A murder trial is playing out in Pennsylvania. In 2011, Philadelphia late-term abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell was charged with the murder of seven infants born alive after botched abortions. (Three of those charges were later dropped for lack of evidence.) Gosnell was also charged with the murder of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who died of a medication overdose during an abortion at his clinic.
I cannot but wonder how many other infants born alive he killed during his 35-year career as an abortionist. That is known only to Gosnell, his staff and, of course, to God. By his own estimate Gosnell performed 40,000 abortions. Many were second- and third-term abortions, despite the fact that Pennsylvania law only allows abortions up to 24 weeks.
Many complaints about Gosnell's clinic were made to local and state authorities but no investigations were conducted for many years. When inspectors finally did investigate the facility in 2010, they were horrified.
A grand jury investigated Gosnell's abortion clinic and reported that his facility was outdated, appallingly filthy and unsanitary. His staff were untrained and unlicensed. Abortions were performed in dirty surgical rooms. Bodies of infants were found in plastic bags and jars.
Gosnell did not follow the most basic state health regulations. This should not surprise anyone. If human life is not respected, why should we think health regulations will be respected? The grand jury report appropriately called Gosnell's abortion clinic a "house of horrors."
During the trial, witnesses testified that infants from late-term abortions were often born alive then killed by Gosnell or his staff. One former clinic employee remembered one baby staying alive for 20 minutes after being aborted before she killed the infant, just like Gosnell taught her. The barbarity of it all is beyond comprehension.
Gosnell's clientele were primarily poor black women, or other minorities, and he made millions of dollars as an abortionist.
On April 30, closing arguments were made. A seven-woman, five-man jury was given the task of deciding his guilt. If convicted of first degree murder, Gosnell could face a death sentence.
By the time this column is published, the jury will probably have decided.
You can learn more about the case by doing a Google search of Kermit Gosnell or viewing an online documentary by going to YouTube and typing "3801 Lancaster" in the search bar (that's the address of Gosnell's former abortion clinic).
Unfortunately, Gosnell's case is only the tip of an iceberg. Throughout my 30 years of pro-life work, I have heard about other squalid abortion clinics, other botched abortions where infants were born alive and allowed to died or killed.
In America, a long list of women who have died from legal abortion has been assembled. (See www.lifedynamics.com/Pro-life_Group/Botched_Abortion/.) You can click on each woman's name to read about her abortion death.
We need to document the tragic deaths of women and babies by abortion in order to convict the consciences of North America. A mindset must be continually challenged that permits or condones the sacrifice of unborn babies on the altar of sexual freedom for their parents in both the United States and Canada.
If any good comes out of the Gosnell case, perhaps it lies in exposing the ugly reality of abortion and bringing it from behind closed doors into the light of day.
Maybe more people will look in a mirror of self-examination and ask the penetrating question: "What have we become?" The gruesome and graphic revelations that came out of Gosnell's clinic may serve to awaken the populations of America and Canada to the understanding that Gosnell is not unique. All abortionists are baby killers.
The blood of more than 50 million of North America's preborn children has stained our nations' ground. Nations are made up of individuals and individuals can change.
This terrible reality of abortion can still be turned around. Yes, God may still forgive us - and heal our nations of the terrible blight of abortion - if we humble ourselves as a people, confess the sin of abortion and seek his forgiveness.
The great Roman orator and philosopher, Cicero, said "While there's life, there's hope." To extinguish life is to extinguish hope. With God's help, we can still turn away from killing our children before they are born and embrace hope for their future, and ours.