Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards
Associated Press/Photo by Charles Dharapak
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards

Who’s sweating the Gosnell trial?


PHILADELPHIA—As suspense builds in the 1994 film Quiz Show about a shady television game called Twenty-One, there is a brief encounter at an elevator between young and tenacious Harvard-trained congressional lawyer Dick Goodman and the aloof and imperious president of NBC Robert Kintner:

Goodman: Twenty-One is rigged and I can prove it. … I have Enright [studio producer] cold and that means I have you.
Kintner: Really?
Goodman: Really.
Kintner: Then how come you’re the one who’s sweating?
[Elevator door closes on Goodman]

I am remembering that scene as I contemplate the stakes of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial for the opposing interests: the pro-life challengers and the entrenched abortion forces. Many of us are hoping that the attention that has been called to late-term abortion (The phrase “house of horrors” works as well to cover late-term abortion nationwide as what went on at 3801 Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia.) will deal a severe blow to the industry. But something tells me the pro-abortion world is not “sweating.”

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Why? Because Planned Parenthood is a 2,000-pound gorilla, American-as-apple-pie institution, that pockets more than $400 million a year in taxpayer funding. That’s why. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and her minions may find the Gosnell dust-up vaguely annoying, like a fly in the room, but they do not expect to be going away anytime soon.

On the other hand …

Just maybe there is a heretofore-unknown level of discomfort among the abortion camp’s Gosnell-watchers as the jury tarries with its verdict. What an awkward position to be in. They cannot help but finding themselves between the Scylla and Charybdis of two undesirable outcomes: They want a murder verdict and they want Gosnell to fry because he is a monster—indeed they need to make him a monster so as to put as much distance as possible between what they do in their abortion centers and what he does.

But at the same time, what tremblings of soul, what fears arise in their minds, if the populace start to think about the fact that a quick snip on the back of an aborted baby’s neck, to finish it off, is an act so heinous that it is deserving of a lethal injection? If Gosnell is executed—the highest form of punishment in the land—then what does that say about the killing of babies in general? Is there really such a difference, if you are bent on terminating a live baby and collecting your fee, between letting the baby finish its death throes on a table under a cloth, and giving it a quick slit to end its misery faster? It is a most bizarre state of affairs that the latter will get you a state execution and the former will get you a handsome fee and a commendation as a pillar of society.

Who’s sweating now?

Andrée Seu Peterson
Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again.


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