January 22, 2013 is the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. People on both sides of the abortion debate have been writing articles and discussing what has happened in the last 40 years and where we go from here. There has been some encouraging news for the pro-life movement and a good deal of advancement in science and technology that illustrates that the unborn are babies and not simply a mass of tissue. On the other hand, Planned Parenthood, one of the largest abortion providers in the U.S., announced a record year in number of abortions last year. In just the past three years, Planned Parenthood has performed nearly 1 million abortions.
This last week two pro-life videos have been making the rounds. Both are very powerful. The first video by March for Life incorporates a speech made by President Obama with images of children and pro-life rallies. The speech, on the importance of protecting our children, was made in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. The point of the video is to underscore the importance of protecting ALL of our children, even the smallest and most unprotected ones.
Here is a transcript of President Obama’s speech used in the video:
They had their entire lives ahead of them: birthdays, graduations, weddings, children of their own.
This is our first task: caring for our children. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how as a society we will be judged. By that measure, can we honestly say we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is “No.”
These tragedies must end. You will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.
If there’s even one step that we can take to save another child, then surely we have an obligation to try.
Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year, is somehow the price of our freedom?
It is clear that the speech was given for an entirely different purpose than the protection of the unborn. And that is a shame. May his words serve as a stark reminder of the irony of a nation that would restrict some freedoms in order to protect children from potential tragedy, while continuing to destroy the weakest and most defenseless children so as not to infringe on the “freedom to choose.”
The second video, written and directed by David Altrogge, is a documentary about the horrors that took place at the Women’s Medical Society, an abortion clinic, in West Philadelphia.
*Warning: The video is extremely difficult to watch. Children and sensitive people should not watch. However, a transcript from the Grand Jury case is available on the website and will serve to inform any who would prefer not to watch the video.*
Dr. Kermit Gosnell opened the clinic in West Philadelphia in 1979. In the 30 years since, his clinic performed illegal, late-term abortions in dirty and unsafe conditions. Many women were injured and some died because of the untrained staff and the substandard care. Despite many complaints, it wasn’t until the clinic was raided because of Dr. Gosnell’s illegal practice of selling prescription drugs like Oxycontin that the horrors of the abortion side of the clinic could no longer be ignored. Dr. Gosnell is currently in prison and awaiting trial.
What follows are small excerpts from Grand Jury report as summarized on the 3801 Lancaster website:
This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.
The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment – such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff – was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house.
The people who ran this sham medical practice included no doctors other than Gosnell himself, and not even a single nurse. Two of his employees had been to medical school, but neither of them were licensed physicians. They just pretended to be. Everyone called them “Doctor,” even though they, and Gosnell, knew they weren’t. Among the rest of the staff, there was no one with any medical licensing or relevant certification at all. But that didn’t stop them from making diagnoses, performing procedures, administering drugs.
When you perform late-term “abortions” by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the Women’s Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn’t call it that. He called it “ensuring fetal demise.” The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that “snipping.”
Over the years, there were hundreds of “snippings.” Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the “snipping” was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff. But all the employees of the Women’s Medical Society knew.
The full report is available here.
It is my hope that these videos will encourage us all to work to protect the unborn. I believe that President Obama is right when he says that we will be judged by the way we care for our children, all of them.