Editor's Note: On Register Radio May 17, Jeanette De Melo will discuss the influence the Gosnell trial has had on the abortion debate in the U.S. in an interview with Susan B. Anthony List's president, Marjorie Dannenfelser. Listen online after 2pm Eastern today.
As the trial of Kermit Gosnell exposed to the world the evil, ugly and indefensible truth of Big Abortion, Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America (formerly National Abortion Rights Action League) were quick to throw him under the bus, applauding his conviction and implausibly blaming the pro-life community for Gosnell’s house of horrors.
But that moment of sanity by America’s biggest proponents of abortion won’t stop them from defending the gruesome practice of abortion.
Ilyse Hogue, NARAL’s president, deflected blame onto “anti-choice politicians,” claiming that their efforts to increase health-and-safety standards across the abortion industry will only “drive more women to back-alley butchers like Kermit Gosnell.”
Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero echoed, “We must reject misguided laws that would limit women’s options and force them to seek treatment from criminals like Kermit Gosnell.” Their bizarre “solution” for the Gosnells of the world is more abortions, fewer inspections and less enforcement of health-and-safety laws.
Yet it’s obvious that Gosnell’s horrific actions are not the result of too much regulation. Rather, the Gosnell grand jury concluded that “Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical-service providers.”
The problem, squarely put, was the complete failure to enforce even the basic regulations Pennsylvania had enacted.
That reality didn’t stop NARAL and Planned Parenthood from condemning Virginia for recently passing regulations on abortion businesses, after both groups vigorously opposed the regulations. Until that point, Virginia abortion facilities were free of the watchful eye of nosy inspectors: the abortionists’ dream. But even with pre-announced inspections under the new law, inspectors discovered dozens of significant health-and-safety violations, such as blood-stained tables, unsterilized tools and baby parts in coolers. Not quite what abortionists promise if we’d just leave them alone.
Of course, NARAL and Planned Parenthood will always say that they support “commonsense” safety regulations. But consider this: On NARAL’s website, it identifies the state laws that it believes are too “burdensome” — and the list includes almost every state (45 of them, actually) — and the District of Columbia. Among these 45 states is Pennsylvania — where NARAL thinks the regulations were too “burdensome” to tolerate.
What this means in practical terms is that Gosnell really is the “standard of care” that one may expect from those who make a living destroying the most innocent of human life.
Perhaps, if the Pennsylvania Department of Health had complied with the inspection requirements that NARAL and Planned Parenthood so ardently oppose, Karnamaya Mongar and countless children — born and unborn — may not have died in Gosnell’s charnel house.
It is beyond reason that abortion supporters would dare choose this moment to claim that health-and-safety laws are the problem ... an absurdity demonstrated by Gosnell himself.
There is no doubt that strong regulations reduce the number of abortions and help protect women’s health and safety. But if they’re not enforced, they aren’t worth the paper on which they’re printed. Maybe now that Pennsylvania has been shamed into some minimal enforcement of basic laws, other states will take big abortion more seriously and inspect rigorously.
But those states will be fighting the ongoing, unrelenting opposition from the abortion industry. You can bet that Planned Parenthood and NARAL will continue attacking the commonsense laws of those 45 states.
Don’t be misled by this one-time dodge of Big Abortion condemning Gosnell’s grotesque practices — it’s just a thin fig leaf for the abortion industry’s stop-regulating, leave-us-alone agenda ... trust us to kill babies, safely.
That approach was wrong for Gosnell, and it is wrong for the slickly marketed, heavily funded giants of abortion like Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Death is not a good answer for a challenging pregnancy — not in Gosnell’s chambers, not in Planned Parenthoods pretty “clinics,” not anywhere.
Yes, as long as Planned Parenthood exists, good regulations must be zealously enforced to keep those merchants of death in line.
But the real answer is life — not death. Let’s make that the standard for our culture — and end this culture of death defended and expanded by Planned Parenthood and its allies.
Casey Mattox is senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.