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HAGELIN: The reality of abortion — Kermit Gosnell is no outlier
Culture challenge of the week: The 'right to choose'
Over the past few weeks, the appalling evidence in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell generated tears, horror and outrage — at least among Americans exposed to the story.
For those unfamiliar with the case, here's the quick summary: Dr. Gosnell, a longtime Philadelphia abortionist who specialized in late-term abortions, is charged with the killing of several newborn babies (born alive in "failed abortions") and for causing the death of a patient, a young immigrant who was pregnant. His preferred method of killing a just-delivered infant was particularly brutal: Jurors were told he or his staffers would stick a scissors in the back of the still-breathing, wriggling infant's neck and "snip" the spinal cord. The dying baby would be tossed aside.
The grand jury report described Dr. Gosnell's abortion clinic as a "house of horrors." Bloodstained, dirty instruments were used on women without proper sterilization, animal feces littered the clinic space, untrained workers administered anesthesia and medication, and the bodies of aborted babies were stuffed into milk jugs, garbage bags and the freezer. As the prosecutor said in closing arguments, even sick dogs were put down more humanely than these babies.
The liberal news media, with few exceptions, engaged in a blackout of the case. Why? Because, as one writer recently acknowledged, they were worried that informing the public about Dr. Gosnell's butchery might "compromise" abortion rights.
The pro-choice crowd is scared to death that women, and their boyfriends, fathers and husbands, will look at the gruesome photos of the babies Dr. Gosnell is accused of murdering and realize that they were babies, not blobs of tissue. Or that they might realize that a baby loses its life in every abortion. The abortion cheerleaders don't want women to discover that the heart and soul of every abortionist is callous and full of evil, whether the abortionist is breaking the law, as Dr. Gosnell appeared to be, or following the law to the letter.
The Gosnell case is an awful, tragic reminder of what abortion is about: killing children and maiming women. Dr. Gosnell allegedly butchered babies and their mothers, but even legal abortion causes unseen emotional and spiritual wounds to the mothers. What is perhaps equally as disgusting is the great lengths President Obama went to, even during the worst trial of this kind in history, to push his agenda. Last week, he actually gave a pep talk to Planned Parenthood leaders, staffers and supporters, telling them that in the "fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care and to protect a woman's right to make her own choices about her own health," (meaning to get an abortion for any reason) he would be "right there with you fighting every step of the way."
How to save your family: Affirm the right to life
The "right to choose" is a euphemism that means one thing: abortion. And every abortion has at least three primary victims: a mother, wounded and bereft of her child; a father whose child may have been killed without his knowledge or consent; and a child cut down in cold blood.
It's important that we share the truth about abortion with our friends, family and the public. We know that many women resorted to abortion when what they really needed was loving support to carry them through a tough pregnancy and beyond.
We can affirm the goodness of life in many ways. Let me suggest just a few.
First, pray for women facing difficult pregnancies alone and unsupported. Pray that the Lord will bring people into their lives to help them see solutions other than abortion.
Second, support organizations that provide immediate help to women and consider volunteering your time to reach out personally. Offering something as simple as a cup of coffee and a listening ear may be the difference between life and death.
Third, show mercy and kindness to women who have had abortions. Many women carry that secret in shame, living with unspoken regret, sadness and fear of judgment. Our God is a God of mercy. No matter what circumstances may have led a mother to abort her child, she needs to know that God wants to embrace her and to offer his forgiveness and healing.
Fourth, speak the truth about abortion to men, and share God's forgiveness with them, too. Many men suffer in silence, tormented that they either encouraged the abortion of their son or daughter, or that they were totally powerless to save their own baby from being brutally and legally killed.
Please, speak for those who have no voice. Kermit Gosnell is an aberration only in the sense that his clinic was filthier than most others and he and his staff failed to follow standard medical practices. But the essence of what he did — kill babies and maim women, all in the name of choice — occurs every day in every abortion clinic in the country.
It's got to stop.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at rebecca@howtosave yourfamily.com.
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