Kermit Gosnell and the abortion movement: In defense of the defenseless

Sarah L. Voisin / The Washington Post As abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial is in the hands of the jury, … Continued

Sarah L. Voisin / The Washington Post

As abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial is in the hands of the jury, abortion’s defenders are out in full force to spin and deflect the attention this trial has garnered from abortion in a broader sense.

Recently we wrote an On Faith column explaining how the horror of the Gosnell trial exposed the truth about abortion and the illogic of those who believe that what Gosnell is accused of doing to those infants after they were born would be perfectly acceptable if they were still in the womb.

The backlash from the pro-abortion side was swift. Numerous abortion supporters commented that Gosnell’s trial was about mere “medical malpractice,” not abortion or murder.

The fact is Gosnell is on trial for capital murder for the heinous slaying of four newborn infants, born alive after botched abortions. There is even testimony that 100 illegal late-term abortions were performed by Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” abortion clinic.

To call his actions mere “malpractice” is an insult to the newborns he is accused of slaughtering and a brazen assertion that abortion itself is the real victim. We believe that abortion rights activists are reeling because abortion has been exposed for what it is: the taking of innocent human life.

As a prominent liberal commentator admitted, “I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights.”

Yet, the moment the media blackout on the abortionist’s trial was lifted, even if only for a moment, pro-abortion advocates began doubling down on that same illogical refrain, searching for a resonating pro-abortion message in the wake of the Gosnell trial.

Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times editorial board echoed these sentiments as he attacked the thesis of our column. Taking a page from the playbook of many in the abortion movement, he argues that instead of exposing the way abortion destroys the lives of unborn children, the Gosnell trial proves the need for more abortion, to make it easier to obtain and cheaper. He even criticizes restrictions on federally-funded abortion, implying that they should be removed.

How would directly funding abortionists (including Gosnell) with our tax dollars have prevented the destruction of life? It wouldn’t.

To those abortion activists guided by the mantra “abortion on demand without apology,” the horror of Gosnell is not that he took these babies’ lives, but that he didn’t end their lives before they were born.

Rosenthal ignores the facts in an attempt to separate what Gosnell did from abortion as a whole. He asked, “What does the trial of a Philadelphia doctor who is accused of performing illegal late-term abortions by inducing labor and then killing viable fetuses have to do with the debate over legal abortion?”

“Fetuses”? By any definition, a fetus is an unborn child. Gosnell is on trial for murdering four newborn infants — babies born alive and then brutally killed.

To those like Rosenthal, Gosnell did something perfectly acceptable (abortion) in an illegal manner. It’s as if he were caught driving 65 mph in a 35 mph zone. To them, had he ended these same individuals’ lives a few weeks prior, in utero, it would have been perfectly acceptable.

Going even further, Planned Parenthood and other so called “abortion-rights” activists have long been pushing to change the law so that much of what Gosnell did would be absolutely legal.

In addition to the federal partial-birth abortion ban, at least 41 states prohibit late-term abortions, including Pennsylvania and New York after 24 weeks and at least eight states after 20 weeks.

Planned Parenthood opposed the federal partial-birth abortion ban, taking their fight all the way to the Supreme Court. It supports legislation in New York that would eradicate that state’s late-term abortion laws. In 2001, Planned Parenthood joined then-State Senator Obama in failing to work to protect babies born alive after botched abortions in Illinois. And until recently it opposed a similar bill in Florida.

How can we possibly trust that the very people who are attempting to end the life of a baby in utero would try to save the child’s life if they botched the abortion and the baby was born alive?

Now there are new reports of several abortionists caught on tape admitting they “would not help” a baby who survived an abortion. As reported in The Washington Post, undercover video shows abortionists and staff workers in D.C. and New York admitting they would
withhold lifesaving medical care
kill a baby born alive
as a result of a botched abortion. The reports indicate there are still more undercover videos to come of this Gosnell-type horror at abortion clinics.

Questioned by reporters following the pro-life group’s expos , one of the abortionists admitted his stance, “You let nature take its course.” In other words, he openly said that he would allow a baby to die on the abortion clinic table without providing the infant due care, then said he considered pro-life activists to be “terrorists.”

Amidst this renewed debate about abortion, President Obama spoke to the largest abortion provider in America. Obama told the organization that performs over 333,000 abortions and receives over $500 million in taxpayer subsidies annually, “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.” Just weeks after a lobbyist for the abortion giant said to a state legislature that the decision on whether to provide medical care to an infant born alive after a botched abortion should be left to the “patient and the health care provider,” President Obama pledged his unyielding support for the abortion industry: “Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow,” he told them.

As the bright light of truth shines on the abortion industry, the horror and illogic of abortion are being exposed, significantly disrupting the movement’s momentum. The truth about abortion –that it is the brutal taking of an innocent life in the name of ‘choice’–is plain to see. We must continue to speak out in defense of the defenseless, and to name the injustice that we witness.

This moment may just end up being abortion’s Waterloo.

Jordan Sekulow is executive director of the

American Center for Law and Justice

(ACLJ). Matthew Clark is an attorney at the ACLJ. Follow them on Twitter:




  • Comfort Texas

    I cannot imagine how a human being sleeps at night after cutting the spinal cord or in any way hurting an innocent baby, no matter what it is called (fetus, baby, group of cells etc). I pray butchers such as this will have their hearts changed, repent and join the human race again. The culture of death being promoted by Planned Parenthood must be stopped. Eugenics at it’s worse. I cannot think of a word in the English language disgusting enough to describe Planned Parenthood’s war on women.

  • Deborah Christensen

    God knows those precious babies. But, their blood cries out. I don’t understand how someone can make a living at destroying the lives of others. My prayer is that the jury will do the right thing.

  • Prayer Warrior

    Father in Heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ let Justice be done.!

  • C. Green

    An unborn baby is just that an unborn baby, not an “un-live” baby! I pray that the jury will do the right thing, “Guilty of Murder!”

  • Jackson123

    Those who still support this murderer because of their support for abortion have blood on their hands, regardless of whatever else they may use to justify their actions. This blood, like Abel’s blood, cries out against them and their families, their own houses. The Lord our God is gracious, He is long suffering, but he does not turn his face away for long from injustice, from the cries of the innocent.

    I pray that the people would repent, and turn back to him, and repent of their wicked thoughts and actions.

  • cricket44

    Equating Gosnell to all other abortion practices means that all anti-choice people can be equated to those who murder doctors in church in front of their loved ones.

    Good to know.

  • dcrswm

    And all catholics are pedophiles.

  • AZtoVA

    Please show your work. Glad to see the illogic and bias on full display, though. Usually people make these same comparisons in more sophisticated prose, expecting it to make sense.

  • patriot1

    To Cricket: HUH?

  • patriot1

    Someday Gosnell and others will face their Creator. They won’t have the Supreme Court, the ACLU, or anyone else to defend them. They will have to make an accounting of their lives.

  • cricket44

    I’m using the logic in most of the comments below and the fruitcake article above. i.e. there is none.

  • patriot1

    Typical liberal logic.

  • Stacey Bower

    Great article! Thanks, WP.

  • patriot1

    To dcrsm: I wish you could make your comment to my face! You are a bigot that probably paints everyone with a broad brush.

  • jarandeh

    Who in the HELL ‘supports’ Gosnell?



    Your statement is a strawman. Or maybe you are just a liar . . .

  • jarandeh

    Nothing fails like prayer!

  • jarandeh

    Nothing to see here, folks.

    Unless you enjoy Sekulow&Clark fappin’ away to a strawman.


  • dcrswm

    And you’d do what, illegally assault me because your simple mind can’t use word effectively?

  • dcrswm

    Why your god? Why not any of the other equally fictitious gods?

  • dcrswm

    Yeah but it makes you feel like you helped without actually having to do any thing productive….

  • dcrswm

    Remember, only a weak mind resorts to violence.

  • bobster5

    jarandeh: You seem to be the real strawman here. No argument, just complaining about everyone else. You seem to think that abortionists are all ethical and that murdering innocents is just fine.
    dcrswm: How do you know that praying is all Prayer Warrior does. Do you know this person? God helps those that help themselves as the saying goes. He also listens to prayer. Only weak minds claim to know that there is no God. The only way you would know that there is no God is to be omniscient, which it is obvious you are not.

  • Jackson123

    Please explain what the strawman is?

  • dcrswm

    First of all abortion is not murder. Abortion is legal and murder is the unlawful killing of a person. Furthermore claiming a god exists with a complete lack of evidence is no different than claiming unicorns exist….childish.

  • dcrswm

    Sorry if I offended your magical sky wizard.

  • Oldcontinent

    Hummm…., Descartes, You know, the french philosopher could help You in all your great assumptions! Good luck!

  • dcrswm

    What assumptions, all of the evidence says no god exists (or lack of evidence rather) it is the religious making assumptions.

  • cricket44

    They, and others, really do get off on the false piety, don’t they?

  • cricket44

    Patriot, it’s the faux “logic” in all the comments below. I get that you don’t like it but there it is.

    *Actual* logic leads to the reality that Gosnell is an aberration and his crimes are his to own and not relevant to anything else.

  • Oldcontinent

    Dcrswm, You got it wrong! It s not all catholics are pedophiles, it’s ” comunistas eat children for breakfast”.

  • kewake

    It is an article written under the section in the paper called “On Faith”. Why take the time to read it if its going to get you all irritated. You should find better ways to spend your time. Instead of here calling people names and putting down their faith. Got find your self some tolerance and move on.

  • cricket44

    There’s always the dim hope that people who actually live their faith might show up. Very dim, but one never knows.

  • kewake

    I live my faith every day. You just dont agree with my faith or understand it. And, if they did show up. What exactly would you do with that? You would just find something, anything wrong you possibly could to tear them apart. cricket, that is what you do. You live to tear other people down with your “logic”. It is very, very sad. You dont like this article, so you come here and start spewing venom everywhere and attack anyone who posts anything agreeing with it??? That is not logical, at all. You call this a “fruitcake article”. How is that not picking on the writers? And the people that agree with them? Big, bad bully is all you really are.

  • cricket44

    You claim to do so, yes, and then you are among the first to hurl invective at those who would disagree with you.

    In which testament is the Book of Malice?

    Lol, nice namecalling, as usual. How “Christian” of you.

  • kewake

    I do not. I always give people a chance. You come out with your dukes up, always. Is a sad angry life you live. I just cannot stand how you attack people here just because they believe in something you do not. You do not deserve tolerance if you cannot give it. Just stating facts.

  • kewake

    As soon as anyone says they do not agree with abortion, you do not like them and think they are not as logical as you. You will not give them even a chance to show the person they are. None, nadda, zip.

  • Mamaplanch

    You know, Gosnell is a patsy for the left. The left can play on Gosnell’s sociopathy to say, yes, he is an anomalie. In reality, the atrocities Gosnell committed aren’t in any way different than what is committed in abortion clinics across the nation, every day. Gosnell is the straw man. He is a distraction from what is really happening: that human beings are slaughtered every day, in and out of the womb. What is the difference? Gosnell just got sloppy about it. His arrogance allowed him to think that he was untouchable.

  • cricket44

    Okay, if someone comes up to you and demands you sacrifice an organ for them whether you want to or not, I’ll “tolerate” them for you. Feel better?

    “I always give people a chance” Goodness, you really believe that. Must be nice in that cocoon.

    Yes, I use fact. It’s a serious topic that, if respected, people *do* use fact. I’m under no obligation to let assumption, projection and hyperbole pass as intelligent argument.

    Shame that you feel I should. *shrug*

  • kewake

    I really think you have me confused with some others here. I dont always agree with the way people “preach” their faith. I am not preachy at all. But I will stand up for my faith and others who are being attacked for their own. So, again, this is an article written under “On Faith” in the paper. If you cannot respect it or find it non-intelligent, move on please. Why waist your time on such illogical people, right? Good day.

  • cricket44

    Inconvenient truth: Conservatives (‘right’) get abortions. So do anti-choice people, it’s just “different” when it’s their situation.

    “n reality, the atrocities Gosnell committed aren’t in any way different than what is committed in abortion clinics across the nation, every day.”

    That is a lie

  • Oldcontinent

    There again…, take your time and study, for instance descartes.

  • Mamaplanch

    I can name one case in particular, which is very chilling. Research Dr. William Waddell-Orange County doc in CA. He strangled a post abort baby over several attempts, in front of at least three witnesses-in order to secure the demise of the child. He’s still practicing, by the way, and this was thirty years ago. He was acquitted of murder, twice. There are countless other cases, and if you care to, you can research it yourself. The notable thing about Gosnell is that he was involved with the Mother’s Day Massacre-filmed live on PBS, where prior to Roe Vs Wade abortions were conducted on women utilizing the ‘coil’ method. Long story short, uteruses were shredded, all babies died, and it was an ugly incident. Gosnell was a young doctor then, but he got a pass, and women and babies have suffered as a result. The footage of this ‘event’ has been lost, by the way….

  • Mamaplanch

    Planned Parenthood and Gosnell have had a nearly 40 year love affair, and now his usefulness has expired.

  • cricket44

    So, according to some dubious sources, terrible things happened in 1972 and 1977 and, according to you, this happens “every day?”

  • Mamaplanch

    Delve into it yourself, and make an informed decision about abortion. If you research it thoroughly, you will find many corrupt doctors and clinics. Some are particularly more gruesome than others, but at the end of that, life is expendable, even in the clean ones. What Gosnell did outside the womb, isn’t different than what any abortionist does as he or she tears the child apart limb by limb, crushes the skull, and sucks out the ‘fetal remains’ with a high powered vacuum.

  • cricket44

    If there are no sources but anti- choice sites, there is nothing to your point. I will look for legitimate news. I’m aware of the facts of abortion, thanks, including the fact that the huge majority happen in the first 12-16 weeks…that’s not a child.

  • kewake

    there, again, you refuse to read anything unless it is written by people of your left minded mind. Totally selfish and closed minded. You have zero tolerance and no heart for humans. You WILL not listen to anything unless it agrees with your beliefs. That is something, there. Wow. Just wow.

  • Psalmriter

    Derswm is correct, as long as abortion is legal, it cannot be called murder, the proper term is “execution – The act or an instance of putting to death or being put to death as a lawful penalty.” So the unborn child faces the penalty of death for something his/her parents did, sanctioned by the law. Ironic, is it not? If the child survives the abortion attempt and then is killed, as in the Gosnell case, it becomes murder. Not a profession I would want. If you botch the abortion attempt can you be sued for malpractice? If you try to cover it up by killing the (obviously unwanted) child it is murder. If you just do nothing and the baby dies it’s negligent homicide, or at the very least, manslaughter.

  • cricket44

    The proper term is abortion. The termination of a pregnancy. No hyperbole necessary. We don’t force blood or organ donation to save the lives of actual people but you’re just fine with putting women at risk for the sake of a potential.

  • Valprina

    Why do all you atheist spend so much time reading these articles and the lambasting the truth? Why waste your time? Does it make you feel better? Get on with your life of disbelief. When you take your last breath here on earth don’t be surprised at the black hands of the welcoming devil when he takes you home!

  • lepidopteryx

    Sometimes it’s the pregnancy that puts the woman’s (or young girl’s) life at risk of destruction, and the best way to preserve the life of the woman (or young girl) is to terminate the pregnancy.

  • Standup!

    To all of you people who believe that an unborn child is “not a child”, and that it is “ok” to murder an innocent child. I believe there is a special place in HELL for all of you! Repent of all your sins and turn away from wickedness! The bible says that in the end days, men shall call good evil and evil good! Don’t be one of these people! Jesus is coming soon! I can’t wait!

  • jimwilson81

    Late term abortions should be and are rare. They should be the exception, not the rule. Planned Parenthood wants it as a rule and that is wrong. It should be illegal.

  • cricket44

    No, PP does not, Jim. Do not lie.

  • cricket44

    I can think of the word : Fiction.

  • JoeStrange

    So, basically, all of the doctors doing legal abortions in the 20-week states would be committing *murder* by performing the same act in a 24-week state.
    I guess the abortion-clinic bomber should have performed his actions in a state where it is *legal* to bomb abortion clinics…

  • jamesroussel

    In Germany Hitler put Jews in concertration camps and killed them. In America we kill babies in the safety of their mothers womb.

  • cricket44

    Yawn. Silly and incorrect. Congrats on your vasectomy. Or are you a total hypocrite, as well?

  • ThomasBaum


    Do you believe that Jesus took ALL of the sins of ALL upon Himself on the cross?

  • dcrswm

    Please explain how a legal abortion is murder…..

  • dcrswm

    What truth?

  • patriot1

    cricket: Speaking of yawn. You are getting boring and running out of material.

  • kewake

    Please explain how ending the life inside the womb is any different than ending it outside of the womb? The womb is meant to protect and nourish life. Taking the life of a defenseless human, no matter their location, is murder.

  • Theresa Easley

    It’s amusing how atheists see anything about abortion or religion and then they have to start attacking people because they are pro-life and not pro-abortion and/or they believe in God. It’s sad in their pathetic, meaningless lives that they have nothing better to do.

  • JoeStrange

    Since some states define *murder* at beyond ’20’ weeks, all of the 24 weeks abortionists are murderers in other states.
    Since ‘liberals’ influence the age at which the children can be murdered, it is tantamount to legalizing the *murder* of liberal/black babies in ‘some’ states.

  • JuneV26

    It’s just typical of the pro-abortion community to claim that Dr. Gosnell was on trial for medical malpractice-not for murder. It disgusts me to hear nonsense spewed out of the mouths of those who really have no clue as to what takes place during a typical abortion-not to mention what Dr. Gosnell did to defenseless babies! And to think we have a President , sitting in the Oval Office, that condones the killing of the innocents, really drives me up the wall! I’d like to see if any of these people were threatened with the same kind of torture these babies endured, for no reason, if they would like the same kind of treatment done to them! I don’t think so!!! The behaviors and attitudes of the liberal thought-less society, leaves one to wonder what kind of future will this country have, if all this keeps happening. We’ve seen in China, where they have sex-selection, that now they are short women to do the tasks that women do, and that there aren’t enough women around for men to marry. They’ve had to go outside the country to get women to marry and to work! There have been other problems as well! Let’s get back to reality and overturn Roe vs Wade NOW, before irreparable damage is done! I fear it’s too late already! Just look at what’s happening around the country with the crazy weather patterns! Wake Up, America, before it’s too late!