The Gosnell moment, for that is what it is, presents a clear opportunity for a real change of cultural heart. There are moments when some suppressed or ignored horror comes sharply into focus, and after that, it is not really possible to go back to the way it was before. This is what happened when Solzhenitsyn published his Gulag, for example. Something that had been successfully accommodated became impossible to accommodate any further. It was a conscience moment, which, given the nature of the case, most often come to us unsought. But they do come.
This is that kind of moment for us. This is an atrocity that has rocked even many “choice” advocates, and the media has been suppressing it for clear and obvious reasons. Who can bear to look straight at our idea of what ghoulish privileges our mendacious constitutional manglers can grant to a woman and her doctor? The Twitter barrage that forced the mainstream media into covering this story was another sign of a cultural conscience showing some signs of coming off life support. This is as improbable as hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen protesting homosexual marriage — to speak of another great media coverup.
And the mainstream media are as blood-soaked in this as anybody. One of the reasons we can be grateful that the Boston bombers were caught, and that they turned out to be radical Muslims (what a shock), is that if the perpetrators had been white guys with a cousin who had gone to a Tea Party rally once a couple years ago, they would have ensured that the bombing story would just blow the Gosnell story out of the headlines for good. But now . . . back to Gosnell, and the absurdities of our high shifts and low evasions.
The standards and workarounds that we have devised for ourselves are arbitrary and demented. But they are also fragile, and one blast of reality can collapse the entire thing. The value of the Gosnell house of horrors is that it is just such a blast of reality. It reveals just how arbitrary and just our demented our entire national policy on this subject has been. Think about it.
First, let us talk about the arbitary nature of what we allow and what we don’t. Partial birth abortions (which Obama does not want restricted) do exactly what Gosnell was doing, only with the baby half in and half out. This makes a major ethical difference, apparently. Regular abortions do these things with the baby all the way in. Gosnell does these things to the baby with the baby all the way out. And he’s the freak show? If he put the baby back inside the mother, in a reverse Caesarian, and cut the spinal cord then, is he a responsible medical professional again? If it happens here, in the middle of the room, it is a protected constitutional right. If he carries the baby over to the corner where the light is better, then he can be charged with murder. And he’s the freak show? What about the lawyers and lobbyists that insist on this? What can be said on behalf of a nation that is even a little bit okay with this?
It is like having laws that say you can shoot your mom in the kitchen, but not in the living room — and then demanding that everybody continue to respect the majesty of the law. But demented is as demented does. When the Court upheld Roe, their argument was that they did not want to undermine respect for the judicial system by overturning a terrible law. Right — there is nothing like doubling down on lunacy to help persuade everybody that everything is just fine.
It is as though some horrible event happened in Canada that caused a stream of refugees to head for our border, and someone with very precise legal reasoning skills developed the schizophrenic policy of shooting the refugees on their side of the border, but demanding the ultimate in medical care for them if they managed to make it across the border alive. You can learn a lot of amazing things in a Harvard grad class.
Gosnell’s problem is not with what he was doing, which countless progressives have defended with their special kind of passionate malice, but with where he was doing it. You see, he was doing it where people could see.
So Gosnell or no Gosnell, Philadelphia or no Philadelphia, why don’t we know that it is always that bad for the baby? This is not a one off situation. This very thing is happening in your city — right this minute. Maybe you drive right by it as part of your daily commute. But now, thanks to Gosnell, we know what we know. This is what pro-lifers have been saying for a generation. It was as true in the seventies as it is now, but this appears to be a moment where the point can not only be stated, but also heard. So learn the potency of the hash tag #Gosnell.
One of the reasons that public opinion has started to shift on abortion has been because of the advancements of ultrasound technology. We can see with our eyes now, and what we are starting to see is that our learned lies have all been lies for all that, and the corollary occurs to us that they have all been tumbling from the mouths of damned liars. And it turns out the mouths are our own.
And the earth and sky fled from their places, and America came forward to speak with the Ancient of Days. And America said, “Lord, when did we ever see you struggling on a table, and go get scissors to snip your spinal cord?” And the Lord will say . . . but perhaps we don’t want to hear what the Lord will say. But it has something to do with why there is a Hell.