Current Trends 

Abortion doctor murdering babies after exiting the womb, running filthy clinic spreading disease and killing at least one woman, a doctor reported to have said one late term aborted baby was so big it could “walk me home.” So why isn’t it getting the same media attention as say, Jodi Arias; why do few people in America know what is happening, why don’t people know what he is being charged with, why aren’t people alerted to the existence of such back alley places? At first it was getting coverage by Fox News, labeled right wing media, because none of the networks would cover it, the former said because of the left wing, liberal pro-choice agenda, initially blaming pro-choice officials in Philadelphia for letting the Gosnell house of horrors continue as long as it did. Then it was getting coverage from cable news outlets, like CNN, for the sheer brutality and grizzly nature of what transpired in this supposed women’s clinic resulting in the murder of 7 babies and one mother; details revealing these are the charges that could be supported by scientific, likely DNA evidence, witness testimony; his own lawyer described as having a hard time defending him. He is suspected of many more, only serving to inflame the abortion debate nationally. And as the case is now awaiting jury verdict, lawmakers across the country are putting forth legislation to prevent anything like what transpired there; unfortunately in their race to save infant life, to continue the cause to end atrocities like the ones perpetrated by Gosnell, largely conservative congressional members are regulating the wrong things resulting in the shutdown of legal abortion facilities that follow the legal and medical guidelines while grabbing media attention to further push toward their ultimate goal of overturning Roe V. Wade, many feel to the detriment of society.

However this case isn’t about media bios, a politically motivated, pro-choice media conspiracy, it is a case of gross medical malpractice; it is the case of a medical doctor performing abortions who was eventually arrested for drug trafficking. At which point was discovered an unsafe, unsanitary medical clinic forcing investigators to enter in hazmat suites; upon entering they found aborted fetuses in a freezer, medical equipment later linked to transmitting venereal disease, blood stained blankets, an abhorred stench, fetal body parts collected in jars. In depth follow up interviews with staff revealed untrained workers performing procedures, sedating patients, a doctor who allowed women to choose their level of pain medication based on how much money they had, supposedly done so he could pay out settlements in numerous lawsuits brought by women having been treated by him, eye witnesses to babies left alive, moving, breathing after the procedure. It is about multiple oversight checks and balances failing, not just one or a handful of pro-choice officials refusing to inspect a neighborhood clinic, including hospitals who received some of Kermit Gosnell’s patients after botched treatment but never reported incidents, findings to police or health department personnel. Whatever your feelings on late term abortion, sensationally called partial birth abortion; this man’s methodology was illegal period. Aside from a blanket federal ban on said controversial type of abortion, he is subsequently being charged with 200 plus counts of violating his state’s 24 hour waiting period law along with multiple counts of murder. These are the facts of the case, and if the allegations of lawsuits, the insurance claim filed on behalf of an additional woman than the one he stands accused of murdering, are true, coupled with the crude comment attributed to him in the opening paragraph, then here is an example of a man, a doctor who should have lost his medical license long before the world ever had a chance to know his name, regardless of when or not it hit the news. The question next becomes how did this happen; instead everyone is focusing on why the media wouldn’t cover it, the shameless seconds of coverage given to it as opposed to other trials, police investigations that seem to be more about sensationalism and ratings than presenting the average citizen with news.

Neither is this about an abortion debate, should it be legal, should it be banned, the horrors that come to pass when abortion is allowed in a country, when we have “a president who supports abortion on demand,” better phased as insurance coverage for all reproductive services including abortion no matter the religious affiliations, opinions of your school, employer, hospital, independent of what a mouthful it happens to be. Take abortion out of the equation and you still have an instance of a butchering doctor left completely unsupervised to harm the unsuspecting public, which is sadly not new or news. From unlicensed to unscrupulous plastic surgeons using kitchen spatulas to bad Botox or the number of botched general surgery errors leaving utensils in patients, amputating the wrong limb, resulting in death, infection disease; needless to say emotions run higher when said incidents revolve around clearly murdered babies and vulnerable women. Even worse in some ways than a liberal conspiracy centering on abortion, there is a strong possibility the lack of inspection, the lack of regulation can be traced, not to a pro-choice anything, but more clearly to racial and urban blight indifference, city officials all too willing to adopt the attitude who cares about those people, forget that neighborhood, considering said area is primarily black and/or low income. Furthering the idea focus should be on the abominable circumstances of medical negligence, incompetence and absolute violation of medical ethics, rather than another catalyst to ban abortion, is the interview in the video above; not only was the foot of this teen girl’s child found in a jar suspended in a formaldehyde like substance for no apparent reason other than a desire to have it, not only does her testimony of waking up  during the procedure due to profuse vomiting match other women’s testimony of the squalid conditions exposed via the documentary 3801 Lancaster, describing appearances, practices at Gosnell’s clinic, not only does it line up with a woman’s story given to CNN where someone actually counseled her “women in Brazil have up to 21 abortions,” leading her to return there up to 8 times to abort unwanted pregnancies, it highlights complicity by outside entities, aside from politicians; it underscores untrained, amoral staff found working in and outside Gosnell’s clinic. During the aforementioned video the young girl describes telling her mother then going to a legitimate abortion facility which told her she was 19 weeks along and that was too far into her pregnancy for them to do the procedure; however, before leaving the legally operated institution she was given a pamphlet at the bottom of which was hand written Gosnell’s name and location. She reports being told she could go to the above place and have the abortion performed no problem; in actuality she was 20-21 weeks upon going to medical facility one and an estimated 23 weeks when Gosnell aborted her fetus. According to the Blaze report accompanying the video had the young woman known how far along she really was, she would have chosen adoption.  So added to hospitals utterly remiss in reporting injured clients and using common sense to trace infection, illness to an unsafe clinic; we have proper medical establishments’ personnel funneling patients they can’t legally take to a substandard and dangerous medical operation. Whether this is because they hold negative views of patients, who come in looking to have an abortion, have strong feelings about poor, seemingly uneducated ethnicities, immigrants who walk through their doors or genuinely believe themselves to be helping these women, society by giving them another means, resulting in less poor, impoverished unwanted children remains to be seen, but it is not uncommon for healthcare workers to harbor any of the listed sentiments after being exposed to certain social realities.       

Confronting media’s role in the trial, discovery of what could surely be called Philadelphia’s shame in the form of letting places such as Gosnell’s operate for so long, reality is CBS did cover known material when the story broke in 2011; one can reasonably assume it took two solid years to gather evidence considering the trial was held beginning of 2013 and is still in jury deliberation, gag orders where placed on the lawyers and not lifted until weeks into trial, print sources have sporadically covered it throughout that time . Concurrently entities like Fox News speak about the gruesome nature of trial details, of what this doctor did in his practice, they forget much of those details are probably too graphic for network news; it was covered by CNN once and even there it necessitated a content warning. Challenging the accusation mainstream media refused to report on such a volatile issue impacting purely innocent life taken, outside there being a realistic change too much coverage could bring back the abortion clinic bombings of the ‘90’s, thus presenting a serious safety risk to millions of American women utilizing their local women’s clinic for preventive health services and screenings, not abortion, lies the unvarnished truth there were other things to cover at the start of the Gosnell trial and a two year period where nothing was happening in the Gosnell case. Medical headlines during the trial alone included, the dentist caught possibly exposing clients to hepatitis C and HIV, warnings about popular sleep drugs, drug shortages for cancer patients and the compact pharmacy scandal infecting potential patients with meningitis where just two from 2012 preceding the trial; relatedly came the food recalls, the arsenic in apple juice finding. What network media chose to air is telling as well; above are things potentially effecting everyone in the population, because everyone sees a dentist, millions suffer from back pain, get treatment via shots and other medications administered through a doctor’s office that come from a compounding pharmacy, nearly 13 million diagnosed with cancer and 60 million prescriptions for sleep medication yearly. Everyone, indicative of the majority in this context, does not use, frequent, want the services of an abortion clinic; removing the segment of the population that is male and has no need for aforementioned service from the argument, women may also get their birth control, preventative screenings via their primary care physician bypassing a women’s clinic that also performs abortions.  Moving away from health, there were again no shortage of headlines to fill network news’ half hour segments daily, the shooting in Newtown, the Lone Star College stabbing, the thwarted school shooting where a roommate saw a student with a gun and called 911, the terror attack at the Boston marathon, continuing developments in Syria, Israel, Iran, US military deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, oh and segments like On the Road, Making a Difference, Person of the Week, Instant Index giving positive, inspirational news that keeps viewers and lets people see a little good in the world. Compounding the lack of national coverage is the extensive local coverage in the state of Philadelphia and the community where this happened, the persons who have the most need to know what is going on; spotlighting a region that obviously needs to seriously look at policy and crackdown in several areas on officials, various personnel not doing their jobs.

Making the case not to follow the Gosnell investigation, trial as closely as other high profile investigations, eventual verdicts could be networks’ choice to emphasize the malpractice portion, not the hot button abortion section this unfolding story, it could be a lack of ability to air content details owing to their extremely graphic nature. Similarly the facts are fairly cut and dry; this man is going to be convicted on at least one of the charges, he is going to go to jail, it is just a matter of how long, he has yet to even be tried for alleged drug trafficking, sure to bring more time behind bars, and he will somewhere down the line lose his medical license, hopefully nationally, leaving very few questions apart from how it was not discovered sooner. Contrastingly Jodi Arias provided a multitude of unanswered questions, intrigue, a dubious defense, cameras allowed in the courtroom give the American public endless trial theater; to be noted it was HLN, True TV, not the networks providing daily coverage, commentary of the Jodi Arias trial. The 10 part series done by Good Morning America was due in part to the shortness of the segments vs. overall content of the show, examining the battered woman aspect, the temporary mental illness factor, the contrary could she be simply a jealous, unstable girlfriend? Cameras likewise are not allowed in the Gosnell trial limiting details and footage that can be gathered, not to mention usable content accounting for subject matter, making it that much more difficult to report on considering the visual age we live in; additionally, responsible media coverage is not turning it into another Jodi Arias, which would have garnered flack for any media outlet purported as shamelessly sensationalizing the murder of babies, responsible media coverage is not perpetuating further death via violence visited on above board abortion providers and their clients. Already there is a sense pro-life supporters are using Gosnell as an excuse to ban abortion outright, refusing to see a difference between legally done, properly medically adhered to guidelines and performed abortions standing beside the Dr. Megele-esque facility which Gosnell was in charge of. Nor was this ever about abortion clinics, doctors getting a pass from the media or from government over all, but rather perhaps from specific officials; however, again that coming down, not to liberal, pro-choice evil, but not caring about marginalized portions of society, those who do not live by their exact same moral code, a lack of compassion for people who make mistakes and need help, feelings that transcend abortion.     

Unfortunately abortion rights moving forward are evermore in jeopardy because Gosnell fueled regulations are on obtuse things like room size rather than seeing existing statutes are followed; a chief concern about Gosnell influenced legislation centers around so tightly regulating abortion clinics that many legal facilities, following the rules, not agreeing to late term, in many places outlawed, abortions are being closed down, pushing people to back alley clinics like the one Gosnell ran for far too long. Experts also blame lack of universal healthcare, inability of immigrants, undocumented workers to get care, easily added into that, fear of discovery by immigration officials and deportation if they seek legitimate medical care, the marginalization of abortion by mainstream medicine, helped not at all by conservative politicians attempting to pass bill on top of bill preventing abortions before Gosnell ever came to light, hints MSNBC’s continuous coverage of various pieces of state legislation trying to be pushed through local congressional districts and silence pertaining to this particular medical negligence case. Angle and end goal too differ for MSNBC; a step beyond reporting primarily political news, their ongoing monitoring concerning developments surrounding the upholding of Roe V. Wade zeroes in on likewise upholding the will of the people, who voted overwhelmingly abortion should be legal at the very least in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother. Repeatedly showcased in program segments by various personalities possessing their own show are republicans, tea party members, conservatives elected to public office, remaining in public office who still insist on bringing up heartbeat bills and accompanying statutes for prime consideration that amount to overturning the national ruling in their state, more than just a violation of federal law but proving a larger point about tone deaf legislators refusing to drop issues voters have decided while ignoring key things on voter’s minds. Ironic really since those same conservatives are the champions of abstinence only sex education virtually ensuring we have more young women like the one speaking out about her experience, are the first to cut welfare and tell people to work for a living, no matter how many of these people are children with parents who do work and still qualify for assistance politicians call welfare when in actuality it’s food stamps, housing assistance WIC (women infants and children), and the children are who they shortchange.  Fact is should Gosnell have the wrong impact, should conservatives get their way and ever overturn abortion’s legality clinics like his will be the norm, the standard not the aberration. Baring that extreme, we could quickly become Ireland where a woman made headlines when she died of blood poisoning following the catholic hospital there’s refusal to abort her already miscarrying fetus; worse, they had determined days beforehand the child was no longer viable, they could do nothing to save it poignantly ignoring pleas from the husband, noting her religion as Hindu asking why she then had to be subject to catholic doctrine? One can assume A- this couple was unaware of hospital policy, she was too sick to transport to a different hospital for the procedure by that time or this is medical policy throughout that country, all amounting to the needless death of a person.  

We should be discussing the Gosnell case nationally, we should be looking at what Gosnell can teach us, the lessons to be learned to better our healthcare system in providing all services to all people the right, legal way, but not at the expense of a resurgence in abortion bombings, further loss of life caused by same. But not at the expense of preserving abortion rights to save the life of a mother, not at the expense of saving a teenage girl similar to the one interviewed only unlucky enough to be born into a culture that allows honor killings, actions that will be attempted on U.S. soil by her immigrant family should she come home pregnant, at the expense of saving teenage girls born to down home, heartland values parents who will explode, start a fight and the girl and/or her unborn baby die as a result of her falling down the stairs during a shouting match, those same “wholesome,” upstanding parents who will turn their teen daughter out into the street, beat her eventually resulting in death for daring to fornicate with a boy, for daring to shame/embarrass them in such a way, hints the necessity for no parental consent on teenage abortions enacted in some parts of the country. We should be following the Gosnell trial as civilized human beings, as informed citizens, but not if their can’t be realistic, rational thought on the subject, not if people, public and public office holder alike can’t distinguish between a properly run medical facility, regardless of your stance, pro-life, pro-choice, and the Gosnell house of horrors, not if that discussion only fuels the thinking all abortion clinics function thus.  Tragically that appears to be the prevailing consensus, outcome all bigger picture, in depth contemplation lost in screaming about the abomination abortion represents, screaming about media bias that, regardless of its reason, served to protect our rights and freedoms to deal with those horrible gut wrenching where abortion is necessary to preserve other life conservatives refuse to talk about, the true shame.