Columnist Misrepresents Gosnell Case
by Brandon McGinley
Sunday’s Harrisburg Patriot-News features an article by Philadelphia-based columnist Dick Polman alleging a) that media coverage of the Kermit Gosnell trial has been sufficient and b) that Gosnell’s outrages were the result of laws that protect the unborn. Both claims are risible.
First, Polman offers a cheeky litany of the news coverage Gosnell has received:
I read about [the Gosnell case] that year, thanks to a pair of stories in The New York Times.
Wait, there were news stories about Gosnell two years before he went on trial? What kind of a “liberal media” blackout is that?
Gee, I guess the Times didn’t get the conspiracy memo.
Nor did the Philadelphia Inquirer, which has long tracked the Gosnell story.
Nor did the Associated Press, which has run roughly 20 stories since jury selection.
Nor did NPR, which did a Gosnell story two years ago.
Nor did Time magazine, which started covering the story two years ago.
Nor did Slate, the online magazine, which started covering the story two years ago — as did The Daily Beast.
The remarkable thing about the list, of course, is not how long it is, but how short it is. Only two New York Times stories in two years about a man who flushed babies down the toilet? A quick search shows that the Times ran 20 stories on the deranged Casey Anthony in only 3 months. One Slate article (by the liberal William Saletan, to his credit) from 2011 through the beginning of the trial in 2013? Slate publishes hundred of articles every day! Remember this tweet from Slate‘s in-house politics reporter Dave Weigel?
Good for the #Gosnell tweeters. Amazed/sorry I didn’t know about the story before.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) April 12, 2013
At this point no respectable commentator can maintain that the Gosnell story was being sufficiently covered. The reason/motives behind the media’s incuriosity are debatable, but the facts are not. Polman’s attempt to put up a smokescreen is easily revealed as transparent ideological hackery.
But the media story is a distraction from the real story, which Polman gets wrong as well. He asserts with no evidence that Gosnell is an outlier in the abortion industry. But we know that “respectable” clinics as far away as Hagerstown, MD, referred vulnerable young women to him. We know that the National Abortion Federation (NAF) and Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania knew about the deplorable conditions, but did not report him to authorities. We know that Gosnell worked at an NAF accredited clinic in Delaware once per week (page 41). We know that as recently as the early 1990’s, Gosnell’s clinic was the largest abortion provider in Philadelphia (source: PA Health Department Records). Back-alley abortionist? Hardly.
We know that Planned Parenthood of Wilmington, DE, has closed after revelations that abortions were performed as if in a “meat market.” We know that the Capital Care Network of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, has been shut down after serial health violations similar to Gosnell, and that the Center for Choice of Toledo, OH, has been performing illegal abortions without a transfer agreement with a local hospital for two years. We know that four Pennsylvania abortion clinics were closed last year for having unlicensed staff pose as nurses, among other violations.
We can see now why Polman relies on assertions rather than facts: the facts draw up a portrait of a lucrative and shameless abortion industry into which Gosnell fit quite snugly.
Kermit Gosnell is not the result of laws that protect the unborn, but of the idea that some human lives are expendable, handed down by Roe v. Wade, negligent state bureaucrats, and of course the lucrative abortion industry. If you can take a life at 24 weeks, why not 25? Or 32? Or after delivery? Gosnell couldn’t see why not, and neither can I.
Cross-posted at The Family Forum