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Obama‘s tell-tale side-stepping of Gosnell Murder Trial

by | Apr 18, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

When asked about the ghastly Kermit Gosnell murder trial, sticking with the company line (however embarrassingly inadequate it may be) would seem to be President Barack Obama’s  strategy.

Yesterday, President Obama, in an interview on NBC’s Today Show, punted when he was asked the following by Savannah Guthrie on her “Savannah Goes One on One” segment

“Have you been watching the Gosnell trial? It’s a Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of gruesome crimes. Are you following it, and do you think it animates a larger debate about abortion in this country?”

President Obama responded

“Well, I’m familiar with it. I can’t comment on it because it’s an active trial. What I can say is this: I think President Clinton said it pretty well when he said abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. If an individual carrying out an abortion, operating a clinic, or doing anything else is violating medical ethics, violating the law, then they should be prosecuted.”


Two things. The lawyerly retreat (“active trial”) was very close to the tact taken  Monday by White House spokesman Jay Carney. Fox News Ed Henry said

One other topic: there’s a murder trial in Pennsylvania, that I know you know is getting a lot of attention, more attention, the media was not getting a lot of attention, Kermit Gosnell, this doctor who is accused of having, delivering some babies who were literally screaming and then beheading them. He’s facing murder charges on that, it hasn’t been decided yet obviously, since he’s still on trial. Is the president following this at all, does the White House have any reaction to that kind of situation that is alleged?

To which Carney responded

I’ll say two things: one, the president is aware of this; two, the president does not and cannot take a position on an ongoing trial, so I won’t as well. Certainly, the things that you hear and read about this case are unsettling, but I can’t comment further on an ongoing legal proceeding.

As many commentators have pointed out, that has not stopped the President from commenting on other “legal proceedings.”

Second, you have to see the President—hear him speak—to get the full flavor of his response and what it tells us.

He is “familiar” with the case.

The spinal cords slit—described by one Gosnell employee as a “beheading”? Mothers delivering their premature babies into toilets? Women drugged to keep them quiet and manageable as they waited hour and hour for Gosnell to show up? Karnamaya Mongar dying, according to the Grand Jury, of a “combination of callously reckless and illegal procedures, unlicensed and unsupervised employees, and outrageously excessive sedation at Gosnell’s clinic.” Is he familiar with these reports–which only scratch the surface?

Late-term abortions of viable babies at Gosnell’s abortion clinic were not safe, legal, or rare.

Yet there is the President, cool as a cucumber, alternatively folding his hands and making a few perfunctory gestures, talking with all the passion of a man completing a crossword puzzle about a murder trial so gross that it has jurors turning their heads away in disgust.

This, I would submit, is the real face of abortion advocacy.

Categories: Gosnell