FIRST-PERSON: A reminder of abortion's inhumanity

Baptist Press
Posted: May 23, 2013 5:52 PM
DALLAS (BP) -- The gruesome trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell has ended. He'll spend his life behind bars for murdering newborns not quite killed in abortion.

He called his filthy clinic the Women's Medical Society, a respectable sounding name for a disgusting facility that was somehow allowed to operate, without inspection, for more than 15 years. When it was finally investigated, authorities called it a "House of Horrors." Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a woman who died of a drug overdose while emergency workers tried to break into the clinic's barricaded door. And he was convicted on more than 200 other counts including performing illegal late-term abortions.

Both pro-lifers and pro-choicers were hoping for a conviction in this case. Pro-choicers had to show Gosnell is an outlier, an exception. That what he did was unethical, unscrupulous, illegal as opposed to what they portray as "safe," legal abortion. In response to the verdict, Planned Parenthood deemed Gosnell's crimes "appalling." NARAL Pro-Choice America called his actions "atrocities" as if the abortions they support are not.

Even with all its gruesomeness, it wasn't until four to five weeks into Gosnell's six-week trial that the major media began covering it. Internet outlets, social media and a few brave reporters finally broke through the sacred silence that surrounds the practice of abortion.

There are more of these clinics. In fact, just as Kermit Gosnell was being sentenced, another abortionist, who operates three Texas "Houses of Horrors," was making headlines. Where Gosnell snipped spinal cords of viable babies, Douglas Karpen allegedly killed babies mistakenly born alive by twisting off heads, stabbing with a surgical instrument, or sticking his fingers down a little throat to suffocate.

The public shaming of these murderers has to change us. Southern Baptist theologian Al Mohler says, "The prosecution of Kermit Gosnell put the entire nation on trial."

Family Research Council says, "the debate over the inhumanity of abortion is reborn in America." Now lawmakers at the state and federal level must make sure it bears fruit in new legislation.

Last year a friend took me into a hospital's neonatal intensive care unit to see, and hold, her preemie. Amazing. Tiny preemies having every breath monitored. The dignity ascribed to them warrants hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on their care. This provides a sort of cognitive dissonance with the abortionist's ability to legally snuff out a child's life inches before birth, in some states, very late in a pregnancy.

The question really is one of human dignity. If a mother and her "doctor" decide a baby should die, it's only murder if the child accidentally emerges from the womb before the abortionist completes the deed.

Murder convictions like Gosnell's do not sanitize abortion by comparison. Instead, they clarify it. They leave lots of blood on the hands of the abortion industry and of the nation that perpetuates it.

Penna Dexter is a conservative activist and frequent panelist on the "Point of View" syndicated radio program. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook ( ) and in your email (

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