Recently Hollywood announced a movie planned about the Catholic church sex scandals as uncovered by the Boston Globe in a January 2002 article. (http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories/013102_priests.htm) These scandals were highly publicized with the first story to reach national news in 1985 and more stories breaking in the 1990s. Ever since, there has been a steady stream of bad publicity and bad jokes about the scandals and the Church, but one positive result was an increased awareness of child sexual abuse. Countless children have benefited from the awareness of this issue.
The public was outraged once again, last fall when it was revealed that the Boy Scouts had a history of not reporting child sexual abuse dating back to as recently as early 1990s. The Boy Scouts report that they have changed their policies to address their past failures. I realize that “times were different” back then. It is, however, no excuse for anyone who did not act to protect children. Unfortunately, we saw last year at Penn State that very powerful men can be weak in preventing child sexual abuse.
What does this have to do with Kermit Gosnell? When I look at these scandals and the natural public reactions: how could the church enable these men; how could the Scouts protect these men; how could Penn State stand by that man? How could so many people just look the other way and ignore evil ? It is with a heavy heart that I see it is very easily done and that it is on full display today. Our society is looking the other way right now. While a man whose crimes remind me of creepy ghost stories stands trial, our media and we as a people are collectively out to lunch.
Kermit Gosnell ran two multimillion dollar abortion practices. Gosnell could face the death penalty in deaths of 7 infants born alive in botched abortions. He has a long history of criminal behavior, with a reported forced abortion in 1998 on a 15 year old girl. Gosnell performed abortions for cash to poor women that were past the 24 week state legal requirement. His clinic was filthy with blood stained blankets, cat feces and jars of severed feet of aborted babies. Gosnell’s unsafe practices jeopardized the life of many of the women and resulted in the 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongor. Most gruesome is the descriptions of how the doctor and his staff would snip the necks of babies to insure fetal death after removal from the womb.
The trial for Gosnell began on March 18th, but the major news networks haven’t covered the trial at all. The problem is that Gosnell was performing abortions. The right, even entitlement, of abortion on demand is a key tenet of progressive doctrine. Coverage of this trial would be bound to raise questions about the morality of abortion, particularly late term abortions. Recently, Planned Parenthood, expressed opposition to a Florida law that would have required medical treatment for babies born alive in botched abortions. This too, provoked little outrage or publicity. Our sensitivity to the treatment of tiny babies born alive is so small that we twice elected a President that also expressed opposition to such a law while he served as an Illinois State Senator
I am dumbfounded at the contrast between our concern for children of child sexual abuse in church, scouts and other organizations and our apathy for unwanted babies born in abortion clinics. The adults that spoke out about their experiences being molested as children, were heroes. They changed our society to be more responsive to children in danger. Unfortunately, victims of botched abortions are unable to speak out.
The workers in Gosnell’s clinic found ways around facing the reality of what was happening by using different terms for fetal remains. I would imagine that priests and Boy Scout leaders guilty of hiding and enabling child sexual abuse found ways to divorce their minds from reality. Today, we are also looking away so that we don’t have to face what really happens in an abortion. We are avoiding the Gosnell case so we don’t have to ask ourselves if it is not OK to snip the neck of a baby born alive, why is it OK to do it to a fetus still inside the womb? I would not be so easy to dismiss the impact of this betrayal of life on our own lives. If we can ignore the horrors of the Gosnell clinic, what other evils will we ignore? Who else will we abandon? Will we respond to quality of care issues in our new govt. run healthcare system, also a tenet to progressive doctrine? (For a look inside our future: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2273054/Thousands-NHS-staff-admit-wouldnt-want-families-treated-hospitals-care-poor.html.)
A priest dismissed from the Catholic Church in early 1990s quoted in the 2002 Boston Globe story had this to say about the Church coverup: “What they were protecting was their notion that the church is the perfect society.” Is that what progressives are doing today?
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/