An epitaph to the Gosnell trial

by Andrée Seu Peterson
Posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 9:13 am

“Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die” (2 Samuel 11:14).

In this verse you have the nadir of King David’s life, and the most wicked strategy a man ever devised to save his own skin: Put the clueless soldier Uriah on the front line, make him think you are with him and have his back—and then retreat and let the enemy fall on him.

I believe this is what happened to abortionist Kermit Gosnell (except that Uriah was guiltless and Gosnell is not). Since his arrest in 2011 for running an inner city abortion center in West Philadelphia, Gosnell has been disowned by all his natural allies, turned on by the liberal press, and repudiated by the very powers that made him possible and his chosen profession the cause célèbre of feminism.

But let’s remember what Gosnell was accused and convicted of: murdering a baby that survived the abortion process. Let that sink in.

Gosnell thought he was just killing babies like everybody else was. He thought he was being constitutional and carrying out Roe v. Wade, and playing the role of the women’s health hero. He thought he was serving the underserved. He thought he was doing a thorough job of it: When a baby stubbornly refused to die from an injection of Digoxin, he simply administered the finishing touch. In the Bronx abortion center whose operations Lila Rose’s Live Action captured in undercover video, they routinely place moving babies into jars of poison liquid. The common goal of all abortionists is effective solutions to live births.

Several reporters and at least one juror mentioned the Gosnell “smirk.” To be honest, I never saw the curious Gosnell smile as cynical. I sat behind him for a month and he appeared to me to be genuinely clueless. I do not think he was being canny when he said in an interview after his arrest, “If you are not making mistakes, you are not really attempting to do something; so I think that my patients are aware that I do my very best by them.”

Don’t get me wrong. I do think Gosnell is guilty. But it does not follow logically that because “A” is guilty, therefore “B” is not guilty. Both Gosnell and the pro-abortion movement have babies’ blood on their hands. But is Gosnell a philosophical or reflective man? I think not. God will sort out the wolves from the sheep, the devious from the dolts, the sinister from the simpleton, the Steven Massofs from the Sherry Wests. With unerring exactness He will pronounce the sentence due to each.

When the dust settled in old Verona and two lovers were dead, the prince came out to the assembled townspeople and rebuked Capulet and Montague families alike, and even his own passive complicity, saying words that might well inspire our own epitaph to the Gosnell trial:

A gloomy peace this morning with it brings;

The sun, for sorrow, will not show its head:

Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;

Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished.

For never was a story more of woe

Than this the aftermath of Wade and Roe.

Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is a senior writer for WORLD Magazine. Her commentary has been compiled into three books including Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me. Andrée resides in Philadelphia, Penn.

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