NRL News

Gosnell Case Draws Attention to the Pain of Abortion and the Post-Roe Generation

by | May 15, 2013

By Andrew Bair

Kermit Gosnell gets escorted to a van leaving the Criminal Justice Center after being convicted.

Kermit Gosnell gets escorted to a van leaving the Criminal Justice Center after being convicted.

Those of us born after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade 1973 ruling are often referred to as the “post-Roe generation.” We have grown up with the dark cloud of abortion hanging over our generation. With an estimated 55 million babies aborted since Roe, one would be hard-pressed to find one of us not personally affected by abortion.

Yet our generation has not yet come to terms with its grim and painful reality.

The murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell showed the human cost of our society’s willful ignorance of abortion and the abortion industry. For years, government officials, the pro-abortion movement, and the media intentionally turned the other way. Although Gosnell was convicted of murdering three babies aborted alive, the Grand Jury said he “snipped” the spinal cords of hundreds of viable unborn babies.

But it’s not just the depredations of one Philadelphia abortionist that we’ve ignored. Our society, and my generation in particular, is deeply scarred by abortion and yet unwilling to acknowledge the pain.

Congressman Marlin Stutzman of Indiana wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Times in which he talked about recently discovering that in 1975 his unmarried mother had considered aborting him. He wrote,

“She asked if I could forgive her. I answered, “Yes, with all my heart.” I said that I couldn’t imagine how scared she must have been, and how thankful I was for her and Dad’s strength to do the right thing and protect my life. It could have ended so differently. At home with my wife and two children that night, my heart ached at the thought that all of this might never have been.

“For 40 years, our society has been unwilling to come to grips with the grim truth about abortion. We’ve raced down a dead-end street, willfully blind to the facts, only to find ourselves at 3801 Lancaster St. — Kermit Gosnell’s clinic in West Philadelphia.”

(See also “Kermit Gosnell, abortion’s euphemisms, and ‘A close encounter with abortion’”)

We are a wounded generation. We will never get to meet those who would have been our friends, classmates, or even siblings. Many of our dear friends or family members have undergone abortions themselves. Some of us, like Melissa Ohden, are even survivors of “failed” abortion attempts.

Yet in spite of abortion’s prevalence, our generation has not come to terms with the massive loss among us. And our society wants us to ignore the pain and look the other way.


Olivia Gans Turner, director of American Victims of Abortion, once wrote,

“Every abortion is a death in the family. 40 years after Roe v. Wade we have only begun to feel the pain of 55 million deaths. How much longer will it have to be before our nation confronts the truth, accepts our common responsibility, and grieves for our dead? As every mother of an aborted child knows, there can be no peace until we remember and embrace them, even if it can only be in our hearts.” 

That the pro-abortion lobby and the media would try to silence the pain of abortion should not come as much of a shock. Both are also guilty of denying the physical pain unborn children feel during abortion. Compelling medical evidence shows that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain by no longer than 20 weeks after conception, if not earlier.

In the course of prenatal surgery, babies are routinely given anesthesia to prevent them from feeling pain. Yet we are to believe that these same babies would not feel excruciating pain if they are pulled apart limb from limb during an abortion?!

We now have the jury’s verdict on Gosnell but that doesn’t mean we should go back to looking the other way. If ignorance was ever an excuse, it no longer is an option thanks to that brave jury of seven women and five men.

Ignoring the reality of abortion only enables the abuses of the abortion industry and the pain felt by our entire society to continue. As the post-Roe generation, we have to confront it if we are to find healing and ensure no more lives are lost.

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Categories: fetal pain