The Abortion story that the MSM won’t cover [GRAPHIC IMAGES]

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Abortion…or terminations in polite speak is a topic many dare not write about. For men to write about it we get attacked for all sorts of reasons. For women it is doubly hard. If they go too soft the hard-core feminists attack, too hard and they risk being labeled as such.

No one is prepared to have a grown up debate about abortion in the same way that we can’t have a grown up debate about same-sex marriage. The whole topic is as divisive as it is awful.

At one level I can see how abortion can be justified and I can understand it. I admit I struggle with the concept of killing a child. But I also struggle with the concept that the moment conception occurs that by the definition of the pro-life lobby that immediate it is a sentient, living being.

Science being the way that it is the time frames for survivable early birth is shortening ever more. We are getting close to over lap between legal abortion and survivability.

Personally I have a number of friends who have had terminations. They each have their own story, they each are beautiful loving people who had a choice to make. Thankfully it has never been a choice I have ever had to make. I’m not sure I could do it.

This story that the mainstream media refuse to cover though is not about them, and not about legal abortion in New Zealand, it is about late-term abortion in the United States and one doctor in particular who has been indicted for truly awful crimes. It does bring into serious question the ethics of late-term abortions. But in a society, even in New Zealand where we tolerate the killing of children even after they are born at the hands of dead beat parents is it something that we can ignore.

Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic has covered in grisly detail the case of  Dr. Kermit Gosnell. He asks why the media won’t cover the story when;

The grand jury report in the case of Kermit Gosnell, 72, is among the most horrifying I’ve read. “This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors,” it states. “The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths.”

He states at the end of his article and ask a very pertinent question;

[T]his story has numerous elements any one of which would normally make it a major story. And setting aside conventions, which are flawed, this ought to be a big story on the merits.

The news value is undeniable.

Why isn’t it being covered more? I’ve got my theories. But rather than offer them at the end of an already lengthy item, I’d like to survey some of the editors and writers making coverage decisions.

Andrew Sullivan too asks why?

What this story is about is horrifying brutality, extreme incompetence, mass murder of innocents, and a complete, consistent and continuous failure of government oversight. That the details may have been buried by a free press because of squeamishness about portraying abortion in a bad light is worrying, to say the least.

The MSM haven’t dared touch this murder “abortion” story because it is truly sickening and for once, truly outrageous.  They have been running a sanitised version.  It once again up to the blogs to expose the true nature of the story.  But be warned, this is upsetting at a number of levels.  Proceed with caution.  (The rest of the story, including graphic images, over the break). 

A procedure room at the Women's Medical Society. / Philadelphia District Attorney's Office (Note the rust and peeling paint)

A procedure room at the Women’s Medical Society. / Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (Note the rust and peeling paint)

Conor Friedersdorf continues;

Charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, Gosnell is now standing trial in a Philadelphia courtroom. An NBC affiliate’s coverage includes testimony as grisly as you’d expect. “An unlicensed medical school graduate delivered graphic testimony about the chaos at a Philadelphia clinic where he helped perform late-term abortions,” the channel reports. “Stephen Massof described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, ‘literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.’ He testified that at times, when women were given medicine to speed up their deliveries, ‘it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.'”

One former employee described hearing a baby screaming after it was delivered during an abortion procedure. “I can’t describe it. It sounded like a little alien,” she testified. Said the Philadelphia Inquirer in its coverage, “Prosecutors have cited the dozens of jars of severed baby feet as an example of Gosnell’s idiosyncratic and illegal practice of providing abortions for cash to poor women pregnant longer than the 24-week cutoff for legal abortions in Pennsylvania.”

Until Thursday, I wasn’t aware of this story. It has generated sparse coverage in the national media, and while it’s been mentioned in RSS feeds to which I subscribe, I skip past most news items. I still consume a tremendous amount of journalism. Yet had I been asked at a trivia night about the identity of Kermit Gosnell, I would’ve been stumped and helplessly guessed a green Muppet. Then I saw Kirsten Power’s USA Todaycolumn. She makes a powerful, persuasive case that the Gosnell trial ought to be getting a lot more attention in the national press than it is getting.

So why isn’t it getting coverage? Well perhaps our free press are too squeamish, and why you start to go through the full grand jury indictment including the photos you can see why.

The grand jury report includes an image of a particularly extreme case (the caption is theirs, not mine)

The grand jury report includes an image of a particularly extreme case (the caption is theirs, not mine)

Conor Friedersdorf says “[T]hat photo pertains to an unusual case, in that the mother had to seek help at a hospital after the abortion she sought at Gosnell’s office went awry. The grand jury report summarizes a more typical late-term abortion, as conducted at the clinic, concluding with the following passage”:

When you perform late-term “abortions” by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the Women’s Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn’t call it that. He called it “ensuring fetal demise.” The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that “snipping.”

Over the years, there were hundreds of “snippings.” Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the “snipping” was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff.

But all the employees of the Women’s Medical Society knew. Everyone there acted as if it wasn’t murder at all. Most of these acts cannot be prosecuted, because Gosnell destroyed the files. Among the relatively few cases that could be specifically documented, one was Baby Boy A. His 17-year-old mother was almost 30 weeks pregnant — seven and a half months — when labor was induced. An employee estimated his birth weight as approaching six pounds. He was breathing and moving when Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. The doctor joked that this baby was so big he could “walk me to the bus stop.” Another, Baby Boy B, whose body was found at the clinic frozen in a one-gallon spring-water bottle, was at least 28 weeks of gestational age when he was killed. Baby C was moving and breathing for 20 minutes before an assistant came in and cut the spinal cord, just the way she had seen Gosnell do it so many times. And these were not even the worst cases.

Abuse of women was also documented:

What little media coverage there’s been in the case has understandably focused on the murder allegations. The grand jury report also makes clear how horrific Women’s Medical Society was for the patients.

The unsanitary conditions were just the beginning.

One woman “was left lying in place for hours after Gosnell tore her cervix and colon while trying, unsuccessfully, to extract the fetus,” the report states. Another patient, 19, “was held for several hours after Gosnell punctured her uterus. As a result of the delay, she fell into shock from blood loss, and had to undergo a hysterectomy.” A third patient “went into convulsions during an abortion, fell off the procedure table, and hit her head on the floor. Gosnell wouldn’t call an ambulance, and wouldn’t let the woman’s companion leave the building so that he could call an ambulance.”

Often times, women given drugs to induce labor delivered before the doctor even arrived at work.

Patients have died, and children caught administering drugs:

Anesthesia was frequently dispensed by employees who were neither legally permitted nor trained to do it, including a 15-year-old high school student who worked at the clinic, the report states.

The best summary of the whole sorry tale is near the end:

Fetal feet found in Gosnell's clinic

Fetal feet found in Gosnell’s clinic

Inducing live births and subsequently severing the heads of the babies is indeed a horrific story that merits significant attention. Strange as it seems to say it, however, that understates the case.

For this isn’t solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth into toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers. Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn’t make national headlines?

As I have said abortion is a sensitive subject, but even more so when you get real life stories like that outlined above. It behoves the media to talk about ALL stories not just a sanitised version. By all means warn people, as I have done, and let them choose, but tell the story.

Again this story raises many issues…give the photos above, you can’t say that “this is just a collection of cells”, this is far beyond that. The health and stress issues aside, what Gosnell is charged with doing is grotesque, barbaric and unconscionable ..and that is just in regards to his racism, his medical standards, his professional abilities and his ethics, we haven’t even touched on the issue of late-term abortions.

I prevaricated, and thought about doing this post, I prevaricated some more, perhaps it was my cowardice that had me hoping that our mainstream media might cover it, but they haven’t. And so I decided to let my commenters have a say.

Be warned, though, this post will be moderated hard. I want sensible and polite discussion. Do not hurl abuse, for that WILL earn you the ban hammer.

But ask yourself this. If the media won’t cover this story, what else aren’t they covering?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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