The recent news about Doctor Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania abortion doctor who was responsible for the death of an adult patient as well as the gruesome deaths of 7 newborns has brought the spotlight to the ongoing tragedy of abortion in America on the eve the anniversary of Roe v Wade. The details of a doctor severing the spines of viable babies as they lay on the table before him has forced even abortion rights advocates to consider where the line is between a person and a non-person.
It’s one thing to preach these ideas in the lefty blogosphere. It’s quite another to see them in practice. That’s where Kermit Gosnell, the doctor at the center of the Philadelphia scandal, comes in. According to the newly released grand jury report, Gosnell accepted abortion patients without regard to gestational age. “Gosnell catered to the women who couldn’t get abortions elsewhere—because they were too pregnant,” the report explains. “More and more of his patients came from out of state and were late second-trimester patients. Many of them were well beyond 24 weeks. Gosnell was known as a doctor who would perform abortions at any stage, without regard for legal limits.”
This meant killing viable babies. “We were able to document seven specific incidents in which Gosnell or one of his employees severed the spine of a viable baby born alive,” the grand jury concludes. One victim was killed at 26 weeks. Another was killed at 28. A third was killed at 32. Some of the dead were 12 to 18 inches long. One had been moving and breathing outside the womb for 20 minutes. The report alleges hundreds of such atrocities. One employee admitted to severing the spinal cords of 100 babies, each one beyond 24 weeks.
Of course, some people would go farther. PZ Myers, a biologist and influential atheist, revealed in a recent discussion that he doesn’t even think newborns are fully human:
Nope, birth is also arbitrary, and it has not been even a cultural universal that newborns are regarded as fully human.
I’ve had a few. They weren’t.
This might seem shocking to the ordinary person who assumes abortion rests on certain science. The reality is there is no secular materialistic definition of personhood. Absent a belief in the inherent worth of humans, personhood can be denied at any stage in life. PZ Myers isn’t voicing an extreme view of the secular mindset; his view is the logical extension of it.
There are likely many Kermit Gosnell’s out there – and absent a definitive basis on the beginning of personhood, it will be virtually impossible to prosecute them.
The philosophy that supports abortion in America isn’t a foundation for freedom – it is an invitation to murder.
*Nate over at Congress Shall Make No Law has a few more thoughts on the matter*