Open Forum: Life Chain 2013

Posted: October 5, 2013

If you did a random survey and asked people who Dr. Kermit Gosnell is, I’m guessing you would not find many people who would know. Some have called him a “monster,” and the law views him as a convicted murderer. Dr. Gosnell received three life sentences in a Pennsylvania courtroom for three counts of first-degree murder, and one count of involuntary manslaughter.

Whom did he kill? Babies who survived late-term abortions that he performed, in a horrific manner that I am unable to describe. It is estimated that Dr. Gosnell performed 10,000 to 15,000 late abortion on potentially viable children in his Philadelphia clinic, but there is no real way of knowing. Dr. Gosnell destroyed records of abortions performed at his clinic.

He often did late-term abortions on Sundays without regular staff present. The grand jury that indicted him called him and his medical practice “a filthy fraud.”

The trial and conviction of Dr. Gosnell were not reported widely by the national media. Abortion providers who have unsafe practices seem to be a taboo subject in the news. Is that because the victims are babies who were legally aborted even though some were a few weeks from full-term birth?

Does legal abortion allow a delivered living child to be killed? Apparently not in the eyes of the jury that convicted Dr. Gosnell. How could this man practice medicine in so vile a manner for years, harming and killing countless victims without being held accountable? The answer is that there were no agencies that regularly inspected his facility.

Recently in Virginia, abortion clinic regulations were enacted over the strenuous objections of many pro-abortion advocates. In the first six months after the regulations were effective, more than 100 violations were found. These included blood on equipment, unsterilized instruments, untrained staff, and crucial parts missing from life-saving equipment. It seems a “no-brainer” that these abortion clinic regulations are a safeguard against the abuse and negligent practice that patients experienced in such “chambers of horror” as Dr. Gosnell’s Why would anyone not want these regulations in place?

America needs to consider where we are and where we are going in regard to life issues. More than 50 million babies have been aborted in the 40 years since the Supreme Court legalized abortion throughout the whole pregnancy, not just in the first trimester.

ObamaCare could become the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion ever. There are potential medical consequences of elective abortion, and many women have reported they were not informed of these possible complications before they had their abortions. The absence of 50 million contributing members of society is being felt by our nation in a multitude of ways. Respect for life for all is a vital foundation of our society; abortion has eroded that belief.

Still, there are many agencies eager to assist those who have crisis pregnancies. There are many who care, many who pray for those facing these difficult conditions.

This Sunday, Oct. 6, Life Chain will be held across our country. People will join in prayer in 1,800 Life Chains nationwide for the most vulnerable in our society — preborn babies. Winchester’s link in Life Chain will be on Pleasant Valley Road, from Cork Street to Millwood Avenue, from 2 to 3 p.m. Free signs will be distributed at the site, and participants will stand on the sidewalk and pray for all who have been affected by abortion.

Life Chain has been a peaceful observance here for 20 years. Please join us in standing as a witness for life. Life is a precious gift; prayer does make a difference.

Elizabeth Harrison is a resident of Frederick County.