From Roe to Gosnell: The case for regime change on abortion


#1

From Roe to Gosnell: The case for regime change on abortion
By JAMES TARANTO
Online.WSJ.com
4/15/13

Here is incontrovertible proof that Kirsten Powers and Conor Friedersdorf are correct in arguing that the murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell has received insufficient media coverage: On Friday, Snopes.com was compelled to publish a page confirming that the story is real, not merely an urban legend.

What accounts for the media’s lack of interest in a trial that not only is sensational but implicates the most divisive social and political issue in America? PJMedia.com’s Roger L. Simon has the answer: “The trial of Dr. Gosnell is a potential time bomb exploding in the conventional liberal narrative on abortion itself.” He demonstrates via self-reflection:

Welcome to the mushy middle, Roger. This columnist has been here for quite some time, as you can see from this 1999 piece. But we too, when we were very young, were a “pro-choice” libertarian. We came to question, and ultimately rejected, that position, although fully accepting the “pro-life” side of the argument remains a bridge too far for us.

The line-drawing exercise is indeed a vexing one. We aren’t “pro-life”–which is to say that we do not favor the outlawing of all abortion–and not only because of the difficult cases Simon notes. Our own moral intuition is that an early-term abortion, or the use of an abortifacient to prevent implantation, is different in kind from a late-term abortion or infanticide.

But we concede that intuition is irreconcilable with the scientific fact that the difference between a zygote and an infant–or, for that matter, an adult–is one of degree: All are the same human being at different stages of development.

I missed this one when it was published, nearly three weeks ago.Taranto (and Roger L. Simon, who is quoted in this article) put their finger on a huge reason the MSM tried to avoid, and have since given near token coverage to this trial.

Learning what Gosnell did all but forces people to think on what Gosnell was doing. Gosnell killed babies who were right around the age where they could survive, with aid, outside of the uterus (the court will decide whether several of those he killed were, indeed, viable). That thinking process is a Pandora’s box for some one who is vaguely Pro-“Choice”. Not all abortionists do late-term abortions, but Gosnell was not alone, either. George Tiller and Leo Carhart also did/do late-term abortions. The whole “outlier” argument - whether regarding late-term abortions or abortuary filth is simply a hastily improvised falsehood to mollify the willfully ignorant.

As soon as the concept of viability comes under thought, its arbitrariness becomes evident. First, the point of viability is not fixed, and it has been moved earlier and earlier as medical knowledge and capabilities have grown. If one thinks just a half step further, the question arises: does any transformative process happen when a baby becomes viable that takes it from non-human to human? The answer is, “No!”, and that question leads, if the reasoner allows herself/himself to go “there”, to the question of what makes something some one, a human being. This is the “there” to which Taranto (and, apparently, Simon and his wife) have come. Without articulating it to this degree of detail, they realized that, whether zygote or senescent adult, both are genetically a unique human being, and are in stages of the continuous process that, if not interrupted, starts at the point when the chromosomes from the egg and the sperm become a full set, and ends in old age when the body’s vital functions break down to the point that the body can no longer sustain life.

Taranto stops, at least in this article, at this point. He points out that fully realizing and acknowledging all this is basically fatal to the Pro-“Choice” position (for those who value human life more than their hamburger (or tofu burger) or their kitty, at least). But he also labels as “monstrous” the implication of the full Pro-Life position, that women in the uncommon position of being pregnant from rape or incest would have to carry that child for nine months and then face the choice of keeping and raising that child or giving him/her up for adoption. I’m sure Taranto knows this, but it may come as a “surprise” to Pro-“Choice” people who advance those facts as an objection: Pro-Life people are quite aware of those potential pains (not every woman so situated is going to view that process and that choice as painful). Being human is fraught with choices in which all options are to one degree or another painful or entail the risk of pain. The rational approach is to choose the option(s) in which the pain or evil is least serious. The bottom line, using this reasoning, is that killing a human being who has done no wrong and poses almost no threat (and the long-term psychological consequences of that choice) is a far greater evil than nine months of an involuntary pregnancy and a keep-or-adopt-out choice (and the long-term psychological consequences of that process and choice).

Though Pro-Abortion and Pro-“Choice” people deny or try to ignore it, the past 4 decades have shown that accepting the killing of an innocent and harmless human being as a “right” does great harm to a society, and puts that society onto a slippery slope that leads to killing infants and the aged when they become inconvenient. The US is pretty far down that slope!


#2

Though Pro-Abortion and Pro-“Choice” people deny or try to ignore it, the past 4 decades have shown that accepting the killing of an innocent and harmless human being as a “right” does great harm to a society, and puts that society onto a slippery slope that leads to killing infants and the aged when they become inconvenient. The US is pretty far down that slope!

Yes, I agree that that is reality. But a cultural shift cannot be effected by criminalizing abortion. Threatening women with the denial of their liberty cannot improve the culture. It is hearts and minds that must be affected. Instead, we make abortion a political football and harden the very hearts and minds we need to convince. Think about it - this is the great moral issue of our time and we’ve devolved into two “camps” that hate and won’t listen to each other.


#3

[quote=“Jazzhead, post:2, topic:39317”]
Yes, I agree that that is reality. But a cultural shift cannot be effected by criminalizing abortion. Threatening women with the denial of their liberty cannot improve the culture. It is hearts and minds that must be affected. Instead, we make abortion a political football and harden the very hearts and minds we need to convince. Think about it - this is the great moral issue of our time and we’ve devolved into two “camps” that hate and won’t listen to each other.
[/quote]You treat this issue as if it were about which shoes to wear. It is about the lives of INNOCENT and UNPROTECTED babies, and WHO has the right to grant them life, or sentence them to a horrid and inhuman end. We are talking about more death and tortuous treatment than perpetrated by all the evil dictators, on Earth. And you, in you infinite Christian wisdom, choose to side with those who would kill a child, in the interest of convenience. It is evil. It is an affront to every Christian. It usurps the sovereignty of God, Himself, placing life or death into the earthly hands of those who seek selfishness. It is calling evil, good.
Making abortion illegal would cause people to recognize the wrong of abortion. It would cause the law abiding to reject that option. Once killing the unborn was deemed illegal, one could prosecute anyone performing back alley procedures, to the fullest. The mindset, would have to change.
All that aside. Killing an unborn is murder. Murder is illegal. Abortion should be illegal. Why are you so against protecting the most helpless and innocent people? Why does Liberty to Kill, trump Freedom to Live? Senseless.


#4

I really do hope these trials change the course on Abortion. I just hope radical change isn’t what comes. We need the “Ban in all cases except when mothers’ life is endangered and rape” type of Pro-Life laws not the “Ban in ALL Cases” laws.

The latter has good intentions but will causes consequences that will bring back the Pro-Choice/Murder movement.


#5

The legal=moral mentality of America makes criminalization the ONLY option, and will make the cultural shift happen. That has been proven by other prohibitions.


#6

DEA Closes Abortion Clinic That Was Stealing Women’s Blood
by Matt Vespa


2013/05/11

Well, this is rather disturbing. Last month, the state of Ohio shut down an abortion clinic after it was discovered they were stealing women’s blood. The DEA got involved with the Capital Care center in Cuyahoga Falls after a report from the Ohio Department of Health cited numerous violations, including one involving drugs. Yet, that wasn’t this clinic’s only offense.

Concerning blood:

[quote]A staff member told inspectors that “many of the facility’s patients underwent frequent surgical procedures at the facility.” There is so much wrong here, one scarcely knows where to begin.

One thing is certain: Capital Care was counting on these Rh- women to show up repeatedly to supply them with blood.

However, there was no doctor’s order for any of these women to have a tube to be drawn instead of just a finger stick, “nor was there documentation the patient was made aware of the blood sample’s intended use.”

Staffers at the clinic would keep the blood in refrigerators to be used every day over a period of two weeks. As Pro-Life Action League noted, Rh- blood is very rare, and only 15% of the U.S. population carries this type. Hence,they would harvest it every time their “repeat customers” would arrive.[/quote]
"Ms. Smith-Jones, Dr. Dracul will bleed you now."

I wonder how many blood bank regs this abortuary violated for fun and profit! And was this abortuary the first and only “entrepreneur” with this idea? Obviously, there’s always some one who’s the first, but if they weren’t that first and only, how many more regulation-violating profiteer abortuaries are “out there”, yet to be exposed?


#7

And notice that, once again (or should I say, “As usual?!”), it wasn’t the state Department of Health who discovered this by way of scheduled or unannounced inspection!


#8

Isnt this the hypocrisy of healthcare reform? we claim it would run better if we let it run like a free market business and then we are frequently appalled by the results of healthcare places being run like free market businesses


#9

I must be missing your meaning, UNTR. These abortuaries have been caught violating health, cleanliness and safety laws/regs that apply to all outpatient surgery clinics. And this OH abortuary may have violated laws/regs that apply to all blood donation facilities. How is violating multiple laws - with the cooperative willful negligence of several states’ Departments of Health - being “run like a free market business”? And where’s the hypocrisy in asking that health, cleanliness and safety laws be enforced?


#10

To quote Ronald Reagan “I notice that everyone who is advocating abortion has already been born.”


#11

I agree with you. But few on the left will admit that before roe v wade, abortions were permitted (in hospital settings only) in cases of rape and to save the life of the mother–although the ultimate decision came from the mother. Many women died in the process of allowing their babies to be born. When we compare the number of abortions since roe v wade and those performed legally prior to it, it is astounding…and we should all hang our heads in shame.


#12

Ill set aside the argument that a good number of conservatives want to do away with the health/safety regulations for another day. Yes the laws were broken and yes they should be enforced but when your motive is profit there much more of an incentive to skirt the regulations and the more free market healthcare becomes the more of these “entrepreneurs” that will pop up


#13

Ill set aside the argument that a good number of conservatives want to do away with the health/safety regulations for another day.

Take that issue up with them. I’m not one of them.

Yes the laws were broken and yes they should be enforced but when your motive is profit there much more of an incentive to skirt the regulations and the more free market healthcare becomes the more of these “entrepreneurs” that will pop up

So law-breaking is a natural product of the free market? I don’t think so, not if government is doing its job to restrain fraud and protect public safety. When that is the case the risk and cost of being caught and punished for fraud, etc., is so high that honesty is in the best interest even of an amoral operator. In the cases in question, it was the refusal of government to enforce laws that tempted the likes of Kermit Gosnell or Leroy Carhartt to break laws to increase their profits - the risk of being caught and facing consequences was low.


#14

Sure it is go to any small business and Im sure there is a code violation of some sort, heck even go to any big chain and you are bound to find a violation or two. If it will save/make them money business often skip getting up to whatever code/law because the penalty is so minor and there are so many business and so few enforcers. the lower income the business serves the more likely it is to have code violations and less likely to be inspected. Is it the govt’s fault for making laws it cant cost effectively enforce? probably but Goesnell is the awful truth about abortion and about profit hungry healthcare


#15

Of course! Just look at what a great job they did with Enron!!! [extreme sarcasm]


#16

but Goesnell is the awful truth about abortion and about profit hungry healthcare

Exactly what I’ve been saying about the abortion industry. It’s all about $$$, not about women or women’s rights.


#17

The money grubbing permeates far beyond abortion; the mentally ill, the mentally handicapped, the elderly, anyone who can be exploited is in the medical industry is.

As far a women’s reproductive rights goes that whole shenanigan is a sack of crap. Where are the men’s reproductive rights? Where are the people clamoring for men’s reproductive right’s? A woman sabotages her birth control to get a man pregnant, the man is still responsible; a woman cheats on a man behind his back and says it is his kid on the birth certificate, the man is still responsible; a woman rapes a man and has his kid, the man is still responsible. Even the men on this board who support abortion, and call those who dont heartless, refuse to lift a finger for men’s rights.


#18

You are absolutely correct. The father has absolutely no rights or say-so in what happens to his child…even if he is married! If the wife decides to kill the baby, daddy has absolutely no rights to try to stop it. AND, there are many cases today where women who get pregnant lie about who the father of the baby is, and accuses whoever she feels will benefit her the most. These poor schmucks wind up paying child support even AFTER DNA tests determine that the child was/is not his!!! Where is the justice in that?? These women should be required to pay back every cent they stole from the non-father.

And of course the whole issue of “reproductive rights” is a scam. It always has been. This is the same as if a smoker gets lung cancer knowing the dangers and facts about smoking, but then blames the tobacco companies or the store clerk who sold him/her the cigarettes. The only one responsible for lung cancer is the SMOKER who refuses to quit. My mother couldn’t (or wouldn’t) quit smoking even after two heart surgeries. In the end, it was small cell lung cancer that killed her. She knew the risks, but convinced herself that she couldn’t quit. In my 20’s I smoked up to 3 packs a day. I quit cold-turkey in 1981–and it wasn’t easy, but I did it. There were no stop smoking patches or programs to follow. I just quit.

The same is true of abortion and “reproductive rights”. Reproductive rights (if there even IS such a thing) are meant to be implemented BEFORE a woman chooses to have sexual intercourse with a man. What woman today or even 50 years ago didn’t know that having sexual intercourse without birth control COULD result in a PREGNANCY??? None. Everyone knows that. But, we have become a nation of irresponsible morons who blame everyone and everything for our own irresponsible mistakes–and that includes making an innocent unborn human being pay the ultimate price for our mistakes…all in the name of “reproductive rights”.


#19

Reproductive rights are meant to be implemented BEFORE a woman chooses to have sexual intercourse with a man. What woman today or even 50 years ago didn’t know that having sexual intercourse without birth control COULD result in a PREGNANCY???

Many women practice birth control in good faith, but that birth control fails.


#20

Yes, that is true, however when you look at the numbers of abortions performed, you cannot possibly believe that all of them were caused by birth control failure. The sad part of the whole abortion issue is that many women are using it as a form of birth control. If taxpayer dollars weren’t funding abortion on demand and these women had to pay for their own abortions, I would bet that there would be a decrease in abortions. It is a sad fact that many women have had multiple abortions…someone very close to me, as a matter of fact. And besides the occasional birth control failure, still does not justify the taking of an innocent human life. There is nothing that can justify an abortion in my mind with the sole exception of imminent death to the mother.