Thursday, January 20, 2011

Abortionist caught killing babies. What's the world coming to?

Most people have now heard about Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortionist who was charged Wednesday with killing seven babies.

Abortionists killing babies? What is the world coming to?

Pretty soon murderers will start killing people and thieves will start stealing, shoplifters will start taking things from stores and arsonists will begin setting fire to stuff. Before you know it, you'll have burglars breaking into houses and forgers faking signatures. And rapists: who knows what they might do to women?

Gosnell is accused of "delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them." Part of the problem was apparently that Pennsylvania health regulators completely stopped inspecting his clinic in 1993 and his medical practice went completely unregulated for 17 years. This was unfortunate. If health inspectors had done their job, they might have made sure that Gosnell cut the babies up inside the womb instead of outside it.

And then no babies would have been killed.

Gosnell also performed many late-term abortions, which are illegal in Pennsylvania:
Gosnell sometimes joked about the babies, saying one was so large he could "walk me to the bus stop," according to the report.
Late term fetuses aren't babies, of course, even though they look like babies, and feel pain like babies, and are virtually identical with babies in every way. So aborting them isn't anything like killing a baby, except for the fact that is exactly the same.

"In a typical late-term abortion," says the AP story, "the fetus is dismembered in the uterus and then removed in pieces." This method of abortion is much different than the procedure used in early term abortions, where, instead of dismembering the baby in the uterus and them removing it in pieces, the baby is dismembered in the uterus and then removed in pieces.

Except, of course, those early term abortions which use the much more humane procedure of sucking the baby out with a hollow plastic tube into a bottle.

But Gosnell went much further than this. He killed babies.
Prosecutors estimated Gosnell ended hundreds of pregnancies by cutting the spinal cords, but they said they couldn't prosecute more cases because he destroyed files.
"These killings became so routine that no one could put an exact number on them," the grand jury report said. "They were considered 'standard procedure.'"
As an abortionist, Gosnell should have known better.
Authorities raided Gosnell's clinic early last year in search of drug violations and stumbled upon "a house of horrors," Williams said. Bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses "were scattered throughout the building," the district attorney said. "There were jars, lining shelves, with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose."
Maybe we should just be glad that these bags and bottles contained fetuses that had been aborted--rather than babies that had been killed. Just imagine how much worse that would be.

As assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore put it, Gosnell "does not know how to do an abortion." You can say that again. The guy apparently was incapable of doing an abortion without killing a baby.

And we can't have that.


Singring said...

People murdering people - what's the world coming to?

Jared Loughner is accused of 'shooting and killing several people including a 9 - year old child'. Part of the problem was apparently that the Arizona legal system only allows trained state employees to kill people and Jared Loughner was untrained. This was unfortunate. If the state had done its job, they might have made sure that Loughner killed people inside of a death chamber, instead of outside it.

If killing 'babies' is always wrong, so is killing people. You seem to go completely bananas when the former is done (according to your definitions), but have no qualms whatsoever when it is done to (some) adults.


Lee said...

The solution, Singring, seems obvious. Abolish abortion except in cases where the fetuses have committed a capital offense.

Singring said...

'The solution, Singring, seems obvious. Abolish abortion except in cases where the fetuses have committed a capital offense.'

It's not quite that simple, Lee, though I know you'd love to imagine that it is.

Let me ask you this and you will see what I mean:

Why is it justifiable (in your view) to execute capital offenders but not, say, a car thief?

Martin Cothran said...


You're saying I have "no qualms" about people being killed?

Singring said...

'You're saying I have "no qualms" about people being killed?'

You have expressed support of the death penalty at least in some cases. Perhaps you have 'qualms' about it (emotional ones, that is), if that is so my apologies and I gladly retract the statement.

But let's get back to teh question: how come you support state-sanctioned killing of people, but completely and absolutely reject it when it comes to 'babies'. This is simply a question about principles, Martin and I'd love to hear how you justify state-operated and funded killing of people, but at the same time refuse to accept abortion.

Just out of curiosity I'd like to know how extensive your opposition is to abortion, maybe that will help me understand how you could write the post above and maybe we can even find some common ground:

1.) Do you reject any and all abortion? For example, would you make it illegal for a rape victim or a victim of incest (which you have previously expressed abhorrence for)? Would you make it illegal for doctors to perform an abortion on a woman who will not survive the pregnancy if it is not terminated? For the record, I would fully support the right to choose in all of these scenarios.

2.) What kind of punishment of doctors, but especially women who are involved in abortions would you like to see once abortion is made illegal? After all, they are both either murderers or accomplices to murders for killing a 'baby' with malice aforethought. So what do you think? Execution? Life sentence? Twenty years? What do you think would be reasonable?

Lee said...

> Why is it justifiable (in your view) to execute capital offenders but not, say, a car thief?

I see your point. Okay. Abolish abortion except in cases where the fetis has committed a capital offense or stolen a car.

Singring said...

'I see your point. Okay. Abolish abortion except in cases where the fetis has committed a capital offense or stolen a car.'

Either you did not see my point or you are in support of capital punishment for car thiefs. Neither of the two possibilities surprises me much, to be honest.

Neither does the fact that you are apparently incapable of justifying your own moral positions, even ones as important as capital punishment or abortion. But then who needs arguments when you can just assert stuff, right?

Martin Cothran said...


No let's not do the ADHD thing. Let's address the question. You said I have "no qualms whatsoever" about capital punishment of adults.

I'll accept your offered retraction of the statement, but you shouldn't have made it if you didn't have any basis for it.

Whether someone has qualms about something cannot be discerned from the fact that they hold to one position on it. It can only be discerned by asking them, and you never asked me.

I have plenty of qualms about capital punishment, and they're not just emotional. In fact, they're largely philosophical and practical.

Singring said...

'No let's not do the ADHD thing.'

Martin, I asked you to clarify your distinction between captital punishment and 'the killing of babies'. You did not. You deflected. I ask you two direct, simple questions pertaining to your position on abortion and you deflect by writing three full paragraphs on a comment I made about capital punishment and have already apologized for and retracted. Who is the one with ADHD here?

Please answer the questions so we can see how consistent you are in your positions on abortion and the killing of people, something that is vitally important with regards to your repeated assertions that abortion is 'killing babies'.

Singring said...

'It can only be discerned by asking them, and you never asked me.'

You are on record, on your own blog, as supporting capital punishment in 'some cases', for example war criminals. How is it you condone state sanctioned killing in those cases but rail against the 'killing of babies'. It is a very simple, straightforward question. I'd really like to get an answer to it, instead of deflections.

Martin Cothran said...


You don't think you have an obligation to ask me that before you accuse me of something rather than after?

Singring said...

You are on the record as supporting the death penalty in some cases (which is all I ma claiming), I have apologized for 'qualms' and now you have moved on to complete stonewalling once again.

Why is it you can't answer simple questions? I'm honestly interested in how you justify state-sanctioned killing in one instance but abhor abortion and keep referring to it as the 'killing of babies'. Yet I simply cannot get a straight answer from you.

The same thing happened before when I presented you with the burning fertility clinic scenario. I must have asked you four times, you never even acknowledged reading the question.

Now you are doing the same.

For someone who rails on about the 'killing of babies' and how horrible it is you seem to have a surprising fear of adressing the moral issues it entails.

Lee said...

A moral equivalence between abortion and the death penalty?

As I was chiding ever so gently in my earlier post, such a stance presumes either that a murderer cannot earn death, or that an unborn baby can.

Gosnell and I have at least one thing in common. I don't see a difference between killing a baby before he exits the birth canal and killing him afterward. And neither did Gosnell.

Singring said...

'As I was chiding ever so gently in my earlier post, such a stance presumes either that a murderer cannot earn death, or that an unborn baby can.'

I never said there is a moral equivalence. This would be patently obvious if the two of you had the moral fibre to answer simple, straightforward questions. Instead you just deflect every single time. On the one hand you proclaim this deeply held, absolute moral opinions, on the other you can't even answer a simple question about them. Pathetic. How am I to take anything you say seriously?

Lee - why is it morally justifiable to execute a capital offender (in some instances) but not a car thief (assuming you do support the death penalty)?

If that question is just too hard for you, maybe this one is better:

Why is it morally justifiyble to kill enemy soldiers by dropping bombs on their heads?

Martin Cothran said...


Why is it justifiable (in your view) to execute capital offenders but not, say, a car thief?

Because the punishment should fit the crime.

Now does this have something to do with the point of the post?

Singring said...

'Because the punishment should fit the crime.

Now does this have something to do with the point of the post?'

So then why don't we just take the car off a car thief and let him go? I mean, if the punishment has to 'fit the crime', that's what we should be doing, right? We kill a murderer, so we should steal from a thief , rape a rapist and beat up an assailant, right?

Martin, dodging these questions with non-statements is not going to advance the discussion one iota.

But of course you don't want it to. You'd much rather just keep spewing lines like 'death lobby' and 'baby killers' without even having the decency and moral fibre of confirming that abortion should be illegal in all instances and elaborating on what punishment should be reserved for women who have abortions and their doctors. If the 'punishment should fit the crime', as you non-commital answer has indicated, then surely women who have an abortion must be locked away fro life or get the death sentence, no? The same would go for the doctors,no? I mean, if the are killing babies and you want to be consistent, then that is the punishment you are usggesting. Maybe I'm wrong. But I'd love to hear what your thoughts in these matters are.

Martin Cothran said...


You seem to be confused about the difference between a "non-answer" and "as answer I don't like." I obviously gave you an answer you don't like, so you think it's a non-answer.

I find it interesting that the answer any legal scholar would give to a question like that--namely proportionality--you consider a non-answer.

When someone says that punishment should fit the crime, they don't mean you have to perpetrate the same crime on someone (creating another injustice)--only that the punishment be proportionate to the crime.

Are you really questioning the whole legal idea of proportionality in punishment? That would have some interesting consequences.

Singring said...

'Are you really questioning the whole legal idea of proportionality in punishment? That would have some interesting consequences.'

Martin, I called it a non-answer because simply saying that 'the punishment should fit the crime' tells us absolutely nothing about by what standards you in this case judge what 'fits' and what doesn't. It's as simple as that.

For example, if you think that death is a fitting punishment for murder, then wouldn't that mean that rape is the 'fitting' punishment for a rapist, would it not? If not, why not? These are the things you need to explain and that's way saying what you said is a non-answer because it is completely open to interpretation.

Moreover, if you believe that in some cases, death fits the crime of murder as a punishment and also hold that abortion is murder, then I have to surmise that a woman who actively seeks out an abortion would at the very least be sentence to life in prison or receive the death penalty.

I say 'surpise' because you steadfastly refuse to anser the two very simple questions on your moral and legal stance on abortion. Maybe they are too hard? Maybe you have never even considered them? Maybe you are ashamed of what you would say?
As long as you refuse to answer them we have no way to know and your language that brands abortion doctors and women as 'baby killers' seems awfully arbitrary if not to say cowardly, because you can't even muster up the courage to say what you would have the legal system do to a 18 year old girl who was raped by her father and has the pregnancy terminated by a qualified doctor.

Singring said...

Maybe you are not answering because you can't see why you should eb answering to me if I haven't even made my own position clear and that would be a very fair point so i will clarify my position:

1.) I hold that any and all abortions up to the point in time at which the fetus is capable of living outside of the mother's body should be regulated and legal. Why? Because until that point, a fetus is by definition part of the mothers body and therefore it is completely within her perview what she wished to do with her body.

2.) Once the fetus is viable, abortions should be legel only when the mother's child is in danger should pregnancy continue to term. This is the decision of medical professionals and also should be strictly regulated.

3.) Any doctors who do not hodl to regulations should be punished with imprisonment and loss of license in accordance with current malpractice laws. If they knowingly abort fetuses that would not complicate pregnancy, they should be charged with manslaughter and the same should be the case for mothers who knowingly undergo the procedure.

There you have it.

So now I'd love to hear what your precise positions are so I can get an impression of how well those positions mesh with your stance on capital punishment, self-defense, 'just killings' in times of war etc. I really don't think that's too much to ask of someone confident enough to label abortionists 'baby killers'and pro-choice advocates the 'death lobby'.

Singring said...

Oops...the 'surprise' in the first post should say 'surmise', of course, my bad.

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