The media apparently was in full attendance at the Kermit Gosnell trial starting yesterday.
Professor Glenn Reynolds called it Breaking media silence:
Now the story has gotten some coverage on CNN (Jake Tapper broke the silence first) and other networks, and while it’ll never get the attention that national media lavished on politically convenient stories like Newtown, or the Trayvon Martin shooting, it is at least on the national radar.
But the difficulty that this story had in reaching that stage tells you a lot about the news media’s preferences and priorities –and blind spots.
Pundette has many of the details, Big media outlets see and hear some evil yesterday at Gosnell infanticide trial:
— Elizabeth Scalia (@TheAnchoress) April 16, 2013
In testimony from the city Medical Examiner Sam Gulino, they heard about autopsies of 47 aborted unborn who were found at Kermit Gosnell’s clinic. They heard about body parts stuffed into cat and dog food containers, of tiny crushed skulls, of liquified brain matter, of severed feet, of a partial arm.
When the prosecutor showed color photos of the dead unborn, bodies twisted, chopped, one solidly red with blood, there were audible gasps from the rear of the room. A hard and heartbreaking lesson.
The Blaze further reports:
This fact struck me throughout the day, as images and testimony painted immensely chilling pictures.
Courtroom photos, almost unbearable to look at, corroborated this notion, as they showed aborted babies from Gosnell’s clinic, ranging in gestational age — but fully formed. The photos and the alleged details, combined, paint some pictures about what abortion really consists of — and it seems McMahon used this description in the defense of his client.
To say that I felt uncomfortable throughout the day would be an understatement, as the discussions, at moments, forced me to hold back from cringing or visibly reacting to what was being said.
The Washington Post health columnist writes Abortion debate inflamed by horrific details in trial of Philadelphia doctor, focusing on how the details affect the abortion debate:
Reporters from the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Fox News had settled in alongside a handful of local and wire service reporters to hear the latest testimony regarding the case of Kermit Gosnell, a 72-year-old abortion provider who faces charges of murdering seven infants whose spines he allegedly snipped with scissors when they were born after induced labor at his West Philadelphia clinic…
The evidence Monday included testimony from Sam P. Gulino, Philadelphia’s chief medical examiner, who described receiving scores of fetuses and baby parts to examine in 2010 after authorities raided Gosnell’s clinic.
Gulino described two jars filled with formaldehyde, one holding a left foot and the other a right foot, from the same 22-week fetus.
This attention to the details, however, comes amidst an intensified pushback that the Gosnell clinic’s horrors were a result of pressure on abortion providers by pro-life groups. It’s a nonsensical argument because what Gosnell did was illegal regardless of where it took place:
If only we had cleaner, cheaper facilities where babies born alive could be murdered. slate.com/blogs/xx_facto…
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) April 16, 2013
This is all part of the Look, Squirrel! strategy designed to distract from the reality that people are repulsed by the dismemberment of children, and that the procedures used post-birth by Gosnell were not drastically different than the procedures used in utero during legal abortions.
A must read on this pushback is James Taranto’s From Roe to Gosnell:
The reductio ad absurdum of the pro-abortion side is Kermit Gosnell. That is why the Gosnell case has crystallized our view that the current regime of abortion on demand in America is a grave evil that ought to be abolished. It is murderous, if not categorically then at least in its extreme manifestations. Maintaining it requires an assault on language and logic that has taken on a totalitarian character. And it is politically poisonous.
Some pro-abortion commentators have denied that the horrors of the Women’s Medical Society implicate their ideology. While they have little to say about the babies Gosnell allegedly killed, they certainly don’t approve of the way he treated his pregnant patients, at least two of whom, according to the grand jury, ended up dead, with untold others mutilated or infected. No, these advocates assure us, they want abortion to be “safe and legal.” (The Clintonian “rare” is not heard anymore. In a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed last month, Kate Michelman of NARAL Pro-Choice America came right out and said that she wants abortion to be “common.”)
But the grand jury–which described its members as covering “a spectrum of personal beliefs about the morality of abortion”–directly blamed “pro-choice” politics for the regulatory failure that allowed the clinic to remain open for decades. The Pennsylvania Department of Health had conducted occasional inspections of the clinic starting in 1979, although it failed to act on the violations it found….
As the trial is covered in the mainstream media, expect the pushback to intensify.
Update: Laura W. at Ace of Spades HQ observes (emphasis in original):
In response to the Gosnell trial, some absolutist pro-choice folks are saying that the reason Gosnell’s slaughterhouse was so awful is because late-term abortions should be legal, and women were ‘driven underground’ to see this illegal doctor.
Gosnell was a legal and known abortion provider, not ‘underground.’ His transgressions would have been caught if only he had been subject to the same inspections that every other outpatient facility is subject to. It sure wasn’t rightwing zealots that shielded him from ordinary audits.
But that’s neither here nor there. We need to address this insistence that there be no limits on abortion. Which means to legalize the termination of large, healthy babies that pose no risk to the mother’s life.
The problem with absolutism is that it shoots itself in the foot. Truly radical pro-choicers do not understand that the assumption that abortion primarily kills very tiny, unviable blobs, is the very thing that keeps abortion legal. It is in fact the only thing keeping a majority of people ignoring the subject.
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