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Diane Weber Bederman

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The House of Horrors: A Foundation for Limits on Abortion

Posted: 04/18/2013 9:03 am

In 1972 John D. Rockefeller chaired the commission, "Population and the American Future," which recommended abortion on demand. At the time, the fear of overpopulation was great and abortion was promoted to control population. And abortion increased as did its acceptance.

Yes, there is a connection between Rockefeller and the horrors in Philadelphia. The alleged barbarity that took place in the Gosnell Clinic is the black swan of Rockefeller's environmental "good intentions."

The following comes from the Grand Jury Report on The House of Horrors in Philadelphia:

"This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women...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... Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.

Continuing from the report...

A 17-year-old mother was almost 30 weeks pregnant -- seven and a half months -- when labor was induced. An employee estimated his birth weight as approaching six pounds. He was breathing and moving when Dr. Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. The doctor joked that this baby was so big he could "walk me to the bus stop."

Another, Baby Boy B, whose body was found at the clinic frozen in a one-gallon spring-water bottle, was at least 28 weeks of gestational age when he was killed. Baby C was moving and breathing for 20 minutes before an assistant came in and cut the spinal cord, just the way she had seen Gosnell do it so many times.

Whenever I write or talk about abortion and mention the possibility of a slippery slope, I am told that the slippery slope discussion is a straw dog. There are rules after all! But rules are only as good as the people who follow them and the institutions that are set up to oversee them. There is an assumption of honesty and human goodness. In Philadelphia there was a breakdown on both fronts. Mr. Gosnell has no ethical/moral core and the overseers in Philadelphia dropped the ball for 17 years.

In 1992 Janice Staloski of the Pennsylvania Department of Health saw the infractions taking place at the Women's Medical Society (what a misnomer). And did nothing. After 1993 officials concluded inspections would be "putting a barrier up to women" seeking abortions. Other officials failed to do anything even after the death of Karnamaya Mongar in 2010. From municipal to State, all agencies failed every time until, as the Grand Jury reported "... until the facts hit the fan."

Are you shocked? You ought to be. But what is more shocking is that the revelations of 2013 are not new. Mark Steyn reported on this February 2011.
I am paraphrasing but not by much.

Gosnell killed viable babies by plunging scissors into their spinal cords. He taught his staff to do the same. Fifteen-year-old Robyn Reid didn't want an abortion. Her grandmother forcibly took her to Gosnell in 1998. Robyn figured she'd just tell the doctor her wishes and then sneak away. That plan didn't work. Instead, Gosnell ripped off her clothes, spanked her, wrestled her onto a dirty surgical stretcher, tied her flailing arms and legs down and pumped sedatives into her until she quit screaming and lost consciousness

The atrocities that took place at Gosnell's Women's Medical Society have even reached Britain. The story included the reports of employees, none of whom were accredited. One said she once had to kill a baby delivered in a toilet, cutting its neck with scissors, she said. Asked if she knew that was wrong, she said, "At first I didn't."

Picture a small baby held in the palm of your hand. His neck curled. And then picture taking a pair of scissors and snipping his neck.

Where does one begin to comment on her inability to know that what she was doing was morally, ethically and legally wrong? I do know it speaks to a society that's lost any sense of the value of life. It's arrogant to believe something like that can't happen here.

Kate Michelman, former head of pro-choice group NARAL wrote: "Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, when abortion policy was established, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's primary goal was to overturn Roe v. Wade and, barring that, impose as many barriers as possible to limit access to abortion."

The barriers to which she refers are the laws of Pennsylvania outlined in the Grand Jury Report:

"Physicians must, for example, provide counseling about the nature of the procedure. Minors must have parental or judicial consent. All women must wait 24 hours after first visiting the facility, in order to fully consider their decision. Most doctors won't perform late second-trimester abortions, from approximately the 20th week of pregnancy, because of the risks involved. And late-term abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy are flatly illegal."

Are we to conclude lack of access to women-friendly clinics forced these women to wait until 24 weeks and longer to obtain an abortion? And what exactly is so terrible about counseling women at that point to deliver the baby and put the baby up for adoption? Or, what is so awful about talking to women about the procedure and then asking them to wait 24 hours before proceeding? Before all non-emergency surgeries and procedures, all patients are given time to think before signing on the dotted line. Why is this "procedure" different? Or is this what we call a woman's right to choose?

Gosnell's callous disregard for women and children and his collecting of dead babies and feet in jars demands of us that we take action. Anyone who assumes Gosnell's clinic is a one-off is blinded by ideology. Those who refuse to look at limits in abortion are stuck in the rut of Manichean thinking.

Mark Steyn asked why the uproar over this mass killing of fetuses hasn't brought the same attention as the Sandy Hook murders. I have the same question. The silence is deafening.

Why is our government refusing to allow Members of Parliament to discuss abortion? Why are we not discussing sex-selection abortion. Killing female fetuses says girls lack value. That idea must never enter the collective consciousness of Canadian culture.

Elie Wiesel wrote : "One may not go beyond a certain limit; to live is good, to want to live is human, but not at the expense of another's death."

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  • Jack Nicholson

    Jack Nicholson has said his pro-life stance stems from being born out of wedlock himself. His mother, a showgirl, became pregnant with him as a teenager and was encouraged to have an abortion but did not.

  • Kenny Chesney

    It would be no surprise to see any number of country stars on this list, but Kenny Chesney may have taken his pro-life stance an extra step. His 2003 single "There Goes My Life," about a teenager preparing to become a father, has been lauded as an anti-abortion, pro-fatherhood anthem.

  • Mel Gibson

    Mel Gibson told Barbara Walters in 1990 that he is opposed to birth control and abortion, saying, "God is the only one who knows how many children we should have, and we should be ready to accept them. One can't decide for oneself who comes into this world and who doesn't. That decision doesn't belong to us."

  • Patricia Heaton

    The Emmy-winning "Everybody Loves Raymond" actress has long been known as an outspoken Republican. In 1998 she became the honorary co-chair of Feminists for Life, a pro-life organization that aims to steer women away from choosing abortion.

  • Martin Sheen

    Martin Sheen, who portrayed Democratic president Jed Bartlet on "The West Wing," discussed his devout Catholic upbringing and conservative viewpoints on an Irish talk show in 2011. He specifically mentioned being pro-life, but that didn't stop him from <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/27/martin-sheen-romney-stupid-arrogant_n_2030597.html">telling HuffPo that Mitt Romney is "stupid" and "arrogant."</a>

  • Ben Stein

    Before becoming an actor, Ben Stein was a speechwriter for presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He's remained a well-known political and economic commentator and in 2003 was honored at the Tenth Annual Proudly Pro-Life Awards Dinner, hosted by the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund.

  • Kathy Ireland

    Kathy Ireland rose to fame in the 1980s as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, but, like her political beliefs, much of her work has since been comparatively conservative. In 2011, Ireland was the keynote speaker at the Council for Life's annual luncheon, where she professed her religious beliefs and detailed her journey to becoming a pro-life supporter.

  • Kirk Cameron

    A former atheist, Kirk Cameron famously became a born-again Christian at 17 while starring on "Growing Pains," which he then insisted had plots that were too inappropriate. He's since been an incredibly outspoken Republican, receiving intense backlash from the the Hollywood community in 2012 when he told Piers Morgan that homosexuality is "unnatural ... and ultimately destructive to foundations of civilization." He is currently a member of the evangelical Christian movement and has espoused anti-abortion ideology.

  • Justin Bieber

    "I really don't believe in abortion," <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/justin-bieber-talks-sex-politics-music-and-puberty-in-new-rolling-stone-cover-story-20110216">Justin Bieber told Rolling Stone</a> in 2011. "It's like killing a baby." When asked about cases of rape, the pop star said, "Um. Well, I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don't know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that."

  • Jim Caviezel

    Having portrayed Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," it seems only appropriate that Jim Caviezel has proclaimed himself to be a devout Catholic. The actor told Catholic Digest in 2009 that being pro-life is more important to him than his career.

  • Andrea Bocelli

    Andrea Bocelli first made his pro-life stance public in 2010 when he recorded a video discussing his mother's decision not to have an abortion even though she was encouraged to after coming down with appendicitis while pregnant. “Of course, personally I do not share the idea of being able to interrupt life arbitrarily,” <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/classicalmusic/8884646/Andrea-Bocelli-The-truth-about-my-friend-the-strong-willed-kind-and-intelligent-Silvio-Berlusconi.html">he told The Telegraph</a> in 2011. “But I cannot be the judge of those who decide in a different way. As much as I can, I show them an example and act as a role model, because I believe this is the only way.”