“Never in my life have I seen the presumption of innocence more trampled on, stomped on, than in this case.”
These words were spoken by Jack McMahon as he gave his closing arguments in the defense of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. He used them, apparently, without a trace of irony.
Of course our justice system rightly demands the presumption of innocence for the accused. The judge and jury, and we the citizens must assume innocence. The trial must proceed fairly with each side arguing guilt or innocence based on the evidence. The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, guilt. The defense must protect the rights of the accused. The jury must deliberate the evidence presented at trial and make a decision. These are all sacred duties that demand integrity and courage. A man’s life hangs in the balance. Each of us deserves a fair trial, no matter the crime, no matter the evidence. This is how we protect the innocent.
If only a fair trial were given to the babies born in Gosnell’s facility. If only Gosnell had taken his sacred duty as a physician as seriously as the jurors in his trial take theirs. If only Gosnell or one of his workers had fairly looked at the evidence of life - the breath, the flailing arm, the anguished cry – of the babies delivered and born in the dirty rooms and toilets of his facility. If only the presumption of innocence were not stomped on and trampled on in abortion facilities across the country. Posted by Mary Finnegan
Gosnell, abortion and All of Us – written by Mary Finnegan
The story of Kermit Gosnell and his Women’s Medical Society has horrified this city. With little help from the MSM, new media bloggers and pundits have followed the trial and highlighted the awful conditions at the Gosnell facility – the racism and murders, the medical malpractice and evil, and the negligence of those who knew what was happening – the National Abortion Federation, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Philadelphia medical community, just to name a few.
Gosnell is a monster. His facility was a “house of horrors”, a “charnel house”. The disgusting conditions, the casual cruelty, the wickedness of the acts committed there are sensational and shocking. Yet they are only a less sterile version of the horror that occurs with every abortion.
Abortion first requires us to deny the humanity of the unborn child. Then the actual violence required to perform an abortion must also be denied. If abortions were performed on television we would all turn our heads away, gasping in horror. People are shocked that Gosnell delivered nearly full-term babies and then essentially beheaded them. “How could he?” they ask. “What was wrong with him?” All totally reasonable reactions to the utter depravity occurring in that clinic. But the violence and thoughtless disregard for life at the Women’s Medical Society are the same violence and disregard for life that are the hallmarks of abortion. Abortions may be performed in more sterile settings, but they are violent acts nonetheless.
There are two types of abortion – surgical and medical. Medical abortions are performed by the administration of medications – mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone stops progesterone, which is necessary to maintain a pregnancy. Misoprostol causes the uterus to empty. It also causes cramps and heavy bleeding. Women often chose medical abortion because they believe it to be less invasive, easier. But a child’s life must still end, thus even the National Abortion Federation warns practitioners to remind the aborting woman that she may see her baby after the “uterus empties.” If this drug combination fails to kill the baby then a surgical abortion must be performed.
Surgical abortions include suction curettage (vacuum aspiration), dilation and evacuation (D&E), and dilation and extraction (D&X or partial birth abortion). D&X is a gruesome procedure that is different from infanticide only by inches and is tolerated in this country because of the sick manipulation of the laws of nature and man. But really what is the difference between the violence required to perform a partial birth abortion and that required to perform a vacuum aspiration or a D&E? Both of those procedures literally pull the baby apart limb for limb. Turn on your vacuum cleaner and then imagine the force of the suction turned up almost 30 times. That is the level of suction used to perform a vacuum aspiration abortion. The shredding of the dirt on your carpet is the same shredding that a living, feeling baby experiences during a suction abortion.
Dilation and evacuation is generally performed on women in the 16-20th week of pregnancy. There are numerous steps involved, but the surgical portion requires the manual dismemberment and removal of the baby. The abortionist must insert instruments into the uterus to remove the baby limb by limb. Each leg and arm, each hand and foot, each bone, each organ, the eyes, the head, the heart, each and every one of these must be pulled out. Then they must be put back together to make sure that no part is left behind to cause an infection in the aborting woman. We call this reproductive freedom, but how is it any different, any less gruesome than what Gosnell did?
The abortion industry has thrived on two things – despair and denial. Only a woman in despair allows someone to kill her unborn child. The women sitting in the waiting rooms of abortion facilities are in despair – despair that they are not old enough, young enough, rich enough, secure enough, educated enough, and most especially, loved enough – to bring a child into this world. The natural hope that a woman feels when she realizes that she is pregnant is destroyed and replaced with fear, anger and hopelessness. The natural pride and protectiveness that a man should feel when he finds out that he is to be a father is replaced by an emasculated, cocky strut. Society as a whole now looks on children as a punishment – there is less talk of the blessings children bring and more on the burdens.
A society that destroys its most vulnerable will soon find vulnerability everywhere – in the old, the infirm, the imperfect, in you and in me – until no one is safe. Once that feeling of safety is removed, hope withers and with it the desire to build the future. When you kill the future, you soon stop bothering with the present until that too dies.
Drive down Lancaster Ave, past the Women’s Medical Society building. Look around. Witness the destruction of that once vibrant neighborhood. Souls, innocent souls, were slaughtered on that street, it “rained blood and fetuses” there while so many stood by and did nothing. And so it goes in every city and every town where abortions are performed. Souls are slaughtered. And, with over a million abortions performed every year in this country, it does indeed, rain blood and fetuses.
In last week’s Philadelphia Inquirer piece, Kate Michelman and Carol E. Tracy opined why women chose Dr. Kermit Gosnell to perform their abortions, they refused to admit that it was the lack of oversight and regulation that gave us the Gosnell tragedies.
For more than twenty years, pro-life people prayed outside of Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Clinic at 38th Street and Lancaster Ave. Abortion rights advocates never joined us on those often cold Saturday mornings, despite the fact that they were well aware of Gosnell’s reputation. After the Gosnell story broke, the National Abortion Federation claimed that it would not refer women to this abortionist. But according to the Grand Jury Report, the National Abortion Federation never reported Gosnell to authorities. So, women were harmed and some died alongside their babies.
Despite abortion advocates’ and like-minded media members’ claims to the contrary, abortion is readily available in Pennsylvania. In 2012, 16,813 abortions were performed in the Keystone state. The majority were done here in Philadelphia. There are multiple abortion facilities and hospitals that willingly end the life of child for an average cost of about $450.
Pennsylvania enacted new regulations in response to the Gosnell case and pleas from Philadelphia’s District Attorney. Abortion companies are now more regulated. The new requirements were enacted to protect women from unscrupulous abortion practitioners and to spare the state from further embarrassment. Even with this new law and the Abortion Control Act, the abortion industry continues to dance around the law and expect special protection.
Abortion is not just a simple medical procedure. It is neither “high quality” care nor medicine. The practice pits a mother against her child and a doctor against his patient. Abortion has unintended consequences; some physical and many emotional. Taking the life of an unborn child has a profound impact on mothers and on the community.
We can offer women in this country more than the coldness of abortion when they are faced with unexpected pregnancies. But, until the time comes when unborn children are granted legal protection, the pro-life community will continue to oppose the injustice of abortion. We will continue to stand peacefully outside of abortion facilities and offer women support and hope via the numerous grassroots programs that the pro-life community has in place. Not only that, we will continue to speak truthfully about the abortion industry so that people on every side of this issue might never again see the likes of another abortionist like Kermit Gosnell.
Over 50 members of the Pro-LIfe Union marched in the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade here in Philadelphia. The weather was great and the crowd welcomed the pro-life message. Over 500 stickers and cards were distributed to the crowd by our young marchers!
Planned Parenthood is coming to Upper Darby. PP’s practice is to enter a community by pledging not to do abortions to get past zoning restrictions. Once in place, they often defy zoning restrictions and begin doing abortions. They have done this in West Chester, and in King of Prussia. They have not yet started in Upper Darby, but township officials are watching.
In their latest 990 Report, PP of Southeast PA reported over $16 million in net assets. The abortionist, Lee Tripp made over $500,000 in 2011. In the Greater Philadelphia area, PP was responsible for 11,362 abortions. Planned Parenthood is no friend to women, children or communities.
On Saturday, February 23, concerned citizens will gather to stand against PP in their community. Please join them for a walk for Life from St. Laurence Church 8245 West Chester Pike in Upper Darby to Planned Parenthood at 7200 Chestnut Street in Upper Darby. There is an 8:30am Mass at St. Laurence Church and after Mass, we will prayerfully walk approximately 1 mile from the Church to PP.
Women, children and families deserve better than Planned Parenthood!!
Catholics celebrated Respect Life Sunday on October 7th. Our members and supporters took to the highways to stand for life at the area Life Chains. Our October Respect Life Sunday Bulletin was distributed in parishes throughout the diocese and our supporters offered pro-life pins, bumper stickers and other items that can be used to share the pro-life message. We celebrate and stand up for life on Respect Life Sunday and we continue to pray and sacrifice throughout the month of October for a renewed respect for Life. We are so grateful to everyone who witnessed for Life this past Sunday.
On Sunday evening, Arch. Chaput delivered a wonderful homily on the sanctity of life and the dignity of marriage and the importance of the family. Our culture needs and wants to hear this message because we recognize that the family is the most crucial and important foundation of society. Listen here!
Jack O’Brien, a member from Chester County, encouraged us to share the following words from Archbishop Chaput. His guidance will help all of us as we work to build a culture of life.
We should give Caesar nothing of ourselves.
True freedom can walk away from anything—wealth, honor, fame, pleasure. Even power. It fears neither the state, nor death itself.
We’re free only to the extent that we unburden ourselves of our own willfulness and practice the art of living according to God’s plan. When we do this, when we choose to live according to God’s intention for us, we are then—and only then—truly free.Real freedom isn’t something Caesar can give or take away. He can interfere with it; but when he does, he steals from his own legitimacy.
In coming years, we’ll face more and more serious challenges to religious liberty in our country. Will we live wholeheartedly for Jesus Christ? If so, then we can be a source of freedom for the world. If not, nothing else will do.
We live in a time that calls for sentinels and public witness.We need to “speak out” not only for religious liberty and the ideals of the nation we love, but for the sacredness of life and the dignity of the human person—in other words, for the truth of what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God.
In the end, we’re missionaries of Jesus Christ, or we’re nothing at all.
As pro life people, we recognize that abortion has two victim – the mother and the child. It is our obligation to speak on behalf of both – especially when a woman has been raped. Pregnant women who have been raped, need our support. We highly encourage everyone to read this great piece, by Tim Carney at the National Examiner, about the Todd Akin story. The pro-life movement knows that abortion hurts a woman and destroys the life of her child. We can offer more – help, support, encouragement and counseling. Akin’s statement on Rape was not only wrong, it was cruel.
As it has been noted before by us and other Pro-LIfe groups – abortion is not healthcare. When we advocate and work for a Culture of Life, we do so for unborn children and to protect women and men from the abortion industry. Planned Parenthood is the name brand of that industry and all of us were horrified to read the story of a young woman who died because of an abortion. We learned later in the week that it looks like PP waited 4 hours before calling an ambulance! Tonya Reaves deserved better and so did her unborn child and her family.
The pro-life community has to continue to expose the reality and cruelty of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. And, we must offer women counseling, support and real healthcare so they can make a life-affirming choice. This is all part of building a culture of life!
July 11, 2012
Pro-life citizens celebrated the news that Abington Memorial Hospital would cease performing abortions. For those of us who have been asking AMH to end its abortion policy, this was an answer to prayer. But, curiously, our voices have been missing from the media coverage about the proposed merger. For over 30 years, Montgomery County residents have gathered on the first Sunday each month on Old York Road, pleading and praying for an end to abortions at Abington. Many of these same people, along with doctors and nurses who work at Abington, attend the hospital’s annual open Board Meeting to speak against the abortion policy.
Members of the pro-life community have packed these meetings every year. Attendees often reacted in horror as the rationale behind the abortion policy was described by abortion advocates. One year, a physician boasted with pride as he shared his willingness to end the lives of children who face a diagnosis of Downs Syndrome. It was realized later that 24 of the 47 children aborted at AMH that year had been given a pre-natal diagnosis indicating that they might be born with Down Syndrome. Another child’s life was ended because her mother was about to be the first child in the family to attend college. Abortion is a NOT a solution to problems but rather a failure to find solutions. It has become an easy cop-out for doctors who refuse to recognize the humanity of an unborn child and who care little about the long term emotional and physical consequences of abortion.
The firestorm surrounding the proposed merger has been stoked by Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry. The abortion industry has a desperate need for legitimacy because they recognize that most Americans are pro-life. Women do not wish to deliver a child in one room of a hospital knowing that just a few doors down another child is being terminated. The dream of a medical student is not to become an abortionist. They enter the medical profession to protect and save lives and in this way build a culture of life.
When discussions began about a possible merger, AMH was willing to end abortion because they – along with the rest of the medical community – recognize that abortion is not healthcare. Hospitals thrive, grow and serve, all over the country, without participating in abortion. In fact, over 20 area hospitals have stopped performing abortions in the last 30 years.
There are still questions to be answered about the Holy Redeemer-AMH merger. But, the decision to end abortion is a response to the wants and needs of the community. And no matter what eventually happens with the merger, people all over Southeast PA encourage AMH to courageously stand by its decision to protect the unborn and their mothers.