I get dozens of unsolicited emails a day, many of which live only as long as it takes to press the delete key.
But for that split second, almost like the subliminal “Drink Coke” or “Eat Popcorn” messages movie theaters used to insert in preview clips to stoke appetites before a feature film, every email gets “seen” in some way.
So it was with an email I received last week. Instead of the promise of someone parking $500,000 in my bank account if only I would reply with my Social Security number, the email contained an image that has been impossible for me to shake.
I never have been in favor of using graphic images to show the horror of abortion. But this image, splashed before my eyes before I could turn away, was of “Baby Boy B,” who had been aborted after 28 weeks of gestation.
Baby Boy B had been found by investigators frozen in a water jug in the clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortionist whose ongoing murder trial on charges of killing babies by snipping their spinal cords with scissors after they emerged from the womb is a public referendum on the darkness of evil.
Forget for a moment that Gosnell’s trial has been relegated to the deep inside pages of the New York Times and largely ignored by most national news outlets. These are the same media that made Michael Vick public enemy No. 1 for unleashing dogs to fight and kill each other.
What kind of weird moral calculus can explain the differences in that coverage?
That imbalance only can be rationally explained in light of an ideology – a “right” to privacy and equality at the expense of the “right” to life – that must be defended at all costs.
In Gosnell’s trial, the state has introduced evidence of blood-splattered walls and floors, urine-stenched surgical rooms and flea-infested cats roaming the halls. One federal agent equated the unsanitary conditions to “a bad gas station restroom.”
That pales to the snuffing out of lives if the baby somehow had the audacity and the willpower to be born alive despite Gosnell’s best efforts to kill. Investigators recovered the remains of 45 fetuses in “bags, milk jugs, orange juice cartons and even in cat-food containers.”
“The other side promises that if you outlaw abortion, you’re living in the back alley,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. “Well, this is the back alley, because, unfortunately, it was regulated.”
For 17 years, Gosnell’s abortion clinic in Philadelphia had not been inspected by the state of Pennsylvania, even though complaints had been lodged directly with Planned Parenthood. What was Planned Parenthood’s response to the reports of a chamber of horrors? Write a letter to the department of health.
One might think the Gosnell case would tweak the conscience of even the most-hardened abortion advocates. How interesting, then, was the decision by President Obama not only to speak to a Planned Parenthood gala last week but also to press his support for abortion rights. He did not utter a word about the Gosnell case and whether or not it gave him pause.
But it didn’t sound as though he is losing any sleep.
“No matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, if there’s one thing the past few years have shown, it’s that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere,” President Obama said. “It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow.”
Of course, could the president say otherwise? When he was in the statehouse in Illinois, he voted three times against making it a crime to kill or allow to die a child born after an abortion.
The Gosnell trial, Dannenfelser says, is something Planned Parenthood and the White House wish would just go away.
“It’s a good time for them to duck,” she said. “What has actually come out of all of this is really the adherence to the ideology of abortion.”
That unfettered ideology leads clearly to infanticide. But unless you are Michael Vick, don’t worry. No dogs were killed in the filming of this movie.
Peter Finney Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.