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A small measure of justice

Last week, disturbed by the length of time the jury was taking to deliberate in the Gosnell trial, I woke up one morning, sat up, and spontaneously said aloud, "He's gonna walk."

Thank God that pessimistic pseudo-clairvoyance is not a reliable belief-forming mechanism.

Kermit Gosnell, who should have been convicted of even more, has been convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three infants. He has also been convicted of numerous lesser charges.

Now he should receive the death penalty. (An aside: Someone said on my Facebook wall yesterday that he hoped that Gosnell would repent and be saved instead of being executed. I do not think it should be "instead," though I'm all in favor of repentance and conversion. There is no good argument from, "So-and-so was converted after his conviction for a heinous crime" to "So-and-so should not be executed.")

I'm not really all that interested in debating how many abortionists actively kill born-alive infants a la Gosnell. My own suspicion is that most of them who perform late-term abortions either entirely dismember or else rely on aborting early enough and then simply neglecting to death those infants born alive. (Yes, I know that they inject a drug to stop the heart, but it sometimes doesn't work.) If they abort early enough, neglecting to death should take only a couple of hours, max. It's gruesome and unnecessary to ask how much "better" this is than stabbing them in the back of the neck.

However, here is eyewitness testimony against Shelley Sella, a former co-worker with the infamous George Tiller, that she committed active, post-birth infanticide (stabbing a 35-week living, born baby in the chest). Apparently she has never been prosecuted and is still practicing. Tiller was neater than Gosnell. He cremated all the bodies. There are no doubt some more Gosnells out there.

In any event, abortion consists of direct, fatal, and extreme bodily assault on an unborn child. From a moral and even psychological point of view, nobody who cuts up live babies for a living is likely to boggle at stabbing one after it is born. It would be entirely a matter of fear of prosecution that would prevent post-birth, active, bloody infanticide of infants born alive.

The conviction of Kermit Gosnell is a small measure of earthly justice. May it be only an earnest of justice to come--for Gosnell and for many others, including those who do all their killing within the womb. May the Gosnell case bring more and more people to recognize the evil of abortion.

Comments (13)


The point remains: Gosnell was just convicted for performing exactly the service he was paid to perform. The verdict is just, naturally. But it also reveals a level of confusion and moral sickness in advanced liberal society that is almost impossible to vocalize.

Indeed it does, Sage.

I know, Sage, and you are right. The only positive (positive?) thing I can say is this: The academic ethics world is working in overdrive at this very moment to defend and normalize post-birth infanticide. They are whining *right now* about the negative press for the "after birth abortion" article last year which was leaked to hoi polloi. They have a new special edition of the journal out just recently with a symposium mostly defending infanticide. The infamous Michael Tooley makes an appearance and affirms that only "thinkers" are persons.

That our society still shows some resistance to post-birth infanticide in the face of this onslaught and this attempt to "make them be consistent" with the abortion license is a small bit of light. We can always hope that the push will go the _other_ way: From recognizing the evil of post-birth infanticide to recognizing the evil of abortion. What we emphatically don't want is a more consistent society that legalizes post-birth infanticide, as in Holland.

I was thinking of the article you mentioned this morning (I link it in my newest post, in fact). It is already clear that my earlier prediction has come true and that behind closed doors the authors of that article are being given big atta-boys by the medical ethics establishment, groomed for their first standing ovations at some obscure conference away from the cameras.

That melancholy thought aside, it's still the case that men like Obama feel the need to pretend they are anti-infanticide, and it's still the case that the Gosnell verdict is possible. That's not much, and I don't like to set the bar at that miserable level, but it's not nothing.

What struck me about that article aside from its heinousness was its low philosophical quality and its shallowness. The pretense that it was making some kind of intellectual contribution and that publishing it was an act of academic integrity was...transparent baloney.

Right. It was an exercise in careerism, a display of willingness to be the first to "go there," to take a little up-front heat for the cause in exchange for a the Rosa Parks treatment. When you lack real ability, in a field where even those with very high ability often (usually?) can't find secure work, sheer brazenness will often suffice.

I'm reminded of the grad student in History I encountered once who worked to impress his professors by praising Marx to the skies, loudly boasted that his favorite historian was Eric Hobsbawm, and seemed unable to talk about much else. He was a grinning idiot, as was obvious by just a few moments' conversation, but knew the academic game well enough to land the only decent assistantship in the department.

Tooley, Singer, and Pinker were actually ahead of Minerva et. al. As I recall, what was "new" in Minerva et. al.'s article was something very minor such as the term "post-birth abortion" or some minuscule (comparatively speaking) point of argument. Upon reflection, I think it was that they argued that infanticide should be allowed for reasons of parental convenience as well as for "serious" reasons such as the infant's disability. Then when there was an outcry, the despicable editor (Savulescu) feigned innocence by telling us that infanticide has been seriously entertained for decades in the bioethics community. (So what's the big deal, right?)

True enough. In that light, it is conceivable that the JME -niks might have been genuinely surprised by the outrage. That doesn't vindicate Savulescu's pathetic and predictable whining, of course. And anyway, just like the talented Miss Sandra Fluke, there's little doubt that Minerva and Giublini will be enjoying the fruits of high-profile martyrdom for the rest of their careers.

An aside: Someone said on my Facebook wall yesterday that he hoped that Gosnell would repent and be saved instead of being executed. I do not think it should be "instead," though I'm all in favor of repentance and conversion. There is no good argument from, "So-and-so was converted after his conviction for a heinous crime" to "So-and-so should not be executed."

To which one should reply that the thief on the cross who was saved said "we are rightly condemned, but this man has done nothing." Note that the thief not only did not ask for mercy, but actually accepted an extreme punishment for his crime because his repentance compelled him to pay the price demanded of him.

An important point, MikeT. I also hope for his repentance, and it would do great glory to God's saving grace. But render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's. We do not occupy the Kingdom of God, yet.

Which brings me to another point: Who will offer him forgiveness on behalf of those murdered babies? What a terrible scene. A licensed mass murderer, whose business was such that the courtroom contains no mourners, because the only mourners who might have shown up--with the Mongarone family the lone possible exception--were his customers.

Again, terrible.

the authors of that article are being given big atta-boys by the medical ethics establishment,

Just as an aside, can we promote a little bit of truth-in-advertising, and standardize the term

medical "ethics" establishment ?

I believe this Gosnell thiong may just be the tip of the iceberg.


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