Abortion remains a mystery to the legal world. Because abortion doctors won’t testify against something as barbaric as even Gosnell, people don’t really know what is normal in those clinics. Is it normal for abortion doctors to keep jars of feet on display? Is it normal for them to keep “fetal remains’ in jugs around the clinic? Is it normal for abortion doctors to lie about they kind of drugs they use? To be unlicensed? The coroner and state medical examiner were unsure if it was normal for baby’s heads to be severed in an abortion. Partial birth abortions were already illegal, but those in charge of enforcing that law aren’t even aware how that would differ from a normal abortion.
Kermit Gosnell is the most prolific serial killer in American History. He was the abortion doctor who delivered children alive, then severed their heads and collected their feet. His trial took place four years ago, in relative obscurity. He was convicted, and sentenced to life-without-parole (in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, he waived his rights to appeal). When he went to prison, his story–which already was obscure–became almost forgotten.
Gosnell: The Untold Story of American’s Most Prolific Serial Killer attempts to put the spot-light back on Gosnell’s atrocities and those who allowed them. A new book, co-written by journalists Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, Gosnell represents the fruit of years of research and interviews. It goes deep into the lives affected by the Gosnell trial, giving you a window into Gosnell’s wicked world never before seen.
This is not a pro-life manifesto. It is as restrained as can be, and reads as if it could easily be a long-form piece for a news-magazine. McElhinney and McAleer allow the readers to make their own conclusions about what enabled Gosnell to operate his house of horrors.
The authors introduce us to the Philadelphia narcotics detective that stumbled upon Gosnell’s murderous operation. We meet the Assistant District Attorney, herself an expectant mother, who has to cut open baby’s skulls to assess their cause of death. We meet some of Gosnell’s barely literate employees. We meet Gosnell, and go inside his home—in the last chapter we even go inside his prison.
We also meet some of Gosnell’s victims. A baby who tried to swim away. Another whom the nurses played with for twenty minutes, and posed for pictures. Still another one, so real and life-like that her body was left on the receptionist’s desk as a prank. We meet the Hindu refugee, persecuted in her native Bhutan, who fled to Virginia for safety, and who was ultimately murdered by Gosnell.
And we meet a handful of the government workers who were responsible for regulating abortion clinics in Pennsylvania, yet failed miserably at their jobs. They didn’t fail because they were understaffed, uninformed, or overworked. Instead, their political ideology combined with their indifference to create a fatal combination. In front of a grand jury, one of was asked why, if she knew that Gosnell was killing people, she refused to investigate. Her response: “People die” (84).
But Gosnell shows you that it’s not simply that people die as a result of pro-abortion sentiment. The larger point is that a handful of government workers turned a blind eye to our nation’s most prolific serial killer out of a commitment to a newly elected pro-abortion (and Republican) governor.
It’s said that commercial plane crashes never have only one cause; instead, they generally feature a lethal series of coincidental failures that combine at the wrong time and in the wrong way. Such is the story of Gosnell.
He is, of course, delusional. He is a liar. He is power hungry, racist, misogynistic, and sexually immoral. He hired drug addicts as “nurses,” became one of Philadelphia’s biggest drug dealers, segregated his clinic so that white people were treated differently, knowing that they might be more likely to report him so the state.
He shouldn’t have worried. As Gosnell was murdering people, local hospitals complained to the state medical board, doctors and nurses complained to the state’s Home Health Division (in PA they are responsible for regulating abortion clinics), and victims’ families complained to the Philadelphia police.
Nobody followed up. Nobody cared.