Gosnell Not Aberration, Pro-Lifers Say In Response To Guilty Verdicts

Abortion advocates ignore murder of infants in statements

Brantly Millegan
14.05.2013 // PRINT
Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell on Monday was convicted on three of the four first degree murder charges for killing babies who had been born alive, involuntary manslaughter of a woman seeking an abortion, and an assortment of lesser crimes.

In response to the verdict, Pia de Solenni, a prolife ethicist and theologian, said Gosnell may be more typical than the public thinks: "They would like us to believe that Gosnell was an aberration, that there aren't other abortion practitioners like him," she told Aleteia. "But medical and abortion providers and regulators enabled Gosnell. Had they truly had the health and well-being of women in mind, Gosnell would never have been able to commit so many atrocities, completely unchecked and unhindered."

Fr Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International, said that, with this trial, "the mask of abortion slipped, exposing many for the first time to the evil and gruesome injustice of abortion -  a crime that is too often covered in language of 'choice' and 'reproductive health.'" He, too, argued that Gosnell's crimes are common: "But the fact remains that the crimes of which Mr. Gosnell were found guilty are business as usual for the abortion industry, rather than an aberration."

Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput reiterated that the killing of children, whether they are born or not, is wrong: “We need to stop cloaking the ugliness of abortion with misnomers like ‘proper medical coverage’ or ‘choice. It’s violence of the most intimate sort, and it needs to end.”

Pro-abortion groups also responded. The NARAL Pro-Choice America president, Ilyse G. Hogue, said in a statement released yesterday that the Gosnell case shows a need for wider abortion availability: "[U[ntil 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." The NARAL statement concluded: "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.”

Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, released similar statement: "The jury has punished Kermit Gosnell for his appalling crimes. This verdict will ensure that no woman is victimized by Kermit Gosnell ever again."

Neither statement acknowledges that Dr Kermit Gosnell was convicted not only manslaughter of a woman seeking an abortion, but also of 1st degree murder of three infants. Greater abortion access would not protect the lives of the children killed, except perhaps to ensure a greater liklihood that their murder would take place while they were located within their mother's womb rather than outside of it.

Blogger and Representative in the Oklahoma House of Representatives Rebecca Hamilton thinks there may be shift in pro-abortion rhetoric with these two statements. "It appears, based on these statements, that both these organizations have decided that Dr Gosnell is one 'abortion provider' they are not going to defend," she wrote. "This is a huge sea-change that pro life commenters seem to be overlooking. Always before, abortion advocates have stood by these docs, no matter what."

Several pro-life leaders called for prayers for Gosnell and asked that he not receive the death penalty. Human Life International Vice President for Missions Fr Peter West said in a statement: “I also pray that after reflecting on his crimes Kermit Gosnell comes to understand the horror of what he has done, repents of his sins, and asks for and accepts the mercy of God.”

Catholic writer Ashley E. McGuire wrote in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post that "clamoring for his death perpetuates a culture of death. Pro-lifers must stay focused on saving babies, not on killing their killers."

Last month, Princeton University professor and conservative commenator Robert P. George wrote a piece for the online edition of First Things entitled "A Plea for Mercy for Kermit Gosnell". In it, he asked that Gosnell not receive the death penalty: "Kermit Gosnell, like every human being, no matter how self-degraded, depraved, and sunk in wickedness, is our brother—a precious human being made in the very image and likeness of God. Our objective should not be his destruction, but the conversion of his heart."

The following Aleteia Experts contributed to this report:

Pia de Solenni is an expert on life issues, issues relating to women’s health, the new feminism, and culture. She is also the owner of Diotima Consulting.

William E. May, McGivney Professor of Moral Theology, is author of Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life

KCBC Bible Commission & Kerala Catholic Bible Society POC

A Kerala Model for New Evangelisation It‰Ûªs just awesome! 560,829 are the participants this year for Logos Mega Bible Quiz to be conducted on 30th September 2012 in Kerala the great and ancient centre of Christianity in India. The interest in the Quiz has gone up steadily since it was initiated in 2000 the Great Jubilee Year by the Bishops‰Ûª conference. This year saw an increase of 25,000 compared to last year‰Ûªs registration (537,300). This colossal phenomenon, called ‰Û÷Logos Mega Bible Quiz‰Ûª, invites the keen attention of the universal Church at the dawn of the Synod on New Evangelization. The Aim The Logos Bible Quiz, which is organized by Kerala Catholic Bishops‰Ûª Council‰Ûªs Bible Commission, provides people opportunity to read and study the Holy Bible carefully. ‰ÛÏOur aim is to promote interest in Bible reading and to cultivate a culture of systematic study of the Bible in order to make a vibrant Christian life possible‰Û, says Rev. Dr. Joshy Mayyattil the chief co-ordinator of Logos Mega Quiz and Secretary of KCBC Bible Commission and Kerala Catholic Bible Society. The Mode The participants, in the quiz conducted by Bible Commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, are divided into six age groups. People of all walks of life can participate in this popular Bible quiz. Many religious and priests too participate in it. The preliminary round of the Logos Quiz, conducted in parishes under the auspice of Diocesan Bible Apostolate directors, lasts for one and half hours in which the participants will answer multiple answer questions. Three toppers from each age category will participate in the written quiz conducted in KCBC headquarters at Kochi. Top ten from each age category from this round will be eligible for the final round which includes audio, video, written, oral and Bible verse recitation tests. Once the final round gets over, the winners in each category is awarded with gold medals and cash prizes. And the champion of the Logos Quiz (Logos Prathibha) will have a free pilgrimage to Holy Land. The possibility of introducing scholarship for Bible study for the Logos winners is under consideration. Last year the Logos Prathibha (i.e., Logos Champion) was Sr. Betty LAR from the diocese of Palai. Year before last it was Miss Reshma Pius a 16-year old student hailing from an economically poor family. This Bible lover has proved that her family‰Ûªs richness consists in their love for the Scripture. A Year-long Preparation for 35 chapters! People prepare themselves well in advance for the quiz. The syllabus of almost 35 chapters from the Old and New Testaments (the syllabus for this year: Exodus 25-40; the Gospel of Mark; II Peter) for the quiz is announced a year in advance so that the contestants can get ample time to prepare. Often people carry their personal Bibles during travels in order to read the portions. In many cases parents and children get ready for the Logos making collective study and preparing notes in the family. It is not a rare thing in Kerala to see members of the same family, especially children, competing among themselves to learn biblical verses by-heart. In some places, the participants of the Logos Quiz sit together after the Sunday Catechesis and revise the topics. Study guides are also available. Last year more than 20 various guides were available in the bookshops. In Future ‰ÛÏLogos Quiz has become a Herculean task for the conducting team. However it is also a pleasant task‰Û, says Bishop George Punnakkottil the Chairman of KCBC Bible Commission. ‰ÛÏLast year we introduced on-line registration (visit: www.logosquiz.org). In a few years we will be able to conduct on-line exam also. Thus the desire of numerous Keralites abroad to participate in the Logos Quiz would be realized‰Û. ‰ÛÏThe KCBC Bible Commission has plans to make this Bible Quiz popular in other parts of the world too. For this purpose, the Bible Quiz, which is currently conducted in Malayalam and English, will be made available in other languages also‰Û, added Bishop Punnakkottil. The e-mails that the organizers of the Logos Bible Quiz receive are evidences for the desire of the people around the globe for such methods and tools for Bible study. The great success of this Bible contest in Kerala could be a pointer for the universal Church ‰ÛÒ Bible Quiz, if culturally adapted, may be one of the best means for the new evangelization.

Hosea House


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