Here are five brief thoughts on the conviction and sentencing of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion provider. Recently, Dr. Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison for performing "abortions" on multiple children born after 24-weeks, including children born alive.
1. Gosnell exposed the true horrors of abortion.
This case exposed to a wide audience the horrible practices of abortion. Dr. Gosnell committed these crimes by an unspeakable practice he called "snipping," i.e. the cutting of children's spinal cords with scissors. That this practice (or a similar technique) could ever be performed on any infant--much less those born alive--is beyond comprehension. This trial brought the bloody mess that is the practice of abortion to our collective conscience, and forced us to reckon with its sheer monstrosity.
2. The power of conservative social media.
Although the mainstream news media was slow to cover this trial, Gosnell eventually began to receive the coverage it deserved to have from the start. Whether it was shunned because of the terrors of the details of the trial, or because the liberal-leaning media knew that it was damaging to an "abortion on demand" ideology, we may never know. What we do know is that it was conservative bloggers, including users of micro-blogs like Twitter with its #Gosnell campaign, who brought this case to the attention of the world.
In case you were wondering, FOX News and CNN covered the sentencing of Dr. Gosnell on live TV. When I flipped over to MSNBC, they were eagerly promoting a new movie about Wikileaks: disgusting.
3. Our existing laws are in serious need of revision.
Roe vs. Wade made the rubric of dividing pregnancy into trimesters the universal language of our medical system. Unfortunately, most states' abortion laws are governed by medical science and knowledge that is decades old. Today, premature children are able to live outside the womb weeks--or even months--earlier than they were in the 1970's. A child that was considered "viable" then, may be viable much earlier today.
Although I consider life to begin at the moment of conception, (as do most serious Bible-believing Christians), even those who do not share our conviction must now reckon with the fact that a baby is clearly alive--by any medical, philosophical, or theological standard--long before 39-weeks.
That this is the case cannot seriously be disputed by any rational thinker. Today's 3D ultrasound technology is a major player in convincing our society of the true miracle of life in the womb.
4. These horrible acts are likely to be much more widespread than we are ready to admit.
Already--just a week later--there are allegations of another case in Texas that may be even worse than the Gosnell case. The practice of "snipping" live-born children was apparently not restricted to an obscure location in inner-city Philly, as many would have us believe. The reports of one Dr. Douglas Karpen are rumored to be more despicable than Gosnell, if that is even possible. This case, if reports by observers and witnesses are to be believed, also includes the decapitation of infant children.
5. The failure of federal and state governments to regulate the entire industry of abortion providers is a disgrace.
Gosnell got away with his murderous rampage for years, decades even. No regulator would touch his so called "medical" practice. Sadly, he was never brought down by the incidents and reports related to infanticide; it was drug charges that eventually brought investigators looking. Our societal reluctance to regulate abortion providers because it seems to violate a "right" to abortion-on-demand is heinous indeed.
Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida.