The Horror of Gosnell

I have seen Twitter exploding over this for the last two days, and to be honest I had no idea what the hell it was about, other than it had something to do with abortion. In case you’re in the same boat as me, here are some links to get you started. Because while this is very, very disturbing stuff involving extreme medical malfeasance, abortion, and infanticide, if you can handle reading about it you should.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell ran a “clinic” (I use the scare quotes on purpose) where mostly low-income women went for late-term abortions. PZ Myers summarizes the retch-inducing details here. The full grand jury report here, not for the faint of stomach.

I’ve already seen it used several times as an argument for regulating abortion even more or making it illegal. On the contrary, I’d say it makes even more of a case for keeping abortion legal, and points to the hideous inequalities in healthcare faced by poor women.

Gosnell is (allegedly) a criminal. He’s on trial because what he (allegedly) did broke the law. Part of why he remained free for so long was because his victims were afraid to report due to their own part in these illegal late-term abortions. (So yeah, making more abortion illegal will surely put a stop to that problem.) But moreso, it was a hideous failure of the government that he was not stopped sooner. Hell, the only reason he was caught was because he was illegally prescribing drugs, not because he was destroying the health and lives of the women who resorted to his “care.”

Gosnell is the one on trial here, but the terrible inequalities that put these women in such an untenable position and the utter negligence of the government were what made his so-called “clinic” possible.

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