease ridden used instruments. Most of them were heavily drugged so they weren't fully aware of what was happening. Some were there not voluntarily, but dragged there by family members.

He performed thousands of abortions a year, always received payment in cash. His employees weren't licensed in any field to perform the procedures they did. He fudged gestational ages to circumvent state law that cut off abortions at 24 weeks. Many of his patients ended up in emergency rooms with retained partial fetuses, with perforations, with infections. Some contracted diseases from the contaminated instruments. Some needed hysterectomies. Some died.

He's on trial for the death of one of those patients.  He's also on trial for the murder of 7 newborns.  It's alleged that he would deliver the babies at whatever gestational age they actually were, the 7 in the case all alleged to be well past the point of viability.  Born alive, he cut their spinal cords with scissors to


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