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Kermit Gosnell and Thoughts on Abortion

I take back everything I said about women carrying their placentas around in a bag. I told you I would put my foot in my mouth on that one. And the reason I take it back is because after reading the story I am about to talk about, women who love their babies so much that they would carry around their placentas in a bag if it was the best thing for them, suddenly seem incredibly sane and normal compared to Kermit Gosnell.
It's hard to write about a person, and a situation, that is this horrifying, but I am going to try. Kermit Gosnell (if you click on the link above you will get a much more grusome and detailed description), is a "doctor" who operated an abortion clinic in a low income area of Pennsylvania and performed illegal, late term abortions on 1,000s of babies, and who is alleged to have killed 7 babies born alive after the abortion "didn't take." He is also on trial for the murder on one of his patients during a botched abortion. The ONLY reason this case is getting any type of coverage, or national news at all right now, is because a Christian reporter from USA Today wrote an article on why this case isn't getting any national attention. That sounds so odd to me. If this were living babies of 40 weeks gestation, it would be the front page story on every website and news outlet. Yet, these were 24 week babies, so instead of calling him a baby killer, or something equally sadistic, he is on trial for "performing illegal late term abortions."
There are so many things wrong right now with this whole issue. I don't know much about abortion laws in each state, but what I did read about the laws in Pennsylvania were incredibly disturbing. (If a teenager becomes pregnant as a result of parental rape and incest, they must have their parent's permission to have an abortion. So, their attacker's permission. Is that not insane?) I didn't even realize that an abortion could be performed after the first trimester, but apparently, in Pennsylvania, you can. It is legal in that state to abort a baby that is up to 24 weeks gestation. Over half of the pregnancy has happened at this point. You can tell if it's a boy or girl by a sonogram. She or he can hear sounds. She or he is the size of a mango. I am so confused as how this is even considered "abortion."
Abortion is one of those things I struggle with. Not whether it's right or wrong, I am talking about how we deal with it. See, on one hand, Christians want to remove it altogether and make it illegal, which would remove any and all oversight on abortion clinics (because they were illegal), making it incredibly easy for unlicensed, untrained people such as Gosnell to set up shop in some God-forsaken abandoned building, and take advantage of those in this world with little to no other options, which is exactly what he did, because Pennsylvania (after doing more research) has little oversight on clinics as it is. There would be no safety training, no protocol, and people would work there if they got paid, even if they felt guilt, because it's a "job." I know Christians want to do what God would want them to do, but it's hard because a woman could perform an abortion on herself, without the aid of medical staff or equipment, and women have done this since the beginning of time. Making abortion illegal might lesson the amount of abortions performed overall, but would not limit a woman in a desperate situation. I am reminded of several movies with abortion as a story line and the first one that pops up is Dirty Dancing. She went to have an illegal abortion and ended up being chopped up by a doctor, and what the movie described as having a cot and a rusty knife. Another movie, that involves a woman purchasing a common item to induce her own abortion, Revolutionary Road, ends in her death as a result. I know that these are movies and not historical or factual examples, but this doesn't make the opportunity and outcome any less real.
To me, abortion is a symptom of a much larger problem, and not necessarily a problem that is new to this century, when it became medically legal. And abortion, whether it's legal or not, will always be something we deal with. Always. If you make abortion illegal, then a woman who is completely convinced not to have a baby would most likely never come forward beforehand for counseling or alternative options. I think about how many women in this world have found Jesus through researching abortion and other alternatives, and who probably wouldn't have otherwise. I think about how many women who would, instead of going to a licensed clinic with medical treatment and counseling, just attempt something horrible in their bathroom with any number of things they could find around the house, or other means used in third world countries where access to clinics is limited or abortion is illegal (read that link with caution).
This whole story of Gosnell only proves to me that while abortion is wrong and against what so many of us find to be right, there will be always be someone there who will give a woman an abortion: either a medical clinic, licensed by the state, inspected by branches of the government, with laws on cleanliness, restrictions, counseling, and educated doctors, or people like Gosnell, in it only to make a buck, regardless of the safety of women and babies, who kills living babies. It's almost like, which is the lessor of two evils?
I think that Christians should do less petitioning of the government's laws on things like abortion and more outreach for their community for alternatives. Pregnancy centers should be receiving so much money from churches and individuals, as they are the ones who are trying to talk to women BEFORE having an abortion. Every woman in your city should know where to turn if they are pregnant and don't know what else to do, and it should be to a place like the Pregnancy Resource Center of Grand Prairie. How would Jesus deal with this issue? I guarantee He wouldn't be petitioning the government to change their laws. He would be talking to the women Himself, teaching and counseling them, to look in the face of this test, this situation, and figure out for themselves how to handle it, based on His will. Isn't that the point of all sin, all obstacles, all desparing situations? Doesn't He change your faith in these times, more than any? Making abortion illegal doesn't really change anything, but using these situations for these young women to His gain does.
This whole situation has really gotten me to thinking of what I can do in my community for women who are in need during this time in their life. I know the fear of pregnancy, the fear of "wrong timing," the inability to predict how things will turn out. I feel as though I could really help, and that's what I intend to do. We, as Christians, should not be picketing abortion clinics, but trying to reach out to those women in a meaningful way. If we don't do it, people like this monster will.


Marsha Sioux said…
I just happened by your blog (after reading a comment you left on another blog about Lotus Birth). I decided to stick around a read a few of your other posts. I must say, this entry was beautifully done.

I believe your ideas for how Christian/Church groups--who regularly oppose abortion, petition for legal change, and/or picket abortion clinics--should focus their efforts in their communities, counseling/witnessing to women in crisis pregnancy situations and/or providing funding to these services, are so very smart and really very logical & simple. All of them (ideas/suggestions/calls to action?) a lot easier to organize, fund, and maintain than legal battles, petitions or picket campaigns. While there *are* some church organizations that do similar community work to what you've suggested here, the number of those organizations is currently too small to have any long-term, major impact--nationally or in individual communities.

If more Christians took the time (or cared to put forth the effort) to think things completely through and find logical solutions to their biblical, spiritual, and social concerns, the world (and for sure, this Country) would be a lot better place.

Very well thought out and articulated Jenna, you brilliant, magnificent woman you!

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