Saturday, February 09, 2019

Now many states want to offer clear skating—no longer a slippery slope

“According to the grand jury, Gosnell's method of "abortion" in these late-term cases was infanticide, plain and simple. He or an untrained staffer would induce labor, deliver the baby alive, and then perform the procedure they called by the chilling euphemism "snipping"--slashing the infant to death with scissors to the neck and spine. "Over the years, there were hundreds of 'snippings,' " the grand jury found. But bodies had been disposed of and files destroyed, so the evidence was sufficient to prosecute in only seven cases. One of those victims, a neonatologist testified, was a boy of "32 weeks, if not more, in gestational age." That is, his mother had been at least 7½ months pregnant.

Why were these horrors allowed to persist for decades? Even if the infanticides had been concealed, there were ample other irregularities in the clinic's operations, including filth, unsanitized instruments, unqualified staff and dangerously inappropriate use of drugs. When the clinic was finally raided in 2010, it was the result of a federal narcotics investigation.

Part of the reason for the regulatory failure was simple bureaucratic indifference or incompetence. Inspectors from the Pennsylvania Department of Health visited several times between 1979 and 1993, noted problems, and didn't bother following up. But after 1993, the inspectors never reappeared until the 2010 raid. The reason was political.

In 1994 Tom Ridge, a pro-abortion Republican, was elected governor, succeeding the antiabortion Democrat Bob Casey. According to the grand jury, Ridge administration officials "concluded that inspections would be 'putting a barrier up to women' seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased." The new policy did away with all regular inspections of abortion clinics. Mr. Ridge's lassitudinous approach was bipartisan, continued by his successor, Democrat Ed Rendell, who resumed the inspections only after the 2010 raid.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Gosnell and have already obtained guilty pleas from eight of his former staffers. The grand jury's report should also be seen as an indictment of America's post-Roe abortion industry. Its indifference--at best--to legal limits made possible the deaths of untold numbers of babies, lending credence to the argument that legal abortion is a slippery slope to infanticide.”  From WSJ writer, April 19, 2013, James Taranto

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