Proof positive that we’ve reached a new phase of Gosnell damage control. Plan A: Ignore, ignore, ignore. Plan B: If Plan A becomes impossible, use Gosnell as some sort of exception that proves the rule about why, counterintuitively, America needs easier access to abortion.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) April 12, 2013
“Not a health facility” but something underground, not in any way similar to a Planned Parenthood clinic. If anything, the way to prevent future Gosnells is to have more clinics so that babies’ necks can be snipped earlier during gestation in a cleaner, safer environment. Be ready for this spin and know it for the garbage that it is. The reason Gosnell was able to run a “criminal enterprise” for 17 years is because the cretins in Pennsylvania state government decided they couldn’t risk the shrieking from pro-choicers if they insisted on tough inspections of clinics. So they stopped inspecting, which, as the Anchoress pointed out this morning, is likely why Gosnell felt safe keeping babies’ severed feet in jars as souvenirs like some Nazi degenerate at Buchenwald. No one was going to come knocking on his door or other clinics’ doors and he knew it, because the good people at Planned Parenthood, NARAL, et al. would have made too much trouble for the state if they had. Read the grand-jury transcript, via Jordan Bloom:
“After 1993, even that pro forma effort [to inspect Gosnell’s clinic and report its failings] came to an end. Not because of administrative ennui, although there had been plenty. Instead, the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions.”
In other words, it strongly suggests the absolutist pro-choice view that any regulation of abortion constitutes an infringement on reproductive rights led to the clinic not being overseen properly. All of these people [who are trying to spin Gosnell’s case] had access to the grand jury report, even back in 2011. To ignore that and then make the case for why abortions should be more widespread and less regulated is incredibly dishonest.
But wait, there’s more. Here’s another bit of the grand jury report showcased in an old post by Melinda Henneberger when Gosnell’s case first came to public attention in 2011:
So too with the National Abortion Federation. NAF is an association of abortion providers that upholds the strictest health and legal standards for its members. Gosnell, bizarrely, applied for admission shortly after Karnamaya Mongar’s death. Despite his various efforts to fool her, the evaluator from NAF readily noted that records were not properly kept, that risks were not explained, that patients were not monitored, that equipment was not available, that anesthesia was misused. It was the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected. Of course, she rejected Gosnell’s application. She just never told anyone in authority about all the horrible, dangerous things she had seen.
Of course she didn’t. That would have alerted the state that inspections were necessary, no matter how difficult the politics, and the pro-choicers at NAF couldn’t tolerate that, even at the cost of letting this alleged lunatic go on carving up women and their babies. How can Gosnell’s practice be waved away now as a “criminal enterprise” when even a “respectable” abortion-rights group couldn’t be moved to report the crimes then? Didn’t a Planned Parenthood spokesman, not three weeks ago, refuse to condemn exactly the sort of live-birth abortions, i.e. murders, that Gosnell’s accused of committing? According to Lila Rose, PP still has yet to condemn it despite pro-lifers demanding a response ever since. Beyond all that, if Gosnell’s actually a case study in why we need more higher-end clinics, not less, why hasn’t the media been using him to that effect since he was indicted? Why a blackout instead? You know why: Because no one who sees that picture of the baby with its neck sliced thinks, “We need to make this easier, and to make the slicing happen a bit earlier in development.” The blackout strategy was smart. It just didn’t work.
Update: Lot of truth to this, as a further nuance to Plan B of the Gosnell spin:
IMark my words: You will see a lot of pieces like @kdrum‘s, pieces that don’t actually ARGUE anything or SAY anything…
— DepressiveBlogger69 (@AceofSpadesHQ) April 12, 2013
…but are filled with the correct TONE, which is the sneer of contemptuous dismissal.
— DepressiveBlogger69 (@AceofSpadesHQ) April 12, 2013
There is no defense here. The only defense is to go on offense, and the key to going on offense is to be angry and contemptuous — at Gosnell’s critics, not at Gosnell, who’ll get nothing more than a passing mention in the intro of most of these counterarguments when they start bubbling up next week. “Of course I condemn what happened in Pennsylvania, but these pro-lifers are blah blah blah.”
Update: Evidently filthy Orwellian doublespeak is part of Plan B too:
— Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) April 12, 2013
Update: This is a fair question from Drum and shouldn’t be overlooked. Why indeed.
Q for my new conservative fans: the right wing media didn’t cover Gosnell much before this week either. Why?
— Kevin Drum (@kdrum) April 12, 2013