The Gosnell Blackout

Frank Weathers talks about another sort of Holocaust Denialism being practiced by common consent in our media.  Compare and contrast the “Who he?” treatment of the butcher  Gosnell with, say, the wall-to-wall coverage of something the media wants us to obsess over. Mollie Hemingway does a brutal takedown of a WaPo Court Prophet for the Abortion Lobby.

If you are interested in flexing a little New Media power, go here.

And do note that it seems to be working.

  • Mike in KC, MO

    Best quote form Facebook:

    “For the people who still don’t think the media is biased, just compare the coverage of Trayvon Martin to Gosnell’s House of 1000 Corpses.” – Larry Correia

  • Terry D

    Estimated ratio of the people who’ve heard the name George Tiller in a news story but not Kermit Gosnell’s? Mine is 5:1.

  • Leslie Fain
  • Leslie Fain
  • Leslie Fain

    I think my first post had too many links and got stuck in spam Hades. Here is the first link:

    https://twitter.com/TerryMoran/status/322741281900097538

  • ivan_the_mad

    That pesky new media, challenging the hegemony of WaPo, NYT, WSJ, et al.

  • Benjamin

    I’d take the professed concern about this case more seriously if the same people pushing it weren’t also trying to make all abortions like this by outlawing it and cosigning women to quacks like Gosnell.

    • Benjamin

      http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/04/lessons-from-the-gosnell-case

      That’s a good pro-choice perspective on this case.

      • Tim in Cleveland

        I believe the official pro-choice perspective is head in the sand.

        • Benjamin

          Why don’t you try reading the link?

          • Tim in Cleveland

            I did. He appears to blame this on “arbitrary regulations” and “antiabortion terrorism”. It appears that those “arbitrary regulations” weren’t being enforced.

            Access to abortion doesn’t get any more “unfettered” than at Gosnell’s clinic.

            • Tim in Cleveland

              So if you are blaming this on pro-lifers, then your head is in the sand, just as this Lawyers, guns, money blog is.

      • Peter H.

        Oh yes. Arbitrary regulations are clearly the problem here. Arbitrary regulations like, say, not STORING DEAD BABIES IN PAPER BAGS IN THE FRIDGE. If only Pennsylvania abortionists hadn’t had all those nasty, arbitrary, anti-choice regulations to follow, somebody cleaner would’ve put Dr. Gosnell out of business.

        I’m sorry, but if performing abortions is only profitable with conditions like his clinic’s, then I say forget about performing abortions.

    • deiseach

      Sure, Benjamin, because there weren’t doctors from local hospitals referring women to Gosnell for abortions, having their patients maimed, complaining about it, and getting cricket-chirps in reply.

      No, it’s all the fault of those pesky anti-choice types and if only abortion were left alone and unregulated, it would be safe, legal, and rare!

      Oh, wait; Gosnell was unregulated in effect. He was legal. He sure as hell wasn’t safe.

      • Benjamin

        I favor regulation of abortion. What I don’t favor is the creation of a back alley black market, which would be the end result of your policy.

        Here’s the thing: I actually do think our abortion laws are too lax. It doesn’t follow I want it outlawed, though. Yes, believe it or not, there’s a middle ground between “every sperm is sacred!” And “it’s just scar tissue! It’s not a person until it leaves the birth canal!”

        • Mark Shea

          I thought you said our sex lives don’t matter.

          • Benjamin

            Abortion isn’t about someone’s sex life per se.

            • http://irenist.blogspot.com/ Irenist

              Agreed. It’s about killing or not killing. Even someone who endorsed promiscuity could be opposed to abortion; it’s a separate question.

            • Mark Shea

              ! Wow.

              • dpt

                Come on Mark…there is no connection between sex and pregnancy.

                • Beccolina

                  My husband will be very interested to hear that.

        • http://irenist.blogspot.com/ Irenist

          You appear to have responded to the substance of my question while I was typing. How do you think abortion laws should be tightened?

    • http://irenist.blogspot.com/ Irenist

      Benjamin,
      You are correct to worry that the filthy conditions and heinous maltreatment of Gosnell’s adult female patients are the kinds of horrors we should expect to see more of if the abolitionist movement succeeds in banning abortion. It would be dishonest for abortion abolitionists not to admit that.
      .
      However, what we could also expect to see is a reduction in the number of instances in which children are nonchalantly killed. (I will refrain from the term “murder” out of courtesy to your pro-choice viewpoint, and justify the term “children” below in my discussion of personhood.) Even if those children had been killed more hygienically in a better-run facility than Gosnell’s, they would still be dead.
      .
      So I think a mature appraisal of this question has to center on a cost-benefit analysis: is the obviously non-zero number of back alley abortions that would occur after abolition (since no legal system prevents every crime) worse than, or better than, the extremely high number of abortions that occur under the current legal regime?
      .
      Your answer to this will obviously depend upon your view of fetal personhood. However, I think that in instances like those in the Gosnell case (24-week old fetuses delivered and allowed to independently draw breath for 20 minutes or so before being beheaded), it is fair to say that we are dealing with newborn infant persons, unless you deny with Peter Singer that even infants are persons. So at least some killing of persons is involved. Hence my use of the term “children” above.
      .
      Anyway, back to our cost-benefit trade-off. Alcohol prohibition is an example of the benefits of making something illegal (liver disease and various crimes all declined under Prohibition, IIRC) were outweighed by the costs (gangland-style crime, etc.). Making it almost impossible for civilians to own fully automatic weapons has probably (although I’m not sure; let’s assume it since it’s only an example) reduced fatalities in various crimes despite the fact that surely some criminals have flouted the ban; so that’s a prohibition that has been worth the cost.
      .
      I submit that in cases like Gosnell’s (24 week-old fetuses born alive), the benefits of a ban (reduced killing of newborns that almost everyone would agree are persons) convincingly outweigh the costs. In Gosnell’s particular case, I think he would have been shut down sooner had he been initially a potential target of the criminal justice system rather than merely of regulatory agencies.

      • Benjamin

        Hi Irenist,

        Using “children” in this case doesn’t offend me. I take the old Common Law view that it’s a fully human person after it moves (aka “the quickening”). It seems like the most reasonable line to draw. So I’d be for banning abortion after 12 weeks except in cases of life of the mother/extreme danger to the mother’s health, like in a lot of European countries, and have mandatory counseling with full options of adoption presented to the women. I’d also want the law changed in states where the father has a veto over adoption even if they are unmarried (which presents some women with the absurdity of her rapist being able to veto an adoption but not an abortion, and even being able to ask for visitation rights!) I think the current regime is too lax and based on 1970s science. I also can fully appreciate and support a ban on public funding out of sensitivity to religious sensitivities.

        But saying a blatocyst is the equivalent of a newborn is too much for me and quite frankly, while I can understand it from a religious point of view, it would be bad public policy. I also think we need to make it more economically feasible and possible to bring the pregnancy to term as well through better public policy unrelated to abortion (single payer healthcare, more generous paid maternal leave, affordable childcare, among other things) that pro-life types tend to either oppose or ignore.

        • http://irenist.blogspot.com/ Irenist

          Benjamin,
          While I of course disagree with you on pre-12 week abortions, I will say that if the pro-choice community shared your sentiments, and if Roe allowed them to become law, I’d be very grateful indeed.

          • Rachel K

            This. A friend of mine once made some comment to my husband about how the Netherlands had more liberal abortion laws than the US. My husband’s response was, “No abortions after viability, none after second trimester without the recommendation of two physicians, and a mandatory 24-hour waiting period? Yes, please!”

        • JM

          “I take the old Common Law view that it’s a fully human person after it moves (aka ‘the quickening’). It seems like the most reasonable line to draw.”

          I don’t think that it’s a reasonable line at all. Not to mention such a standard for personhood is, though it may have been legally convenient in the past, is scientifically out of date now. It’s an unsound standard. See Chris Kaczor:

          http://books.google.com/books?id=yZj5_H473VUC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=abortion+quickening+argument&source=bl&ots=AD8ODVoimT&sig=kBo1zeyY1WmbBlSX9Uk1QKmKGGs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JWVoUajtCsnc2QWNkYGYDA&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAzgU#v=onepage&q=abortion%20quickening%20argument&f=false

        • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

          Actually, Benjamin, I felt my twin sons move at 8 weeks gestation. That is one reason I began to suspect I was carrying more than one baby.

      • Benjamin

        One thing I do not get about the Catholic position: if abortion even at the earliest stages is murder, why the opposition to birth control pills, or even condoms? Fewer unwanted pregnancies means fewer abortions.

        • Tim in Cleveland

          Opposition to birth control does not stem from opposition to abortion like, say, opposition to embryonic stem cells. Opposition to birth control relates to sexual morality while abortion relates to taking human life.

          • Beccolina

            But the two are related. Birth control allows people to ignore that babies are a natural result of sex, a healthy result. This sets the stage for abortion because people see that unexpected baby as something thrust upon them despite their best efforts, not something that happened because of their actions. Acceptance of birth control leads to attitudes that more easily accept abortion.

        • http://irenist.blogspot.com/ Irenist

          Benjamin, that’s a great question. The answer is twofold.

          First, pro-lifers worry that, e.g., Plan-B may actually be abortifacient at least sometimes.

          Secondly, as to contraception where there is no risk of its being an abortifacient (condoms, e.g), the opposition is on grounds of sexual morality. We believe contracepted sex to be a violation of Natural Law and God’s law, so we do not wish to fund it with our taxes. While it’s certainly arguable that increased use of contraceptives would decrease abortions, assuming for argument’s sake that it would, Catholics would still oppose it as a wicked means (sexual sin) to a good end (preventing the killing of children).

        • http://irenist.blogspot.com/ Irenist

          As a side note, I think the conflation of this opposition to anti-abortion ends justifying sexually immoral means that happens when the motives aren’t distinguished (as they rarely are distinguished in Beltway media coverage of the pro-life position) leads pro-choicers of good faith to understandably think that Catholics really do think “every sperm is sacred” or something. So I’m glad you asked!

          To summarize, contraception is a sexual sin. Abortion is (in our view) murder. We don’t think contraception is murder, we just don’t endorse it as a way to limit abortion because we oppose “ends justify the means” moral reasoning.

          (Comment halved to placate spam filter.)

        • vox borealis

          The position is easy understand. First, opposition to birth control involves its own theological arguments that overlap with but are not the same as opposition to abortion. It’s not a zero sum game, nor is all of Catholic teaching focused stopping abortion at the exclusion of all other teachings. Second, most forms of birth control effectively cause abortions, for example those that inhibit implantation. Thus, if one accepts the Catholic perspective on the evil of abortion and that human life begins and must be protected from conception, most forms of chemical birth control (e.g. the pill) are out of the question. Third, a quick read of Humane Vitae will reveal that Church denies your final formulation in any case, that more birth control = fewer unwanted pregnancies = fewer abortions. H.V. predicted that widespread birth control would lead to greater promiscuity, more sexual recklessness, and a more callous attitude toward pregnancy that would actually lead to more abortions. And what do you know, so far that has been proven correct. Birth control is cheaper and more widely available now than it has ever been. We teach about it in the public schools. Hell, we hand out condoms in the public schools. We have enshrined birth control as some sort of legal right to be paid for by the health care system. And yet, the rates of abortion never seem to go down.

          So really, the arguments are quite easy to understand if you take a little time. That does not mean you have to agree with them, but the position is certainly not incomprehensible.

        • http://Youmeandlilg.blogspot.com Rakhi

          Benjamin,
          I’ll try to answer your question about contraception first. Many contraceptives are de facto abortifacients, in that they prevent a fertilized egg from implanting or terminate implantation. Now to the rest of the matter at hand. The view on contraception (oral and external) goes well beyond sex and babies, but into the dignity of the human person. The act of sexual intercourse, the act of becoming one flesh, is the act of offering oneself completely to another – to be as joined to that person as humanly possible – in a co-creative spirit with God. It isn’t about wanted/unwanted babies. It is about offering yourself as a gift to your spouse to become one with God in his creative purpose. I’m sure there are better versed theologians who could offer you a better explanation, of course…

        • Heather Price

          Because birth control fails. If your thought process is, “I don’t want to have a baby with this person, I just want to satisfy my pelvic impulses” and your contraception fails, what’s the solution?

          I get the apparent counterintuitive idea. It’s not borne out by stats–once a country accepts contraception, abortion follows like night follows day.

    • The Deuce

      I’d take the professed concern about this case more seriously if the same people pushing it weren’t also trying to make all abortions like this by outlawing it and cosigning women to quacks like Gosnell.

      So you can’t find it in yourself to be angry over the grisly murder of hundred of infants by slicing their necks because other people who are angry about it are opposed to abortion in general?

      You are a moral monster, and if you do not repent, you will have chosen your eternal torment with both eyes open and no fingers to point at anyone else.

  • http://Youmeandlilg.blogspot.com Rakhi

    Amen to New Media! While some are arguing that this isn’t an intentional blackout by major news sources, I think we are clear on what they believe will be damaging to them financially. In this case, mass murder is just an abortionist trial. Now, on to more about a new study that will tell you how to lose weight faster!

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    What do you say to a fellow who rejects 1970′a era science as outdated, but wants to return to Aristotelian natural philosophy instead?

    Some are beyond parody!

    • http://irenist.blogspot.com/ Irenist

      What about Aristotelian metaphysics? Thomists are still allowed to embrace that, right?

  • dpt

    Well, I have to agree this is a local news story so the major media would not be attracted to cover this. (Though how to explain the incessant coast-to-coast, front page coverage of the Casey Anthony story, Jodi Aria trial, then Congressman Weiner, then Sen. Larry Craig, then Gov. Mark Sanford, etc.?)

    • pittsburgh mama

      I live in PA (admittedly the other side of the state) and there hasn’t been anything from our local media. Not even the late night news that loooooves horror stories. (Though I may have missed it. I do not watch the late night news and DVR the few TV shows I like so I can avoid commercials.) But nada in our major papers, either.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        I just moved away from the Pittsburgh area, and one of the things I miss is the 11 at 11 news. It was seriously the best thing on TV at any time. You’re right; they love horror stories almost as much as “attempted lurings” and “a 2 year old was found wandering down the street even though somebody was supposed to be watching him,” which happens a bizarrely frequent amount.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Irenist,

    You are usually a more careful reader.

    No one is disallowed anything, and the statement had 2 clauses.

    But if you reject Materialism, for example, as out of date (note bene) it makes no sense to embrace Aristotelian metaphysics.

  • Tom

    The left is pushing back, albeit with lame excuses.

  • FW Ken

    There its a strong argument to be made that Row v. Wade created back alley butchers like Gosnell. When abortions were illegal, the doctors and midwives who performed the abortions had an incentive to be careful. We know now that the numbers of women dying were faked and actually tracked with other surgical procedures. As antibiotics became available, mortality with all surgeries decreased.

    Compare the situation then to now, when the incentive its money. Its like the Ford Pinto. A fee dead women isthe price you pay

  • FW Ken

    Stupid smartphone…

    The problem is that we don’t know how many women are dying. Its like the German people and the camps. We chose to not know.


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