Last week my wife asked whether I believed there was evil in the world. In just a short while we have experienced the Newtown shooting of grade school children, the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon, the lurid and graphic trial of Jodie Arias, the equally graphic and horrifying trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, and the discovery of serial kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro. Of course evil exists in the world.
Amongst all of these I would argue that the most evil is Kermit Gosnell. The descriptions of the filth of his clinics, the cavalier treatment of his patients, the proliferation of drugs by untrained personnel, and most importantly the routine execution of children born alive during illegal late term abortion procedures places Mr. Gosnell among the most vile creatures on earth.
Mr. Gosnell was charged with four instances of murder and convicted of three of them. Left for us to contemplate is the number of other babies that Mr. Gosnell executed in precisely the same way – using scissors or a scalpel to sever the spinal column – over a nearly forty year career as an abortionist. And he did it for the money – not for some charitable concern, and not for some political belief in a woman’s right to choose – it was for the money. The testimony in the case described a person indifferent to his patient, mechanical in his procedures and demanding of his employees.
His conviction of over two hundred felony and misdemeanor counts, including the murder of the three infants, ensure his imprisonment for the rest of his life and puts him at risk for the death penalty. He is a monster. He will meet other monsters in prison and he will dwell for eternity with other monsters before him.
But evil has a corrosive effect and draws others into its malevolence. And that is true with the case of Mr. Gosnell. First, there is a mainstream media that declined to report the story initially because it drew attention to the ugly side of abortion. Abortion is the litmus test for liberalism which in turn dominates the Democratic Party and the mainstream media. The bias of the press is more apparent in what it chooses not to report than what it does report. To be fair, it was former Democratic strategist and Daily Beast columnist, Kirsten Powers that embarrassed her colleagues in the liberal media into eventually reporting the latter part of Mr. Gosnell’s House of Horrors.
And then there is former Gov. Tom Ridge (R-PA) who decided unilaterally to stop inspections of abortion clinics – a decision that would have revealed the criminal activities of Mr. Gosnell more than a decade before his arrest, trial and conviction of murder and criminal abortion practices. Mr. Ridge is a pro-abortion Republican who chose to ignore the law in furtherance of his own political career. He will live – not in prison – but with burden of responsibility for failing to prevent this butchery.
Add to that Planned Parenthood who had received repeated reports of the abusive practices of Mr. Gosnell and also chose to remain silent. But then Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider and advocate in the nation. Criticism of abortion practices is simply not in its lexicon.
And finally, there is President Barack Obama who was the single vote opposing a bill in the Illinois legislature that makes precisely the practices of Mr. Gosnell illegal in Illinois. Despite Mr. Obama’s latter day protestations, equivocations and prevarications to the contrary, Mr. Obama voted not once, not twice but four times in opposition to a bill that would have provided protection to children born during a botched abortion. Someday he may well have to explain to his children why he sided with the butchery of practitioners like Mr. Gosnell over the well being of innocent children.
Yes, there is evil in the world. It not only manifests itself in the actions of criminals like Mr. Gosnell, but it ensnares those who equivocate about human life in the name of political correctness.
Despite all of this – maybe, in fact, because of all of this, I still oppose the death penalty. Once the public safety has been secured by imprisoning people like Mr. Gosnell for life, the death penalty becomes more like revenge than like justice.