Gosnell is one of the most important and most difficult books I've ever read. That this book has been written by an Irish couple is interesting. Are Americans so in love with abortion that they cannot write honestly about it? I wonder.
I thank Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer for doing the horrendous and horrific research to write Gosnell and the law enforcement officials like Jim Woods, who did not forget what they saw at a drug raid, and went back to investigate. I wish that along with Gosnell, the government officials who abdicated their responsibility and purposefully neglected their duties could also be incarcerated.
This book has so many different layers. There's Gosnell's story, how he looked like a pillar of society, providing a "necessary service" for the poor women in his community, and then there's the story of the people in their nice offices in Harrisburg, PA, who shrugged their shoulders at the complaints coming about Gosnell's practice. "People die," one government official said. I wonder if this could've happened in a rich suburb in PA. We have stories of the women who were in dire straits, who mistakenly thought there was no other way, women who were forced by their mothers or boyfriends, and we have the stories of the short lives of the babies who were in effect beheaded (their spinal cords were snipped): the baby who curled up because he was cold, the baby who tried to swim in the toilet, the baby who cried out.
The grand jury report was damning. For decades, patients and employees sent written complaints to the Department of Health but the clinic at 3801 Lancaster was not inspected. No matter what Gosnell did, butchering both women and babies as late as 34 weeks, there were no consequences. The governor himself "put a blanket of invincibility around the doctor and his house of horrors."
The judge did not want the grand jury's report to become fodder for anti-abortion activists. The case wasn't about abortion, which is barbaric even when done right. It was to interpret the born-alive law. Gosnell didn't do a plea bargain; he was sure of his acquittal given that the judge and jury were pro-abortion. The District Attorney's office was frustrated about spending taxpayer money putting a man on trial for murdering babies that their mothers didn't want in the first place. Did they even have a case?
Ann and Phelim ask the hard questions. "So many in the pro-life world fear to ask this: If abortion is murder, then why weren't the mothers prosecuted too? Weren't they at the very least accessories to the crime? Like getaway car driver for bank robbery. The mothers were paying for the killing. They had to make the evidence of Gosnell's guilt so overwhelming that the jury would ignore the possible culpability of the mothers in the crime."
What's chilling is that Gosnell was convicted of murder because he killed the babies after they were born. We only know about 50 or so because investigators found their frozen or refrigerated remains, but one can imagine how many thousands of babies Gosnell killed over a period of 30 years. However, had he killed them inside the mother's womb, it is legal. This should make us all stop and think.
Why is the baby in the womb not a person?
Why is he or she not afforded protection?
Why do we want to keep abortion legal at all costs?
Ann and Phelim aren't extraordinarily religious, nor were they ever interested in the pro-life cause, but in examining Gosnell, they were changed. Ann said that words failed her. How does one write about such evil? The only thing she could compare it to is Auschwitz--the place where man forgot his humanity.
I wept reading this book. So will you. Pray to end abortion. Parce Domine.