One year ago, on March 18, 2013, the trial of abortion monster Dr. Kermit Gosnell began in Philadelphia. Two months later Gosnell was convicted on three charges of murder, 21 felony counts of performing illegal late-term abortions, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent laws.
Gosnell’s convictions really just reflected the tip of the iceberg of what was going on in that clinic. Until inspectors showed up in February 2010 as result of investigation into suspected illegal drug prescription use, Gosnell’s facility operated uninspected for 17 years. According to the Grand Jury report, the last state inspection, before the 2010 raid, had been in 1993.
Anecdotes of those who worked there suggest the scope of murder, illegal abortions, abuse of women – mostly low income minority and immigrant women – was far beyond what could be adequately documented to stand up for the trial.
The years that Gosnell committed his atrocities with no regulatory oversight, and the challenges to get national media attention to his trial once it began, should provoke extra vigilance today to address the issues involved that still are not getting adequate attention and the extent to which similar abuses are occurring elsewhere.
My organization CURE has invited a coalition of leaders from black pro-life organizations and pastors to Washington this week to sit with representatives from national pro-life organizations and with congressional staff to assess where we are and what needs to be done.
At the conclusion of the Gosnell trial, the chairmen of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Energy and Commerce committees wrote to Attorneys General and leading health officials in all the states.
Attorneys General were asked whether “state and local officials are being stymied in their efforts to protect the civil rights of newborns and their mothers by legal or financial obstacles that are within the federal government’s power to address.” State health officials were asked how they regulate and monitor abortion clinics to protect the health and safety of women.
We’d like to know the results of these inquiries and how this information can be used to create better policies for protecting women and children.
My colleagues find in their investigations around the nation that Kermit Gosnell was by no means one of a kind. There are more. And, to our dismay, irresponsible and inhumane behavior continues regarding the treatment of women, particularly low-income minority women, in these facilities.