Kermit Gosnell Guilty
That is the headline circulating the internet and print media. Reaction to the verdicts have been mixed. Pro-choice groups have praised the verdict and have said that it shows the need for access to safe, high-quality, and legal abortions. Anti-abortion groups have also praised the verdict but say that it means that abortion clinics need to further investigated because, as Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser says, “Kermit Gosnell is not alone”.
The story of Gosnell has been a divisive issue. The scene that law enforcement encountered when they raided the inner city philadelphia clinic was described as a “house of horrors”. There is little debate to whether or not Kermit Gosnell was a sick, disturbed, or perhaps evil person. The debate, as previously mentioned, is along pro-choice and anti-choice lines.
Anti-choice advocates say that abortion is neither safe nor rare. Dannenfelser beleives that doctors like Gosnell exist throughout the entire abortion industry. Some advocates such as Rep. Christopher H. SMith (R-N.J.) have also said that what Gosnell did was the same as what every abortion doctor does, “...kill babies and hurt women”.
Pro-Choice groups have said that laws that force under privileged women to these “back alley” abortionists are the real problem. They argue that if women had available to them high quality education and health services this atrocity may not have happened. They concede that right wing politicians will use this verdict to attack women’s rights. Gov. Tom Corbett has already ordered annual and random inspections of the states clinics. They argue however that increased regulations will lead to clinic closings and more illegal abortions.
Something that both groups have in common is that they both want to see that this never happens again. One step is to make sure that government officials in charge of regulating and keeping tabs on clinics do their job. Another step we need to take is providing high quality health care to all women. The most important step to making sure this doesn’t happen again is education. We need to educate our young people on safe sex, health, and resources available to them. The desperate women who went to Gosnell’s clinic, if they knew of or had high-quality resources available to them, may not have gone to Gosnell.
I hope we take the lessons learned from Kermit Gosnell and apply them so that this doesn’t happen again.