Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Slate: The Baby Butcher, Revisited, by William Saletan:
Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortionist, has been charged with butchering viable babies, causing a woman's death, and endangering other patients. A grand jury report details his alleged crimes. Last week, I cited the report as a challenge to several feminist writers who have lately asserted a woman's right to decide not only whether to have an abortion but how long she can wait to make that choice. Gosnell stands charged with abortions beyond the 24-week gestational limit prescribed by Pennsylvania law. I asked the feminist writers whether, in the name of women's autonomy, those charges should be dropped.
I haven't seen an answer to my question. Instead, I've been challenged by other pro-choice writers who see the Gosnell case very differently. They think I've misunderstood the scandal and its lessons. Fair enough. Let's look at their arguments. . . .
NY Times: Squalid Abortion Clinic Escaped State Oversight, by Sabrina Tavernise:
PHILADELPHIA — For years, state health officials missed some unsettling patterns at the three-story brick abortion clinic on Lancaster Avenue.
It was always open late, way past the time the pizza place next door closed at midnight. The women who emerged from it — often poor blacks and Hispanics — appeared dazed and in pain, and sometimes left in ambulances. The doctor who ran the clinic, Kermit Gosnell, had been sued at least 15 times for malpractice. Two women died while under his care. . . .
The clinic — now closed, with dead plants in its windows and old mail on its front desk — stands as a grim reminder of how degrading it was for the women who went there and how long state officials ignored their complaints. . . .
The grand jury report is available here.