If Gosnell is guilty of murder, when does life begin?
The monstrous case of Dr Kermit Gosnell, largely censored by the mainstream media, is at last making the headlines. His abortion house of horror, which earned him almost $2million a year, has been found by a jury to have been a literal slaughterhouse, where babies (aka 'late-term abortions') were born breathing and whimpering, clinging desperately to life, but were surgically dispatched with a quick snip to the back of the neck. And bags and bottles were found filled with foetal remains, including severed feet. On this conveyer-belt of death, one baby was delivered healthily at 30 weeks; another was born in a filthy toilet. They all went the same way - a pair of scissors in the back.
And now Dr Gosnell he has been convicted of the first-degree murder of three babies, and the prosecution is seeking the death penalty. For some reason, he was acquitted of murdering a fourth. Perhaps he or she didn't whimper loudly enough. But in the potted highlights of three snipped spines, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that this man was responsible for thousands of perfectly legal abortions performed over a career spanning 30 years.
Not everywhere has a 24-week limit - the threshold at which the Pennsylvania and UK legislatures determine the existence of human life. Across Europe, the upper limits are: France 12, Germany 12, Italy 12, Belgium 12, Bulgaria 12, Denmark 12, Czech Republic 12, Greece 12, Hungary 12, Luxembourg 12, the Netherlands 13, Poland 12, Slovakia 12 and Sweden, the most ‘liberal’, 18.
Places like Pennsylvania and the UK are the exceptions. Yet if it be murder to snip the spine of a baby born at 25 weeks, why is late-term abortion, or 'partial birth abortion' not always murder? Is it that a pair of scissors in the back of a visible neck is more of a grim reality than slicing up the unseen baby in the womb?
Some 200,000 abortions are routinely performed in England and Wales every year. How many of these are quite bloody and gruesome affairs which go completely unreported? There has been an undeniable shift away from using abortion as a last resort in favour of a post-conception contra-genesis, where life is now deemed to begin with the first breath. If you can legally kill a baby that has not breathed, why not one that has just whimpered for 20 minutes or so?
It is perhaps worth noting that in Scripture both the Hebrew word ר֫וּחַ (‘ruach’) and the Greek word πνεῦμα (‘pneuma’) are used interchangeably for both ‘breath’ and ‘spirit’, and that certain passages draw out the correspondence between the Spirit of God and the human spirit (eg 1Cor 2:10-12). There is, however, no scriptural, scientific, moral or ethical justification for the increasingly pervasive assertion that if the ‘foetus’ has not breathed, it has not lived. This is the belief that leads to such practices as those performed by Kermit Gosnell.
George W Bush found 'partial birth abortion' so abhorrent he set an example to the Western World by outlawing it. President Obama takes a slightly different view.
Setting aside Europe, which constitutes an unimaginable slaughter of holocaust proportions, the 200,000 abortions in England and Wales works out at 23 babies systematically killed every hour. If one factors in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the NHS terminates the life of a baby and cremates the body every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or, put another way, the British state legitimises the murder of a baby every single minute of a working day, and then burns the evidence. Such a callous, systematic and efficient slaughter would impress even Adolf Eichmann.
The term ‘holocaust’ is derived from the Greek holókauston, which referred to a completely (‘holos’) burnt (‘kaustos’) sacrificial offering to a god. That god is sex. The Western world is obsessed with it. Gosnell is the price we pay for that obsession.
And now, with the development of drugs to do-it-yourself at home, these figures are quite possibly a gross underestimation. It is even more scandalous that it is the British taxpayer who pays for 80 per cent of abortions, and that the NHS spends a fortune on keeping premature babies alive which are born within the abortion time limit, but terminates far more 'viable' babies. We need to return to the 1967 default position that abortion is a profoundly undesirable thing, and that a universal presumption of care for the baby from the moment of conception should be the norm. Since the age is obsessed with ‘rights’ – of man, woman and animal – there needs to be a codification of 'foetal rights'. As former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams once pointed out, it is ironic that the pregnant woman who smokes or drinks heavily is widely regarded as guilty of infringing the rights of her unborn child; yet at the same time, with no apparent sense of incongruity, there is discussion of the possibility of the liberty of the pregnant woman herself to perform the actions that will terminate a pregnancy.
Gosnell's snipped spines we see: NHS severed hands, feet and eyeballs being sucked down a tube we do not. The nation cries out for a latter-day Shaftsbury or Wilberforce in Parliament who will bang on about this barbarism ad nauseam, day after day, week after week, until something is done about it.