By his own lawyer’s count, Kermit Gosnell, a 72-year-old doctor in West Philadelphia, Pa., performed more than 16,000 abortions over the course of 31 years.
Dr. Gosnell has an attorney explaining his work because he is busy being tried for murder over seven of those abortions and the death of one prospective mother. Karnamaya Mongar, a native of Bhutan, went to the Gosnell clinic in the 19th week of her pregnancy, well past the first trimester in which most abortions are performed. When she sought to end the life of her unborn child, Ms. Mongar already had three children of her own. The children lost their mother when she reacted badly to a painkiller during the procedure and died at a nearby hospital.
The other seven unborn children, who remain unnamed, suffered a grimmer fate. Dr. Gosnell stands accused of cutting the spinal cords after plunging a pair of scissors into their necks. The details only grow more gruesome. Descriptions of the physical conditions at the clinic and the pressure he is accused of putting on employees are not pleasant reading.
This grim story was not something for the morning papers or the evening news, at least not for those reading the “mainstream” newspapers or watching ABC, CBS or NBC. As the Media Research Center notes, the broadcast giants “have each covered the new abortion laws in North Dakota and Arkansas, ominously describing them as the ‘most restrictive’ in the nation,” while the Gosnell trial received “zero seconds of coverage.” The networks were busy dwelling on the antics of the Rutgers University basketball coach, Mike Rice. He spoke sharply to his players and sometimes threw basketballs at them, and was fired for it.
The practices at the Gosnell clinic were somewhat more severe, bordering on the barbaric. Many of the “terminated” babies were fully formed and viable. By one account, Dr. Gosnell said of one aborted infant, “This baby is big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop.”
Any other murder trial with this level of depravity would have collected a swarm of television network satellite trucks surrounding the courthouse. Finely coiffed reporters would provide relentless on-the-scene commentary. That’s not happening in this case, because the left can’t handle anything critical of abortion. The networks oblige by not finding the time to cover what any editor would recognize as “a heck of a story.”
Elaborating the details of Dr. Gosnell’s medical “practice” might churn the stomachs of some viewers, but such reporting, as the media is always telling us, is necessary to satisfy “the people’s right to know.” This story is relevant to one of the most important public policy issues of the times, calling into question the myth that abortion is a sterile procedure detached from the termination of a human life. Sober reflection on the Gosnell clinic might even call into question whether abortion on demand is a right.
Broadcast networks are eager to beam the most sensational of crimes into our homes, so long as the gloves are of leather and not rubber. The blood of Dr. Gosnell’s victims cries out for justice. The mainstream media shut their eyes and close their ears.