Media finally covering abortionist’s murder trial

In Philadelphia, the abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell is on trial for capital murder, having killed a patient through his ineptitude and babies born alive through his cruelty.  The major media has up-to-now pretty much ignored this trial, but is now giving it some attention, thanks in part to a twitter campaign started by Lutheran journalist Mollie Hemingway.

From Matthew Block at  Twitter Users Force Big Media to Cover Abortion Doctor’s Trial » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog:

After weeks of growing frustration, pro-lifers took to Twitter en masse Friday to express disbelief and outrage over media silence on the multiple-murder trial of American abortion provider Kermit Gosnell. And the media, at least some of it, seems to be listening.

The outrage was almost certainly precipitated by Kirsten Powers’ Thursday column for USA Today: “Philadelphia abortion clinic: We’ve forgotten what belongs on page one.” In that piece, Powers writes a scathing critique of major news agencies for ignoring the story. She begins:

“Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven’t heard about these sickening accusations? It’s not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page.”

None of the three major television networks in the United States had mentioned it. Nor had major newspapers like the Washington Post published any original articles on the trial. This despite the fact that testimony (and the Grand Jury report leading up to the trial) has been horrifying: teenagers being told to administer anesthetics without medical training; aborted infants stored in the refrigerator next to employees’ lunches; accusations of preferential treatment for patients based on race; babies born alive who had their spines subsequently snipped by Gosnell and his staff; seventeen years of government, accrediting agencies, and hospitals looking the other way despite numerous complaints of medical negligence at the clinic.

Following the publication of Powers’ article, Mollie Ziegler Hemingway of GetReligion took to Twitter, directly asking reporters why they and their news agencies were ignoring the story. Other Twitter uses started doing the same. And pro-life agencies began organizing a “Tweetfest” for Friday, asking people to highlight media blackout on the story by using the hashtag #Gosnell.

Read the rest of the post, which includes links to the various articles.

But, you know what?  I bet Gosnell gets acquitted, or at least convicted of a far lesser crime that gets him no jail time, much less the death penalty that prosecutors are seeking.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

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  • Paul Reed

    The worst response to this trial has been by pro-lifers. Many of us have implied that the babies killed late-term by Gosnell are somehow worse than babies killed early-term by say the morning-after pill or other means. Or perhaps it’s the unclean conditions of the clinic that make it so horrific. Tell me why does this particular baby-killing doctor deserves so much special attention? Why not focus on one who just early-term, chemical abortions? It’s only a matter of time before pro-aborts argue, “look, if we make abortion illegal, then all clinics would look like Gosnell’s”. I don’t understand this idiocy that has come over so many evangelicals, but they are making the pro-abortion argument and don’t even know it.

  • Trey

    @ Paul

    The point is to show logical consistency of pro-death viewpoint. That is that infanticide is no difference than an abortion.

    No illegal abortion would not necessarily lead to such, but ultimately reduce the number of murders and deter women due to known conditions and risks.

  • Orianna Laun

    Surprise! It actually made our paper. Page A12, but it was actual coverage, not just a discussion of why it is not being covered.
    I still don’t understand why it is not at least being covered as a health concern like the Arkansas dentist. I understand the media does not want to show the horrors of abortion, but with the clinic and the dentist there is at least a parallel. No inspections, dirty tools, people contracting STDs. Why have they not had a “what to ask your abortion provider” segment or a “what to look for at your local women’s health clinic”? I suppose that would come back to showing what abortion really is and the media can’t have that. They want to keep abortion legal to prevent women from resorting to back-alley butchers. Gosnell seemed to be both.

  • Joe

    One important fact to remember in all of this is that the Ms. Powers who wrote the USA Today column is pro-abortion. This is important because it is a good assurance that it is not just us crazy right wingers who are unable to understand the lack of coverage.

    The local papers in Philly have been covering it, but it is rather pathetic that it is not getting any national level coverage. Where is the investigative story looking into how this guy kept his license for over 30 years in light of the fact that there have been numerous complaints over the years. Did anyone investigate what was going on?

    I read some of the accounts of the clinic and I am sure I have been in barns that are significantly cleaner.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    If Paul (comment #1) wants to convince pro-lifers that we are sometimes inconsistent, point well taken.

    On the flip side, this simply demonstrates the consistency of the pro-abortion argument; if you believe it’s OK to murder a child in the womb, location doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. And if you don’t recoil at the thought of killing an innocent, defenseless human being, then why are you going to recoil at the thought giving an incurable disease to his mother?

    About 15 years back, I started to accumulate a list of the abortionists who had been convicted of felonies. It quickly became apparent that their crime rate–not counting the legalized crime that was their business–rivaled that of inner city youth being recruited by gangs.

    Again, if you don’t recoil at killing the innocent, well, there you go.

  • Steve Bauer

    He might be acquitted of the 7 “live infant” murders he committed but he still faces the single charge of murder of the adult woman. I only have a sketchy knowledge of the circumstances of her death but it seems to me he’ll have to face jail time for that charge. Unless someone knows more details that would exonerate him.

  • Dr Luther in the 21st Century

    @#1 Paul Reed, part of the reason pro-lifers are harping on this is because one of the reasons people defend legalized abortions is for the sake of the safety of women. The Gosnel case shows how unsafe abortion really is. It also is a poster child example of how easy it is for one to justify murder Peter Singer style. And even better, this case has an emotional punch of an Atom Bomb. It is hard not to read the details and not be revolted. So for pro-lifers this is public relations gold, diamond and platinum all rolled into one. At the very least, the case could be enough to garner support to put stricter oversight on abortion clinics. Plus, it is a slap in the face the president who said a law to protect children born in abortion clinics is not necessary because nobody would kill a kid.

  • DonS

    I wonder what happened to comments 1-5?

    The power of social media is at work, in that the mainstream media was directly confronted with its bias in this instance, and is now being forced to cover a story which should have been heavily covered from the outset. When we talk about media bias, this is what we mean. Of course, stories themselves can be slanted, by the failure of the reporter to fairly report both sides of the story, or by the reporter’s usage of politically charged terminology. However, more commonly, the bias occurs at the editorial level — when decisions are made to cover certain stories wall-to-wall, and other stories only lightly or not at all. Some is intentional, and some is because a partisan holding certain personal political views is often unable to discern what kinds of stories are important, at least to those of opposing views.

    Fortunately, although the media still has the power to work much mischief in the political realm, that power is much diminished by the rise of social media. In this horrific case, involving an abortionist who became a murderer not only of the unborn, but of the born alive child, on hundreds of occasions, the public will hopefully be forced to confront the arbitary line drawn between born and unborn, and the entire murderous culture of abortion. I hope some eyes are opened.

  • SKPeterson

    Comments 1 – 5 are the Trackbacks. Another odd Patheos quirk.

  • Paul Reed

    @Dr Luther in the 21st Century

    Pro-aborts used the idea of unsafe clinics to legalize abortion. Watch this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBVSmuWL0Mk

    And while I define an abortion-clinic for being bad by killing babies, the mainstream public (and even pro-lifers) define them as bad by how dangerous it is for the women, how dirty the clinic is, and most especially how late term the babies are. Using their definition of “bad”, I’d agree that Gosnell is much “worse” than most baby killers.

  • Grace

    Rep. Steve Stockman: ‘If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted’

    The HILL
    By Jonathan Easley – 04/12/13

    “Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) on Friday tweeted out the slogan for what he said would be his new campaign bumper sticker, which combines two hot-button conservative issues into one controversial sound bite.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/293601-rep-stockman-if-babies-had-guns-they-wouldnt-be-aborted

  • Marian

    Paul #6,
    Yes, the human worth of the fetus is the same whether it is 2 days old or 8 and 1/2 months old. But late-term abortions are worse than very early ones in the same way that the brutal murder of a conscious adult by dismemberment would be worse than the murder of the same adult if he/she was completely unconscious (e.g. under general anesthesia). Both are murder; but the former is also torture. Very many pro-choice people succeed in mentally blocking out any knowledge of the suffering undergone by the victims of abortion, or in persuading themselves that there are so few late-term abortions that less harm is done by keeping them all legal so as not to put barriers in the way of the few women who really have a life-threatening pregnancy. This case makes it impossible to maintain either of those mental fictions.


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