So shocking about late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell was how he killed his victims. When we learn how the abortionist slit the necks of struggling, crying infants, moments after a failed abortion, and scissored their spinal cords, we're sickened, and rightfully so. Except for Gosnell's defense attorney (who, after all, is paid), not even the staunchest abortion advocates have stepped forward to defend Gosnell's crimes. The videos coming out of Live Action's "Inhuman" investigation show that Gosnell is not the only late-term abortionist willing to commit the indefensible.
The "Inhuman" investigation continues to show the brutality of the abortion procedure, and how easily it can lead to infanticide.
In the Bronx, N.Y., our investigator was told that a born-alive baby would be placed in a jar of toxic solution to ensure death. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Cesare Santangelo said, "We would not help it," comparing a baby struggling for life after a failed abortion to a cancer patient with previously established "do not resuscitate" orders. In an abortion clinic in Phoenix, the company policy was clear: "They do not resuscitate." Now, abortionist Leroy Carhart tells our 26-weeks-pregnant investigator that abortion would make her baby like "meat in a crockpot" and jokes that he uses a "drill bit" and "pickax" to remove the dead child from the uterus.
We started this investigation because infants — as many as 1 in 10 — do survive late-term abortion attempts. The procedures differ from abortionist to abortionist, but in all of them, labor has to be induced. That baby has to be "born" — but, as the abortionist hopes, born dead.
Feminists in the past told us that abortion would empower women, that we need it to achieve our educational, relationship and career goals. Live Action's videos, however, show what abortion really is — what it does both to women and to their children. Now we can call out this idea for the lie that it is.
Our bosses tell us that if we want the promotion, we can't have another baby. We need that abortion. Is that empowerment?
When we're at our most vulnerable, when we're most in need of support from those closest to us, our boyfriends throw us a wad of cash, dump us out of the car in front of the clinic, and promise to answer the phone when we call after it's all over. Is that empowerment?
A woman walks into an abortion facility in the Bronx looking for information, and is told, "I don't know why you want to know all this. Just do it!" Dr. Carhart says, "You'll be so drunk you won't care." Is that empowerment? Lying on a table, feet in the stirrups, waiting for the abortionist to insert the needle or the forceps or the sharp-edged suction machine — is this a position of power?
When I was in the makeup room before an interview last week, the makeup artist told me she was still hurting from the abortion she had had many years ago. "It's something you live with the rest of your life," she said. "Who says I couldn't have made it being a single mom? I know I could have."
The biological reality of our bodies is not a threat to our freedom. The idea that women need the same "ability" as men to not carry a child for nine months is absurd. On the contrary — that women can carry children is an ability, an amazing gift. It is not something to be mocked, controverted and disabled.
I am a feminist, and as a feminist who knows that abortion goes against every possible interpretation of women's empowerment, I stand with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who said, "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." I agree with Susan B. Anthony, who said, "[T]he woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death. But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime." I reject the stance of Gloria Steinem, who claimed, "One in three women needs an abortion at some time in her life." Likewise, I condemn the words of RH Reality Check's Jessica DelBalzo: "I love abortion. I don't accept it. I don't view it as a necessary evil. I embrace it."
I look at the wreckage of the past 40 years, and I see countless women mourning the lives they have lost. I see physical and emotional problems that no one has researched enough or spoken out about enough.
We've called this issue "private" because we don't dare explore the real damage abortion does to women. We've hidden it behind clinic doors — some fancier or more sterile than others — but hiding it doesn't change its result. Ripping, pulling, tearing children from their mother's wombs — all this happens, regardless of the expertise of the abortionist or the chicness of the clinic.
Our battle is not won yet. As the painful stories emerge from clinics such as those of Kermit Gosnell, Cesare Santangelo and Leroy Carhart — to say nothing of the stories yet to come — women are one step closer to vanquishing the great lie that any power can come from abortionists killing our children.
Lila Rose is the president and founder of Live Action.