Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Archishop Chaput and the Gosnell Trial

An excellent article by our Archbishop -- if you would like to see the comments or add one, you can go to the original article here.

I have not been able to really write about Gosnell, perhaps because I didn't feel I had anything to add to what was already being said, but when I read this piece, it resonated.  Highlights are mine. 

The Gosnell story and its lessons

Some stories, no matter how unsettling, just can’t be ignored — even when some people are determined to look away.
The murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell will soon go to jury. And like every other criminally accused person under the law, Gosnell is innocent until proven guilty. Whatever the verdict though, there’s no ambiguity about the kind of business he ran at his West Philadelphia “Women’s Medical Center” ­— an abortion clinic that critics have likened to a meatpacking plant or a butcher shop, with unborn children delivered into a toilet, and jars of fetal body parts stored around the facility.
Dr. Gosnell was originally charged with one count of infanticide and five counts of “abuse of corpse” for killing fetuses born alive by plunging scissors into their necks. Without explanation, the judge in the case accepted a motion to acquit Gosnell of these charges earlier this week. Gosnell still faces four counts of first-degree and one count of third-degree murder. Eight of his coworkers have already pleaded guilty in the case, including three to third-degree murder.
Or so said The New York Times in a report dated April 23.  The date is important.  Gosnell’s trial began March 18, more than a month ago.  The Times coverage, while modest, is significant.  Why?  The answer is simple.  The Inquirer – Philadelphia’s hometown paper – has done a good job following the trial.  But most prestige national media have seemed remarkably eager to ignore the story until shamed into covering it.
Gosnell is much more than a “local” story. The continuing debate over legalized abortion is a hot-button national issue that drew half a million pro-life demonstrators to Washington in January. The battle over abortion restrictions continues in every state. Forty years after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, resistance to permissive abortion remains high. And the vivid details of the Gosnell clinic tragedy have the kind of salacious appeal that few national media would normally avoid — if the issue were anything else. But abortion is too often, and in too many news rooms, exactly the kind of topic that brings on a sudden case of snow blindness.
The real story in the Gosnell trial is bigger than the ugly allegations against Gosnell himself; it includes the failure — the allergic disinterest — of some of our most important national media. A headline in The Atlantic magazine, April 12, states the obvious: “Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story: The dead babies. The exploited women. The racism. The numerous governmental failures. It is thoroughly newsworthy.”
The Atlantic story by Conor Friedersdorf is worth reading. But don’t stop there.  Read this by Kirsten Powers, columnist for The Daily Beast, in USA Today. And these excellent analyses by journalists Terry Mattingly, Mollie Hemingway and George Conger.
The irony is that much of the media’s lethargy in covering the Gosnell case really doesn’t surprise. It’s part of the fabric of a culture that simply will not see what it doesn’t want to see about the realities of abortion. And it leads to the kind of implausible claim made recently by one local commentator that “no sense of guilt is warranted” by the media because “there is no causal connection between coverage of [the Gosnell] case and bias.” It’s hard to imagine a more untenable alibi.
The brutality in abortion is intimate, personal and permanent. It violates women, and it kills a developing human life every time — whether the venue is a “Women’s Medical Center”-style meat factory or a soothing suburban clinic. What makes the Gosnell story unique is that it should distress anyone with its details, pro-choice or pro-life, regardless of religion or politics.
But of course, people need to know about an evil before they can do anything about it.


Well put. The unwillingness to see the realities of abortion, Gosnell-Style or otherwise, has the same overtones as the Holocaust. And there are STILL those that deny that.

I am certain the media and abortion supporters are terrified people will realize that ALL abortion has the same result, no matter how it is carried out. They don't want the collective light bulb to go on. They want it kept in the shadows (to them) where it belongs.

The Gosnell trial is in closing arguments. Apparently he is laughing his way through it. Father Frank Pavone, of  Priests for Life is attempting to talk with Gosnell, once the trial is over. He is also requesting the remains of the babies to give them proper funeral and burial.

Here is a note from Father Frank's newsletter:

please spread the word that this Sunday, May 5, Fox News Channel will air a one-hour documentary about Gosnell at 9pm ET. This is a key opportunity to pull aside the veil from the violence of what goes on in abortion clinics all over the nation.
*FOX has changed the air date to this Friday, May 3 at 9:00pm

We’ve created a Facebook event for this. See Facebook.com/events/564620810244408/.

Lastly, here is a prayer Father Frank is asking us to pray and share:

Prayer in Response to the Gosnell Tragedy

Lord of Life and Mercy,
You love all you have created,
And call us to protect The lives and rights of our brothers and sisters.

You care for the unborn
And you forgive the repentant sinner.

Lord, we turn to you
With astonishment and sorrow
As our nation learns the tragic story
Of abortionist Kermit Gosnell and those he killed.

Have mercy on him
And have mercy on all of us.
Pour out the spirit of repentance on all people,
That we may face the evil that has been done
And cry out against it.

Bless all involved in our legal system,
That they may secure justice under your guidance.
Convert all in the abortion industry
That they may cease their violence against women and children.
Embolden all in public office
That they may take the steps necessary
To protect the public they have promised to serve.

And give us all the grace to proclaim, celebrate and serve
The Gospel of Life,
Which is your Son, Jesus Christ,
Who is Lord forever and ever. Amen


  1. Thabnk God Gosnell and the abortion industry were exposed and brought to the forefront of social consciousness. And yet Obama went to Planned Parenthood and lauded them and even had the audacity to bless them with a "God bless you." Did you see my blog on J's cafe on that? I know we in pro-life have been making headway, but I have to admit I don't think the Gosnell trial will change much. Maybe a little while it stays in the news but people will forget. I have been under such a pesimistic cloud the last few days. I don't know why.

  2. Sorry, Manny, I haven't had two minutes in a row, so I haven't been keeping up with reading my usual blogs.
    I did hear about Obama and the PP speech on the news. I am no longer surprised when he does things like that. He is being less careful this term. I am only ever surprised when he occasionally says something sensible. Broken clock twice a day type thing.
    I hope to get back to my blog reading soon!
    Keep your chin up! Christ has already won! We are living in tough times, but He is with us.