Kermit Gosnell convicted of murder

Margaret Sanger would approve of Kermit Gosnell
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A jury has just convicted Kermit Gosnell, MD, the infamous Philadelphia abortionist, of murder in the first degree on three counts. Each of these counts involves a baby that was more than 24 weeks along.

Details on the Kermit Gosnell verdicts

The jury in People v. Kermit Gosnell announced at about 2:30 p.m. ET today that they had a verdict. The judge immediately locked everyone in and ordered everyone present to turn off “all electronics.” That means smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, the works.

The clerk finished reading and “publishing” the verdict at 3:20 p.m. today,

The salient parts of the verdict are:

  • As to the deaths of Babies A, B, and D: guilty of murder in the first degree.
  • As to the death of Baby E: not guilty.
  • As to the death of a patient from an anesthetic misadventure: guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

In fact, Kermit Gosnell stood charged with more than 200 felony counts. This is why the reading of the verdict took nearly an hour.

TV reporters on the Fox News Channel said Kermit Gosnell’s defense lawyers left court with “angry looks on their faces.”

Next step: the penalty phase.

What next for Kermit Gosnell – and abortion?

Margaret Sanger would approve of Kermit Gosnell

Margaret Sanger. Photo: Underwood and Underwood, 1879

Under Pennsylvania law, Kermit Gosnell could suffer death for what he did. The same jury that convicted him of killing those three babies, will decide that. Even if he does not suffer death, he will serve at least one life sentence – and maybe three, if the judge tells him to serve those sentences consecutively.

But Kermit Gosnell is not the only one whom the public ought to hold to account.

Who is on trial here?

Governor Tom Ridge

The grand jury, in indicting Kermit Gosnell for the deaths of the babies (and one adult patient), took ;this grim note. Governor Tom Ridge (R-PA) never pushed to inspect abortion clinics in his State. Had he done so, that patient who died of the anesthetic misadventure, would still live. So might those babies.

The mainstream media

The mainstream media, except for two outlets, ignored the case of Pennsylvania v. Kermit Gosnell. One was The Philadelphia Inquirer. The other was Fox News Channel. Reporters for those two media outlets had the reserved media seating section to themselves. The spectacle of those empty seats should haunt every city editor and TV managing editor who refused to send anyone to cover this trial.

The public at large

Why might the public at large be just as guilty of those babies’ deaths as Kermit Gosnell? Because they see nothing wrong with abortion on demand and without apology. Or at least not enough wrong to stand up, in any election season, and say, “I refuse to vote for any candidate for executive, legislative, or judicial office who permits this atrocity.”

The argument-in-chief of the defense in Pennsylvania v. Kermit Gosnell was: these were abortions, these babies were going to die anyway, and their deaths are, therefore, none of the State’s business. To be hyper-technical, the defense argued that none of the babies was “born alive.” But remember: the American people re-elected a de facto President who refused to support a law in his State to protect infants born alive during an abortion.

For that matter, Governor Ridge neglected to inspect abortion clinics because the people did not want him to. Or at least, so he thought. And he might have had good reason so to think. True, that does not excuse him. Even an elected official must give precedence to his judgment over the wishes of the people, when the people wish something atrocious. But every voting citizen of Pennsylvania must examine his or her conscience today. So must every voting citizen of the United States.

If the public does not want such atrocities to happen again, the public can stop them any time. They can certainly stop them at the next election. They can elect super-majorities in Congress and charge them to:

  1. Write and propose a Constitutional amendment to define a “person” as “a human being at all stages of development.”
  2. Remove every pro-abortion judge or Justice from the bench, on impeachment for, and conviction of, accessory to murder.

Until both these things happen, many other Kermit Gosnells will ply their trade. Lila Rose recently showed that Kermit Gosnell is not the only one even today. And Kermit Gosnell still has his defenders, and this by no means limits itself to his defense team.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

27 Responses to Kermit Gosnell convicted of murder

  1. CowHammer says:

    “The grand jury, in indicting Kermit Gosnell for the deaths of the babies (and one adult patient), took ;this grim note. Governor Tom Ridge (R-PA) never pushed to inspect abortion clinics in his State. Had he done so, that patient who died of the anesthetic misadventure, would still live. So might those babies.”

    I doubt it. No one knew about this abortion clinic until this case came to light. If they ordered inspections of abortion clinics, places like this wouldn’t have been, and legal ones would.

    “If the public does not want such atrocities to happen again, the public can stop them any time. They can certainly stop them at the next election. They can elect super-majorities in Congress and charge them to:

    1. Write and propose a Constitutional amendment to define a “person” as “a human being at all stages of development.”
    2. Remove every pro-abortion judge or Justice from the bench, on impeachment for, and conviction of, accessory to murder.

    Until both these things happen, many other Kermit Gosnells will ply their trade. Lila Rose recently showed that Kermit Gosnell is not the only one even today. And Kermit Gosnell still has his defenders, and this by no means limits itself to his defense team.”

    Wrong. What Kermit Gosnell was doing is _already illegal_. If you continue to make abortions illegal or difficult to procure, places like his (with extremely lax safety standards) will replace the safe, legal ones we have today. You won’t be making abortions less common; you will just be making them more dangerous.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Legal? Maybe. More’s the pity. But safe? I have a partnership stake in a bridge spanning the Susquehanna River that I would like to offer for sale.

  2. CowHammer says:

    “Legal? Maybe. More’s the pity. But safe? I have a partnership stake in a bridge spanning the Susquehanna River that I would like to offer for sale.”

    Oh? Do you have statistics to back that up? I’m finding a rate of 0.6 deaths per 100,000 abortions, which is amazingly safe considering childbirth is 8.8 deaths per 100,000 births.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      That figure has been debunked a long time ago. And of course it is not safe for the babies being killed.

  3. CowHammer says:

    “That figure has been debunked a long time ago.”

    [citation needed]
    Just saying it has been debunked doesn’t make it so.

    “And of course it is not safe for the babies being killed.”

    Considering we’re comparing the relative safety of legal vs. illegal abortions, this is irrelevant, since it’s just as unsafe for the “babies” in either case. We’re talking about the safety of the woman.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      How safe was the woman who died of a therapeutic misadventure in Kermit Gosnell’s clinic?

      And: as a medical student, I have personally worked on cases of women brought in with uterine perforations following abortions. They told me “she got it in an illegal abortion.” But this was in 1983 or so, not in 1973 or earlier.

  4. aynrandatheist1980 says:

    CowHammer, I couldn’t agree with you more. We need safe, legal avenues for abortions. Those who push abortions underground are also complicit – blood is also on their hands. I can only imagine what the mothers went through being treated in such a putrid clinic. The only moral, humane, and Christian thing to do is provide these women with the healthcare they need. I hope Mr. Gosnell’s clinic is bulldozed to the ground and replaced with a beautiful, new clinic where abortions can be provided safely.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      All nice, aseptic, and utilitarian. And doing nothing to disguise the basic reality of what abortion is all about.

      You also missed the symbolism of Margaret Sanger’s portrait. Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood to exterminate blacks. That Kermit Gosnell is black himself makes him no less complicit in the Margaret Sanger plot, and in fact makes him a traitor to his own race.

  5. CowHammer says:

    “How safe was the woman who died of a therapeutic misadventure in Kermit Gosnell’s clinic?

    And: as a medical student, I have personally worked on cases of women brought in with uterine perforations following abortions. They told me “she got it in an illegal abortion.” But this was in 1983 or so, not in 1973 or earlier.”

    Again, you’re arguing against illegal abortions, which are (surprise!) already illegal. I know illegal abortions are unsafe. That’s why they’re illegal.

    Unless I missed it, you seem to be avoiding telling me how exactly that statistic I mentioned was “debunked.” Perhaps you have a study of your own?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      The problem is: even legal abortions are not safe. These stories, one of which occurred recently, clearly show that abortion is no safer today than it was in the pre-Roe days.

  6. CowHammer says:

    “The problem is: even legal abortions are not safe. These stories, one of which occurred recently, clearly show that abortion is no safer today than it was in the pre-Roe days.”

    Which stories would these be? The ones above about illegal abortions, or did I miss something?

    Still waiting on a citation for the “debunking” of the 0.6 deaths per 100,000 abortions statistic I cited above, because that is a ridiculously safe procedure if accurate.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      The ones about abortions that are supposed to be legal, but that we see conducted with no more safeguard now than before. No regulation. No inspection.

      And I don’t exactly give a pass to a woman who would seek an abortion, especially that late in the process.

  7. Fergus Mason says:

    “The problem is: even legal abortions are not safe.”

    No medical procedure is absolutely safe. The statistics do seem to show that a legal abortion is safer than carrying a pregnancy to term, though.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      I dispute that. And more to the point: although I don’t expect you to understand this, a baby is still a baby, even if it is only one cell.

  8. CowHammer says:

    “The ones about abortions that are supposed to be legal, but that we see conducted with no more safeguard now than before. No regulation. No inspection.”

    Do you have some sort of citation for this? Really, anything? I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    “And I don’t exactly give a pass to a woman who would seek an abortion, especially that late in the process.”

    Okay… I’m not sure what your point is. Are you saying the women deserved death?

    “I dispute that [0.6 deaths per 100,000 abortion statistic].”

    I know you dispute it, because it disagrees with you. Trouble is, the fact that it’s politically inconvenient doesn’t make it untrue. I’m still waiting on a “debunking.”

    “And more to the point: although I don’t expect you to understand this, a baby is still a baby, even if it is only one cell.”

    Again, irrelevant. We’re comparing the relative safety of legal abortions to illegal abortions because, as you can see by this very case, illegal abortion clinics can and will operate in an environment where legal ones are difficult or impossible to find.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      I deem only one part of the above worthy of a reply:

      It’s a baby, and that makes it worthy of protection under the law. Nothing could be more relevant. When you dismiss that consideration, you say it’s OK to kill a baby when said baby becomes inconvenient to an adult or adults. And then it doesn’t really matter whether said baby is inside the womb or outside, does it?

  9. CowHammer says:

    “I deem only one part of the above worthy of a reply:”

    Wow, how convenient! You can completely ignore large sections of a reply just because you don’t have a response!

    “It’s a baby, and that makes it worthy of protection under the law. Nothing could be more relevant. When you dismiss that consideration, you say it’s OK to kill a baby when said baby becomes inconvenient to an adult or adults. And then it doesn’t really matter whether said baby is inside the womb or outside, does it?”

    I’ve explained this point several times, so I guess I’ll try it a little clearer:

    1. This case is about an illegal abortion doctor.
    2. As an illegal abortion doctor, he is not operating under the law.
    3a. Therefore, any laws passed will not affect him or other illegal abortion practices.
    3b. These illegal abortion practices are very dangerous, as shown in this very case.
    4a. Any laws passed will affect legal abortion practices.
    4b. These legal abortion practices are very safe, as shown by the statistic I cited above (and has yet to be “debunked”)
    5. The safety of the “babies” being aborted is the same in both illegal and legal abortion clinics, so is not relevant to this discussion.
    6. The only thing passing laws banning abortion will do is make illegal clinics (like the one in this case) more common, making abortions more dangerous for the woman.

    Is that clearer?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Not very. And in fact, he shares attitudes, and values, with many other abortion practitioners.

      More to the point, he shares the devaluation of human life common to all abortion practitioners.

  10. Fergus Mason says:

    “I dispute that.”

    Do you have figures to support your argument? To be honest I’m not going to consider it without evidence. An abortion, carried out in a sterile environment, is quite straightforward and safe. Childbirth, on the other hand, is dangerous.

    “And more to the point: although I don’t expect you to understand this, a baby is still a baby, even if it is only one cell.”

    Oh, I understand your point of view; I just don’t agree with it. I don’t see a single cell as a human being. It has the potential to BECOME one, yes, but it ISN’T one.

  11. CowHammer says:

    “Not very.”

    I’m sorry. Is there a point you’d like me to elaborate to help you understand?

    “And in fact, he shares attitudes, and values, with many other abortion practitioners.

    More to the point, he shares the devaluation of human life common to all abortion practitioners.”

    OK, but the most important distinction between them is that one of them was operating illegally and others are not.

    Perhaps I can illustrate it a different way. Let’s say you have two universes:
    Universe-1: This universe, where abortions are mostly legal, though frequently difficult to procure legally. Illegal abortion clinics exist (though how common they are is difficult to find out) primarily because they are not operating under strict safety guidelines. Since a lot of people have to pay for abortions out of pocket and ones with stricter safety standards (i.e. the legal ones) are more expensive, people turn to illegal clinics because it is the cheapest option available. Legal and safe abortions are available, but are frequently out of reach for the poor. Illegal abortion clinics operate with certain risk, but do so anyway.
    Universe-A: An alternate universe where abortions are fully illegal, and impossible to procure legally. Illegal abortion clinics exist because the demand for them exists and there are no other options. People turn to illegal clinics because they are the only option available. Legal and safe abortions are unavailable. Illegal abortion clinics operate with certain risk, but do so anyway.

    Have you spotted the difference between 1 and A? That’s right! There are more people like Kermit Gosnell, not less! The position you are advocating for would make the cases like his MORE common.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      I place more importance than you do, it seems, on how the law should read, as against how the law actually reads. And your parallel-universe illustration is nothing more than a threat: “let us have abortion on demand and without apology, or be treated to such spectacles every year.”

  12. CowHammer says:

    “I place more importance than you do, it seems, on how the law should read, as against how the law actually reads.”

    I suppose we’ve arrived at the heart of the matter: you don’t really care what the ACTUAL effects of the law are (more dangerous abortions). You just care about what you HOPE the effects of the law are (no abortions).

    “And your parallel-universe illustration is nothing more than a threat: “let us have abortion on demand and without apology, or be treated to such spectacles every year.””

    How am I threatening anything? My point is the demand for abortion exists (and has for centuries), and making them illegal only drives them underground, making them more dangerous. Maybe if you want to reduce abortions, you should find a way to reduce demand for them. Making them illegal doesn’t do that.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      The threat isn’t so much of what you would do, as what the larger society would see. It’s like saying, “Allow duelling if you don’t want to see drive-by shootings.”

  13. mhare says:

    “It’s like saying, “‘Allow duelling if you don’t want to see drive-by shootings.'”

    While I consider myself pro-choice I actually agree with you here, Terry. The argument “Well, if it were made illegal people would do it anyway” bothers me – you cannot ignore the moral implication of a law, no matter what side of it you’re on, just because it would be violated regardless. We have laws not only to literally prevent or promote certain actions and behaviour, but to establish a moral standard. If you don’t believe abortion is necessarily immoral – as I don’t – then your argument should be based on that, not how practically useful you believe the law could be.

    Of course I agree if abortion were made completely illegal it would still persist, and more women would die, but it is a useless argument to make to pro-lifers who are basing their opinion on a firm, if misguided, sense of moral obligation. They believe any women who procures an abortion is committing an immoral act and that we should not promote it regardless of any hypothetical.

  14. […] is to protect our right to life and you reflect on the government that birthed a monster like Dr. Gosnell, your answer would be: “No. This is not […]

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