Monday, May 13, 2013

Pro-Life Feminist's Response to Gosnell Verdict

“Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty and will get what he deserves. Now, let's make sure these women are vindicated by delivering what all women deserve: access to the full range of health services including safe, high-quality and legal abortion care.” -Ilyse G. Hogue, president, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Full statement from Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, on the conviction of Kermit Gosnell:

“Justice was served to Kermit Gosnell today and he will pay the price for the atrocities he committed. We hope that the lessons of the trial do not fade with the verdict. Anti-choice politicians, and their unrelenting efforts to deny women access to safe and legal abortion care, will only drive more women to back-alley butchers like Kermit Gosnell.

“From the lack of funding available for low-income women to access abortion services, to the sharp decline of reputable providers in Pennsylvania, to the gross negligence of authorities to enforce the law after complaints were filed against Gosnell, each aspect of this case must be a teachable moment for lawmakers: until we reject the politicization of women's medical care and leave these decisions where they belong — between a woman and her family and her doctor — women will never be safe. The horrifying story of Kermit Gosnell is a peek into the world before Roe v. Wade made legal a woman's right to make her own choices.

“NARAL Pro-Choice America's annual Who Decides? publication has given Pennsylvania an ‘F’ grade precisely because it has passed medically unnecessary laws that restrict access to safe and legal abortion care. It is my sincere hope that the women in Gosnell's clinic did not suffer in vain and that Pennsylvania, and every state, will step up and join us in making the protection of women’s ability to get, safe, high quality, and legal abortion care a top priority.” - Taken from NARAL website
Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty in 237 of the charges brought against him, including 3 counts of first degree murder in the deaths of three newborns and involuntary manslaughter in the case of a woman killed by an overdose of anesthesia. Worse case scenario, he's facing the death penalty. Best case scenario, three life-time sentences. He is in his seventies so, either way, he will not be seeing the light of day ever again.

NARAL is taking the opportunity to decry the fact that these impoverished women could not have access to safe, legal abortion. Pro-lifers are hoping that this ruling marks a change in prevailing attitudes about abortion. I would like to take the opportunity to decry another set of circumstances.

The poverty rate in Philadelphia is 25.1. It has the highest rate of deep poverty of all of the top 10 most populous cities in the US. Women are more likely to live in poverty than men. The poverty rate for families with children is over 30 percent. That means one in three families with children in Philadelphia are impoverished. Half of all families led by women are in poverty. Very many women in Philadelphia live at, or below, or profoundly below the poverty line.

Abortion isn't going to help these women out of poverty. More educational opportunities, more jobs, more financial help will get these women out of poverty. Abortion is just fixing the immediate "problem" without really ending the cycle of poverty. These women don't need to end their pregnancies, they need a roof over their head and food to eat.

I hope that the Gosnell case can teach us that. Forget better access to abortion. That's just a Band-Aid on the gaping wound of deep poverty. These women should never have to chose between a job and a child, between an education and a child, between feeding herself and keeping a roof over her own head and a child.



  1. "Until we reject the politicization of women's medical care and leave these decisions where they belong – between a woman and her family and her doctor – women will never be safe," Hogue (President of NARAL – ProChoice America) continued.- Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil

    Right, the fewer who know about the death of the child, the better.... that's how Gosnell went on so long, that was the EXACT motto practiced by Gosnell and his staff and other abortionists where we are now hearing of the infections, brutality, and deaths -- so more of the same horrific acts now being exposed, nothing should change.... I guess that’s how Planned Parenthood is now being accused of covering up and not reporting rape/ incest cases.. we understand your logic now. What a service to women!

    HERE'S SOME TRUTH for HOGUE that no one can deny - ***Share***
    “Many Americans are not aware that today the US stands with only 3 other countries for having the most radical abortion policies in the WORLD– China, North Korea, and Canada” Dr. Charmaine Yoest – President & CEO, Americans United for Life
    Kirsten Powers – "Even liberal Europe gets this. In France, Germany, Italy, and Norway, abortion is illegal after 12 weeks. In addition to the life-of-mother exception, they provide narrow health exceptions that require approval from multiple doctors or in some cases going before a board. In the U.S., if you suggest such stringent regulation and oversight of later-term abortions, you are tarred within seconds by the abortion rights movement as a misogynist who doesn’t “trust women.”

    1. The issue with your facts is that facts like these have rarely changed anyone's mind. In addition to being anti-abortion, I am also anti-death penalty. My fellow anti-death penalty activists have been saying this for years: "The United States is behind only China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq in number of executions annually."

      The people who are for the death penalty don't care that we are in such unsavory company. They'd say, "We have a better judicial system" or "We only execute those who deserve it."

      Similarly, a pro-choice person whom you share these facts with will say, "Liberal Europe just hasn't caught up with us," or "Our overall society is better than China and North Korea. We aren't forcing abortions like they are."

      I am not in anyway arguing against you. You do write the truth. Those who are pro-life do need to know these things. I just know that these things won't change Planned Parenthood's or NARAL's mind.


What do you think? I want to know.