Reproductive Justice in Philadelphia

After the widespread media uproar that resulted from the exposure of Kermit Gosnell's baby-butchering abortion clinic... 

Oops, sorry, let's try that again. After the widespread media silence that resulted from the exposure of Kermit Gosnell's baby-butchering abortion clinic, one begins to see just where the abortion issue is going. The flagrant non-effort of journalists and pundits to shine the light on Gosnell's actions is instructive; it tells a tale, one that begins and ends with a clear roadmap for the future of "reproductive" rights in the United States.

Of course, the mainstream media in recent days managed to raise itself from its torpid slumber to offer some half-hearted commentary on the systematic murder of living babies that Gosnell engendered.Why hasn't there been broader and round-the-clock coverage of Gosnell's atrocities? "I can't explain it," writes David Weigel over at Slate. "It's never made sense to me, how a local crime story becomes a national story." Well, perhaps the local becomes national when the media report on it, a duty which they scrupulously neglected up until about ninety-six hours ago. Marvel at this phenomenon: a journalist who has no grasp at all of the fundamental principles and tenets of journalism.

That's all of a piece, however. The media are glad to report on the unmitigated horror of firearms being sold without background checks, and they are even able to muster enough gumption to give us the scoop on Justin Bieber's latest pair of Supra Vaiders. Dead babies in refrigerators is another matter, however -- who wants to read about that? It's just icky and gross.

Not to mention a direct threat to abortion, at least according to some of the heavy hitters of the abortion lobby. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, thinks the evidence speaks for itself:

"This is exactly what happens when you place undue restrictions and you try to shame women to keep them from exercising their constitutional right to safe and legal abortions... You make them victims to people like Gosnell, because in their desperation they'll turn anywhere. You want to drive people like Gosnell out of business? Then you actually support medical facilities and the right of women to safe and legal abortion."

Right -- Gosnell's actions were the result of burdensome anti-abortion government regulations. Never mind that his abortion clinic was essentially left alone by Pennsylvania regulators for years; the only explanation has to be the heavy hand of a conservative government. Oddly enough, NARAL started out its existence as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. Well, for all intents and purposes, there were no "laws" at Gosnell's practice, so they may as well have been repealed. And this is what happened.

So it becomes clear what the left means when it speaks of "reproductive rights" and "reproductive justice." In truth, nothing at Gosnell's clinic had anything to do with "reproduction" (to say nothing of "justice"). Reproduction happens when human beings reproduce -- that is to say, when they fertilize a human egg. Post-fertilization is generally referred to as "life." The left has managed to frame the language to define the abortion of viable babies as having to do with reproduction, when of course reproduction has long since taken place. All that's left is the extermination of life, and those like Gosnell who are perfectly happy to do it.

That is the future of abortion. And it pains this author to say so, given that I am a believer in abortion rights (I won't vouchsafe to use the ridiculous term "pro-choice"). My belief in the right to an abortion has always been uncomfortable, suffused as it is with the knowledge that one is killing a human being in the process -- not a blob of cells, or a cluster of tissue, or whatever they're calling a baby these days, but a real human. There were trade-offs to be made, I assured myself -- and in many ways I still believe this. But if you're like me, you're starting to question the frenetic dogma of the American left, which has only been able to rouse itself over the horror of the Gosnell trial enough to say, in effect, "So what?"

The worst part is in feeling kind of hoodwinked by the whole charade. For decades we've assumed that progressives, blasé though they may have been, genuinely did believe that it was a "blob of tissue" that they were exterminating, and that it wasn't that much of a big deal. With the revelation of Gosnell's murdering of fully-viable human infants, and the left's apathetic response to it, we see where their true sentiments lie. Children who have been born, it seems, are also merely a cluster of cells -- they're just slightly more inconvenient to deal with.

It remains to be seen what will happen to Gosnell. But the implications of abortion in this country are right now very clear and very stark "Kermit Gosnell's so-called clinic is a peek into the world before Roe v. Wade," Hogue said, "and this is exactly what our opponents are driving us to." It sounds almost like a threat, where the choice is to either expand abortion rights and deal with it, or reduce abortion rights and pay dearly for it. Either way, the result is more dead babies. Is anyone surprised?

Daniel Payne is a freelance writer living and working in Richmond, Virginia. He blogs at Oakmoor.blogspot.com

After the widespread media uproar that resulted from the exposure of Kermit Gosnell's baby-butchering abortion clinic... 

Oops, sorry, let's try that again. After the widespread media silence that resulted from the exposure of Kermit Gosnell's baby-butchering abortion clinic, one begins to see just where the abortion issue is going. The flagrant non-effort of journalists and pundits to shine the light on Gosnell's actions is instructive; it tells a tale, one that begins and ends with a clear roadmap for the future of "reproductive" rights in the United States.

Of course, the mainstream media in recent days managed to raise itself from its torpid slumber to offer some half-hearted commentary on the systematic murder of living babies that Gosnell engendered.Why hasn't there been broader and round-the-clock coverage of Gosnell's atrocities? "I can't explain it," writes David Weigel over at Slate. "It's never made sense to me, how a local crime story becomes a national story." Well, perhaps the local becomes national when the media report on it, a duty which they scrupulously neglected up until about ninety-six hours ago. Marvel at this phenomenon: a journalist who has no grasp at all of the fundamental principles and tenets of journalism.

That's all of a piece, however. The media are glad to report on the unmitigated horror of firearms being sold without background checks, and they are even able to muster enough gumption to give us the scoop on Justin Bieber's latest pair of Supra Vaiders. Dead babies in refrigerators is another matter, however -- who wants to read about that? It's just icky and gross.

Not to mention a direct threat to abortion, at least according to some of the heavy hitters of the abortion lobby. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, thinks the evidence speaks for itself:

"This is exactly what happens when you place undue restrictions and you try to shame women to keep them from exercising their constitutional right to safe and legal abortions... You make them victims to people like Gosnell, because in their desperation they'll turn anywhere. You want to drive people like Gosnell out of business? Then you actually support medical facilities and the right of women to safe and legal abortion."

Right -- Gosnell's actions were the result of burdensome anti-abortion government regulations. Never mind that his abortion clinic was essentially left alone by Pennsylvania regulators for years; the only explanation has to be the heavy hand of a conservative government. Oddly enough, NARAL started out its existence as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. Well, for all intents and purposes, there were no "laws" at Gosnell's practice, so they may as well have been repealed. And this is what happened.

So it becomes clear what the left means when it speaks of "reproductive rights" and "reproductive justice." In truth, nothing at Gosnell's clinic had anything to do with "reproduction" (to say nothing of "justice"). Reproduction happens when human beings reproduce -- that is to say, when they fertilize a human egg. Post-fertilization is generally referred to as "life." The left has managed to frame the language to define the abortion of viable babies as having to do with reproduction, when of course reproduction has long since taken place. All that's left is the extermination of life, and those like Gosnell who are perfectly happy to do it.

That is the future of abortion. And it pains this author to say so, given that I am a believer in abortion rights (I won't vouchsafe to use the ridiculous term "pro-choice"). My belief in the right to an abortion has always been uncomfortable, suffused as it is with the knowledge that one is killing a human being in the process -- not a blob of cells, or a cluster of tissue, or whatever they're calling a baby these days, but a real human. There were trade-offs to be made, I assured myself -- and in many ways I still believe this. But if you're like me, you're starting to question the frenetic dogma of the American left, which has only been able to rouse itself over the horror of the Gosnell trial enough to say, in effect, "So what?"

The worst part is in feeling kind of hoodwinked by the whole charade. For decades we've assumed that progressives, blasé though they may have been, genuinely did believe that it was a "blob of tissue" that they were exterminating, and that it wasn't that much of a big deal. With the revelation of Gosnell's murdering of fully-viable human infants, and the left's apathetic response to it, we see where their true sentiments lie. Children who have been born, it seems, are also merely a cluster of cells -- they're just slightly more inconvenient to deal with.

It remains to be seen what will happen to Gosnell. But the implications of abortion in this country are right now very clear and very stark "Kermit Gosnell's so-called clinic is a peek into the world before Roe v. Wade," Hogue said, "and this is exactly what our opponents are driving us to." It sounds almost like a threat, where the choice is to either expand abortion rights and deal with it, or reduce abortion rights and pay dearly for it. Either way, the result is more dead babies. Is anyone surprised?

Daniel Payne is a freelance writer living and working in Richmond, Virginia. He blogs at Oakmoor.blogspot.com

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