Gosnell Shattered My Pro-Life Passivity

If you haven't heard about Kermit Gosnell, I'd like to fill you in. After reading the entire grand jury report on his trial, it is undoubtedly something that needs to be discussed. When I first started following his story, I spent a lot of time in tears of rage and thinking this case is so terrible it had to be made up. I want to preface this post by warning that this story is graphic in nature, but I believe it's an ugly truth that we should not shy away from.

Kermit Gosnell is currently on trial for 8 counts of murder – one count for a poor immigrant woman and seven counts for newborn babies.

But what do you expect?

Killing babies was his job.

He ran an abortion clinic. He also sold controlled, prescription drugs out of his office. While women's complaints to the Department of Health were ignored, the rumors that Gosnell was selling drugs illegally were not. As a result, the FBI ordered a raid on his clinic, which is possibly the only reason his murders were brought to light.


When the FBI raided the clinic, they found terrible conditions – bloodstained chairs, the foul stench of urine, a padlocked emergency exit, and unsterilized medical equipment. There were remains of aborted children kept in biohazard bags in the refrigerator, right next to his staff's lunches. It was then that law enforcement realized he was performing illegal late-term abortions and that clinic regulations meant to keep women safe remained unenforced.

It's a Baby

He's most infamous for his gruesome abortion technique, which he called 'snipping.' He would give the women multiple doses of a drug which would force them to go into labor, and then, once the child was born, he would use scissors to cut into the spinal cord of the newborn baby to kill it.


These babies – if given proper medical attention – would have most likely survived and grown up to be healthy people.

Many people – even pro-choice people – are shocked and horrified at these killings. They believe that once outside the womb, that baby has a right to life. If that's the case, though, what change does a child undergo between being in-utero to outside of the woman?

In the case of these abortions, the child is no more developed or grown from the 'fetus' it was only moments before. If you know the methods of later-term abortions … they are quite graphic and you can look them up on your own … then Kermit Gosnell is really not very different from many other abortionists.

One of his staff members, Sherry West, used the term “baby” in reference to the abortions during her testimony, 'because that's what it is.' And she is absolutely right. When you get down to it, no matter how people try to dress it up, abortion is killing a baby.

The way Dr. Gosnell did it was terrible, but again – a change in location doesn't change the act itself. However, because these babies were delivered, legally, he can be charged with the crime he's been guilty of for years: murder.

How Loud is Your Voice?

A quote comes to mind: 'When evil is only imagined, you can live with it.' I think that applies in this case: we all know abortion is a grim reality in this world, but most of the time we take a sort of passive pro-life stance.

When a story like this breaks, it's easy to feel passionate and motivated to change things, but Twitter activism is lazy activism at best. Don't get me wrong, it's great to retweet or share the details in the digital world, especially in this case when the media has been so silent.

The seats reserved for the media at Gosnell's trial were left empty.

The seats reserved for the media at Gosnell’s trial were left empty.

The problem is when we shy away from the topic of abortion once the news blows over. We feel as though we have done enough.

I'm guilty of this myself. I'll think, 'I'm pro-life. I go to the March for Life, I sometimes remember to pray for the end of abortion, and I vote for pro-life politicians. That's all I can do, really.'

We have to remember to dialogue – something I myself have been scared of, because I have so many pro-choice friends … we have to remember to pray for hearts to change, and we have to remember that this is a real issue, with 4,000 more children dying every day.

It's not something we can put off until later, or wait every four years to try to change via voting. Remember, no matter what politicians may do in terms of abortion – the most important thing is to reach out to the women, support them, and change their hearts. Most times, they feel like they don't have any other options.

If you have the opportunity, I suggest getting involved with pro-life programs, like 40 Days for Life, or a crisis pregnancy center that offers pro-life alternatives to abortion. It is the combination of prayer and loving action that will help save the lives of these innocent children.

Active Love

Pope Francis encourages us by saying, ' Defend the unborn against abortion even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court or kill you.'

It is important to remember the root of the pro-life movement is love – love for the mother and love for the child.

This recent trial sheds light on the truth of abortion, and it is time to stop being passive in our convictions. We have to be active, especially in prayer, to end abortion. We need to be unafraid to speak for those who can't speak for themselves.

While the case of Kermit Gosnell is something that will unify pro-lifers and rekindle their desire for justice for the unborn, let's remember that being pro-life is not just a trending hashtag on Twitter.

About the Author

I like to call myself a "Vaticanista." The Office is my favorite TV show and I live on mac and cheese. I love wearing dresses, learning about new cultures, and writing sassy letters to media outlets. Pursuing and sharing the Truth is my goal!