Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, March 13, 2019 0 comments

by David Odegard

The movie opens to a drug bust of an oxycodone ring. The drug ring leads to Kermit Gosnell, an abortion provider who boasts of his value to the poor Philadelphia community where his practice was located. He had been selling prescriptions through several of the persons working for him. As the various law enforcement agencies discovered the extent of Gosnell’s criminal activities, murders of several infants who were born alive began to surface.

Staff admitted to selling the drug prescriptions and to administering many drugs to patients though they had no training, including anesthetizing women who came in for abortion procedures. Staff also admitted to witnessing Gosnell snipping the necks of hundreds of born-alive babies and eventually providing evidence for seven.

The lone law enforcement agency interested in investigating the murders faced opposition from the District Attorney’s office since charging an abortion doctor with murder would be bad press; nevertheless, the agency was able to obtain a search warrant for Gosnell’s practice.

The movie cuts to Gosnell’s charnel house. It is a conglomeration of three residential homes sewn together by back hallways and doors chopped between walls. The police who searched the place were continuously disoriented. Every scene in this place was half-lit, frenetic, chaotic, and filthy. Cat feces were everywhere. Body parts were stored in the break room refrigerator in milk cartons and old food containers or laying in the hallway. Mice nibbled on the body parts, blood was on the floor and all the equipment, women were sitting on bloody blankets, other women were urinating in the hallway. (All of these descriptions came directly from the police report.) Women waited in the flickering half-light for their turn in the stirrups. But Dr. Gosnell’s magnum opus is a trophy room with over a hundred severed and pickled babies’ feet. Gosnell smiled and defended them as “research.”

The camera zooms in to Gosnell’s face while he talks to his turtles and feeds them clams. The eerie smile as they feed is indicative of the disturbing inner life of “America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer.”

The camera then pans to a woman who looks to be in labor. Gosnell enters the room and conducts an abortion while the police search the building. He emerges with bloody gloves still on, sits down, and begins to eat his supper. The police stare in shock.

At this point in the movie, my teenage daughter and I both broke into tears. The carnage, the pleasure Gosnell took in his grim work, and the utterly sickening conditions stunned us. How could this take place in reality, in Pennsylvania, nine years ago? Surely, this must occur rather in someone’s nightmare, perhaps somewhere on Elm Street.

The film eventually winds its way through a search of Gosnell’s equally dirty home where large amounts of cash were found, but several key documents were not. Meanwhile, Gosnell sits in his bathrobe, plays classical piano, and offers to make breakfast for the officers while the house is searched. Nero’s violin comes to mind.

The trial is a gritty exposé of Gosnell’s criminal activity, but the disinterested media fails to show up. A photo of all the empty seats reserved for media eventually sparks a pro-life Twitter campaign with over 100,000 retweets shaming the news outlets and forcing them to cover the story.

When the media journalists finally drag themselves to the trial, they try to put as positive a spin on the proceedings as possible and may have succeeded had not one of the young workers produced a photograph of “Baby A.” The jury is horrified by the photo (you can view it here). Gosnell is reported to have said of Baby A, “This boy is big enough to walk me to the bus stop.”

The movie reasserts repeatedly that this case “is not about abortion.” The film depicts a great effort to insulate the practice of abortion from Gosnell’s criminal activity. At one point a very nice looking, professional woman from Planned Parenthood takes the stand and exclaims with horror that the way Gosnell practiced abortion is a scandal on the upright abortion providers—they kill more cleanly.

But her hypocrisy is apparent to all. She is defiled by her admission to have personally conducted 30,000 abortions; furthermore, she admitted that a baby of a failed abortion attempt would be left on the table to die. The film justly smears the entire abortion cabal with the blood, feces, and urine from Gosnell’s hallway.

This movie acts like a depth charge: it sinks deep into the psyche and then suddenly a flash of light and people are horrified by the reality of abortion and emerge feeling unclean. In spite of the total media blackout of the book that the film is based on (which went directly to Amazon’s best-seller list), a blackout from Hollywood claiming that the film is too controversial (unlike Cider House Rules, I guess), and a media campaign to justify abortion while belatedly condemning Gosnell, the nation has been appalled to discover what abortion is really like.

Gosnell confirms rather than contradicts what the public has learned about the abortion industry in the last few years: Planned Parenthood sells body parts over a wine-soaked meal (see the video here). New York passes a law allowing abortion up to the moment of birth if a doctor deems fit; the New York legislature erupts in wild applause, whistles, and hoots (see it here). Del. Kathy Tran of Virginia introduces a bill to legally kill babies up to the moment of birth.

Virginia Governor Northam, recipient of $3 million dollars for his campaign from Planned Parenthood, commented about Tran’s bill saying, “If a mother is in labor, the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and mother.” (See the video here.)

Folks, Gosnell was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, and many other felonies and misdemeanors. His entire existence was saturated with despair and death. The chilling truth is that the net effect of the New York and Virginia laws would be to justify Gosnell’s actions. It would make 95% of what was shown in this movie legal. If Gosnell practiced in New York today, rather than in Pennsylvania nine years ago, he would be guilty only of bad taste.

America has a fascination with death culture. The violence is overwhelming. But this violence and death ultimately springs from this lethal game of king of the hill that we all must play if there is no God above us. Nietzsche called this deadly game the Will to Power, and he was right when he observed that if God is lost from our consciousness, then we have to create ourselves. He viewed it as an incredible opportunity, but the historical record shows that it has been a disaster.

If all goals, all hopes are bent toward the self, if all thought is given to my future, my happiness, my fulfillment, and my goals, then all that is left is the will to power. Everyone is a means to an end, and the end is only whatever I say it is for myself—damn the world.

Everyone knows that this is the opposite of love (and parenting for that matter). But when there is nothing higher than the here-and-now, nothing more important than myself, I have nothing to live for. I scratch around trying to stay busy till despair finally overwhelms me. Life becomes a series of meaningless jerks toward suicide.

Yet few seem to consider the Christian alternative of God-centered life. Biblical Christianity recognizes that God is there, and because of that we can hope in His goodness. As bad as the world is, God has not abandoned us to it, nor has He been aloof to our suffering. God loved human beings so much that He became one. Jesus Christ became human in order to rescue people “who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:15).

Jesus has authored a culture of life. The reason that we fought so hard to end slavery, and why we now fight to end abortion is because the Bible teaches us that each person is made in the image of God. This means that the essential identity of humanity is wrapped up with the identity of God. The inherent worth of a human being means that she cannot be exploited, owned, or murdered. Christians have long stood for this value, and in this titanic struggle of abortion our duty is clear. We must speak for the human persons who are being destroyed. We must speak life and not death.

Please do not abort your baby. Christians are dedicated to life. Please call a pro-life call center like the one found at 1-800-712-4357. We will find a home for your baby! Every life is worth living!

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