20 January 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: DA: W. Phila abortion doc killed woman, 7 infants | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/19/2011

DA: W. Phila abortion doc killed woman, 7 infants | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/19/2011

When I first saw the title of this article, I thought "Gods, what kind of abortion nightmare is Philadelphia getting involved in?" I'll admit that I'm pro-choice. I don't believe that sentience begins at conception. I believe that a woman has a right to choose what to do with her body. And I'd rather see legal abortions to women that want/need them than back-alley abortions that endanger the mother. (And yes, this is a VERY simplified version of what I believe. I may talk more about my views on abortion at a later date, but what I'm talking about today only touches lightly on those beliefs. So please, no debates on pro-choice v. pro-life right now. Maybe next week.)

As I said, when I first glanced at the title of the article, I thought that someone was trying to push a murder charge on a doctor that performed legal abortions. But the 7 infants and 1 woman caught my attention to read more.

If you aren't interested in checking out the article, the basics are this. Dr. Kermit Gosnell has been charge in killing a woman that had come to his clinic for an abortion through an overdose of anesthetic that was prescribed by him. He was also charged in killing 7 infants. All of them were born alive in the 6th, 7th & 8th months of pregnancy. All of them were viable. He killed them by cutting their spinal cords with a pair of scissors. He also spent very little time overseeing his West Philadelphia clinic, leaving the care of the women that came to him in the hands of untrained workers in his clinic.

This appalls me. And makes me wonder just how callous this man must be to perform these kind of atrocities. As well as what kind of women would ask to have a child aborted so late in the pregnancy. Did they not feel the child moving inside them? Did they not make some kind of connection with the child in their womb? I know that by the 6th month, with both Teddy & Peter, they were PEOPLE to me. And even if I decided that I couldn't support the child, I would have given the child up for adoption. I just can't understand how someone - anyone - could countenance murder, especially of one so small.

I know that this is an extreme case. Most doctors that perform abortions do so within the confines of the law. They do so in clean, sterile environments. They make sure that the women are taken care of by people who know what they're doing. They perform early term abortions. They don't (by my definition or, at the moment, the law's) perform cold-blooded murder.

I think another thing that disturbs me about this is the fact that this clinic is so close to my old apartment in Philly. Maybe a total of 10 blocks away. I know that we were living close to the poorer end of town, but I never expected something like this to be so close to an area I knew well. I think it's because I think of this kind of atrocity happening in poor COUNTRIES, not in a poor section of one of the largest cities in the US.

I hope they put him away for life. I hope that he, and those that aided him, are never allowed near another pregnant woman again. And I hope the world never has to hear about such a thing again. I know the last is wishful thinking, but I can hope.