The Gosnell Trial

The Abortion Doctor and his Campaign against the Image of God

By Robin Schumacher

Kirsten Powers' recent article on the trial of abortion "doctor" Kermit Gosnell, which ran in the April 11th edition of USA Today, is something not to be missed. Powers rightly calls out the odd suppression and, in some cases, revisionism being practiced by the media where the current Pennsylvania abortion trial is concerned. Her concerns are echoed by others such as Jon Healey in the Los Angeles Times.

Let's be clear about what this trial is all about. According to staff who observed the procedures, during some abortions Gosnell delivered babies alive and then literally beheaded them in his abortion clinic. Prosecutors assert the doctor made millions from taking the lives of both newly born and unborn children in the course of the 1,000 abortions he performed each year.

However, Powers chronicles the media silence that has accompanied the abortion doctor's trial and contrasts their wide coverage of insignificant events that never belonged on Page One. "The deafening silence of too much of the media," she says, "once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace."

She's right.

With all the public outrage and outcry over any violation of human rights, isn't it strange that there is no major coverage of the Gosnell case in the mainstream media?

An Old Bloodstain

Abortion is nothing new, including (sadly) the killing of newborn babies. "Deformed infants shall be killed," said Cicero (106-43 B.C.) "We drown children who are weakly and abnormal," said Seneca (A.D. 65). Archaeologists calculated that of the 600 families listed in a census found in Delphi, only one percent had more than one daughter.

So as horrifying as what occurred at Gosnell's clinic is, it's a bloodstain that's very old.

What is new, however, is that we now claim we are more civilized and "evolved" as a culture than past civilizations. Yet, the same horrifying carnage practiced by prior societies is committed today, this time justified or covered up with the lame excuse that we supposedly do not know when someone becomes a "person". Such thinking is the only thing that keeps abortion from being outlawed via the fourteenth amendment that says: "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

But again, why do the same voices upset over human rights violation cover their mouth in cases like the Philadelphia abortion doctor's trial? Why does logic that produces laws protecting the eggs of endangered birds not extend to human beings?

I'd like to propose that the answer is a spiritual one.

Hatred of the Imago Dei

Putting together the Biblical puzzle pieces that formulate an answer to the perplexing question of abortion in general, and the Gosnell case in particular, does not take long.

The first book of the Bible declares that human beings are created Imago Dei—in the image of God: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). Contrary to what Ingrid Newkirk, head of PETA, says ("A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy"[1]) we are not animals, but instead are imprinted with the image of the Creator.

This is the heart of the abortion nightmare.

We must understand that the Bible also introduces the enemy of both God and humankind in its opening book. Throughout Scripture we learn of Satan's desire to manifest the image of God (Isaiah 14:14), of his intense hatred for God and His people (Revelation 12:17), and that he was and is a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).

From a spiritual standpoint, abortion (and every act of murder) is all about exterminating the image of God. Satan hates God, and by extension all those who are made in His image, and he is tireless is his pursuit of killing that image.

We are also taught in the Bible of Satan's position as god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), and that he blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4) and holds them captive to do his will (John 8:44, 2 Timothy 2:26).

If you've ever agonized over why many champion abortion and guard its practice, and why doctors carry out abortion procedures, you need look no further than the four Bible verses just mentioned.

A Return to the Unthinkable?

While we can rejoice that all signs point to Gosnell's prosecution at the moment, there are disturbing rumblings that indicate a return to Cicero's and Seneca's thinking where newborn babies are concerned. In a 2012 article that appeared in the Journal of Medical Ethics by professors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, the authors describe their recommendations:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call 'after-birth abortion' (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

Giubilini and Minerva conclude their article with this eye-opening statement: "If a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford."

One thing they do have right: There is nothing magical that happens to a baby where "personhood" or being human is concerned simply by moving through the birth canal. What they have horribly wrong is that a baby is indeed a person (inside or outside the womb), and someone who is protected by our fourteenth amendment as well as the unchanging moral law of God.

Proposals like Giubilini and Minerva's are how the wheels of atrocity begin turning and how societies become desensitized to the shock of what has happened in Philadelphia. In his book, The Doctor and the Soul, neurologist, psychiatrist, and concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl says this about the instrumental cause of the Holocaust: "I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz were ultimately prepared not in some ministry of defense in Berlin, but rather at the desks and lecture halls of Nihilistic scientists and philosophers."[2]

We're moving in a dangerous direction when such articles appear with literally no blip on the national media radar and when coverage of Gosnell—a man who joked about one baby he delivered and murdered being so big that "this baby is going to walk me home" —is buried in the mainstream press.

It makes you wonder how many more Gosnells, those who help him, and those who ignore him will we have in another 25 years.

[1] Ingrid Newkirk; "Top Scientific Minds Declare That We Are Just One Among Many Animals" and "A Rat is a Pig is a Dog"

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Published 5-2-13