Communications Department

The Abortion Doctor’s Chamber of Horrors

Feb 27, 2011 | 02-February 2011 NRL News

NRL News
Page 3
February 2011
Volume 38
Issue 2

The Abortion Doctor’s Chamber of Horrors

By Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

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 [emphasis added]. 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. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it [emphasis added]. …

The “Women’s Medical Society”—[t]hat was the impressive-sounding name of the clinic operated in West Philadelphia, at 38th and Lancaster, by Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D. …

But the truth was something very different, and evident to anyone who stepped inside. The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment … was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house. — Grand Jury Indictment submitted to the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, 1/14/2011 (

This horrific case became public just before the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Even the New York Times took note of the case: “Squalid Abortion Clinic Escaped State Oversight,” but, in fact, the clinic did not “escape” oversight—it was the deliberate policy of the State’s bureaucracy not to inspect abortion clinics in Pennsylvania.

This is how the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, put it (“Rendell ‘flabbergasted’ over grand jury report that says abortion clinics weren’t inspected for political reasons,” 1/21/2011):

In its report, the grand jury said the [Department of Health] and other agencies — including the Department of State, under which the Board of Medicine falls — allowed Gosnell’s clinic to operate nearly unimpeded since the late ’70s. It hadn’t been inspected since 1993. …

In its report, the grand jury said the Health Department ‘decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all’ [emphasis added].

Health Department lawyers changed their opinions and advice ‘to suit the policy preferences of different governors,’ the report said. The department dropped its policy of annual inspections in the mid-1990s under Gov. Tom Ridge, who supported abortion rights, the report said.

A health department lawyer testified about a 1999 meeting of high-level state officials ‘at which a decision was made not to accept a recommendation to reinstitute regular inspections of abortion clinics,’ citing a concern that routine inspections would lead to ‘less [sic] abortion facilities, less access to women to have an abortion.’”

The good people of Pennsylvania have to ask with alarm: Where was the Pennsylvania State Department? Where was the Department of Health? The Board of Medicine? The Philadelphia Department of Public Health? Where were the professional medical societies? Surely, the practices of the Gosnell clinic were known well enough in these circles. Was the Gosnell clinic, in their minds, not very nice but “good enough” for poor black and immigrant women?

This happened, of course, in the “pro-choice” climate that the progressive elites in the media, in politics, and the health bureaucracies have tried to foist on us. The rhetorical gymnastics necessary to make this progressive view more appealing were demonstrated by presidential candidate Bill Clinton. In 1992, Clinton presented himself as a supposedly reasonable “pro-choice” candidate with the cynical slogan that “abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” Since then, many “pro-choice” politicians have used this dishonest slogan to make themselves appear moderate on this issue—most recently, President Obama who last September said in New Mexico, “And I think that this is an area where I think Bill Clinton had the right formulation a couple of decades ago, which is abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.”

It is, of course, absurd to propose that making something legal will also make it rare. If you don’t believe it, try convincing your fellow citizens that it would be good idea to make embezzlement or burglary or rape legal. Besides, the Supreme Court’s Doe v. Bolton decision struck down Georgia’s hospitalization requirements as unconstitutional—and thus created the industry of free-standing abortion clinics. That industry has no incentive to make abortion “rare.”

Leaving aside the logical absurdity of “legal and rare,” we must ask the pro-choicers, Why do you believe that abortion should be “rare”? What bothers you pro-choicers about abortion? Why is “abortion a bad thing,” as former NARAL president Kate Michelman once told the Philadelphia Inquirer (12/11/1993)? Is it because deep down most “pro-choicers” know that abortion kills a child? The abortionist surely knows that. If the abortionist does not kill the child in the womb, he has failed to do his part of the devilish bargain.

I leave you with these words from the grand jury report: “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.’ … Everyone there acted as if it wasn’t murder at all.”

If this doesn’t motivate you to work for the pro-life cause, what will?