The Gosnell trial is about the killing of infants born alive and a mother undergoing an abortion.
The reaction, however, is not just to the killing of an infant born alive after an abortion, it is to the dismemberment, decapitation, and other gruesome means of killing the unwanted child.
The exposure has abortion advocates worried. We have seen a misleading and unsupported pushback suggesting that feminists have been in the lead in exposing Gosnell when in fact feminists were reacting to pro-life criticism of Gosnell, as I wrote in Salon.com shouts “Look, Squirrel!” to deflect #Gosnell outrage.
Scott Lemieux, writing at the liberal American Prospect, sees the danger of Gosnell’s horrors being generalized and argues the now-standard point that the answer to Gosnell is more abortions in hospitals and cleaner environments:
Finally, the Gosnell case is an illustration of a deeper problem with abortion politics in the United States. A number of pundits—most notably Slate‘s William Saletan and The Daily Beast‘s Megan McArdle—have argued that even though it’s best that abortion remain formally legal, pro-choicers should concede that abortion is an icky, immoral procedure that should be discouraged. But the stigmatization of abortion, as it functions in the United States, greatly harms women. In most other liberal democracies, the Gosnell clinic wouldn’t be an issue because even poor women could obtain safe abortions in a public hospital…. The best way to prevent future Gosnells is to treat pre-viability abortions like the ordinary, safe medical procedures they in fact are, not to engage in sexist moralizing.
Here is an unborn child at 12 weeks (via WebMD):
And 20 weeks:
Aborting these children is legal using the procedures used by Gosnell, albeit in utero, although the 20th week is a frequent cut-off point used in proposed state legislation.
The dismemberment of these children in utero receives about as much mainstream media coverage as the Gosnell trial received until late last week. The fear among pro-abortion advocates seems to be that Gosnell may change media coverage and public perception not only of infants born alive, but of abortion more generally.
A writer at The Washington Post argues that the lack of mainstream media coverage is not the result of pro-abortion media bias, but “something far more banal.”
I can’t believe WaPo used that term.