Why Kermit Gosnell Matters
By Thomas Grier
Kermit Gosnell might be the “worst serial killer in history.” The exact number of innocents slaughtered likely will never fully be known, and the atrocities likely never fully revealed. It is far and away, for me and my wife, one of the most horrifying and soul wrenching evil acts that we have ever forced ourselves to know in detail. In addition to the horrendous descriptions of Gosnell’s actions, the initial media silence left us genuinely concerned about America’s future.
Yet after a grassroots effort on social networks across the web to force coverage of this historically tragic court hearing, we’re starting to see people take notice. Where there was first shameful silence, there is now great interest. Americans are now faced with the ugly realities of unfettered abortion. Hopefully from this disaster, people will become more engaged, more aware, and more courageous in defining themselves as pro-life. In fact, Gosnell’s acts have truly highlighted the stark differences between being pro-life and pro-choice.
I am now hopeful that Kermit Gosnell will result in more pro-life victories throughout America and in return result in more innocent lives preserved. Here’s why:
During my first year of law school, I took constitutional law like every other first year law student. In every constitutional law course, students not only read Roe v. Wade, the case that extended the 14th Amendment to cover a woman’s right to have an abortion, but also other abortion cases, such as Gonzales v. Carhart.
In Carhart, the Supreme Court upheld Congress’ Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. I am embarrassed to say, even though I had identified as pro-life, I was not familiar with partial-birth abortion. I, like many Americans, viewed abortion as a distant menace or simply a divisive political issue. Carhart was a watershed moment in my pro-life development simply because it exposed me to the terrible truth of the procedure. It was in Carhart where I learned about fetus evacuation piece by piece and the crushing of a fetal skull.
The memory is vivid and I will never forget reading the case in my apartment, while simultaneously my newborn son slept peacefully upstairs in his crib. It was knowledge, unfiltered and ugly, that awakened me to the horrors of abortion.
I feel pretty confident that my experience is not unique, and Kermit Gosnell’s actions will have that effect on millions of Americans. The murder trial against Gosnell will make the pro-life movement more fervent in their defense of life. It will cause many who were unsure where they stood to gain sudden moral clarity. It will even convince many of those who once identified as pro-choice, to become pro-life.
In the end, we will never know the contributions of the innocents that were murdered by Gosnell. The world would be a brighter place if these horrendous acts had never occurred. But they have occurred, and because of that, it is our duty to make people aware of Gosnell, not only for those who perished but also to inform the public of the ugly truths that they are unaware of. This can be a great moment in the pro-life movement but only if we do not shrink, do not look away, and inform the public.
Originally posted at the Center for Arizona Policy