Police arrested Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell earlier this week and charged him with eight counts of murder. Seven are for practicing illegal abortions in which he allowed viable babies to be born, then cut them open with scissors outside the womb — an action a clinic worker stated Gosnell performed “hundreds” of times. The last was for the death of a 41-year-old refugee from Nepal, Karnamaya Mongar, who received an overdose of Demerol during an abortion in Gosnell’s unsanitary clinic, the ironically named Women’s Medical Society. Although abortion is legal, Gosnell stands accused of violating the federal Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which forbids children to be murdered after they have been extracted from the birth canal.
When given the opportunity to vote for a measure that would ban this grisly practice in the state of Illinois, then-State Senator Barack Obama voted no.
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Gosnell’s “Shop of Horrors”
The practices and conditions inside Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinics are instructive. The Philadelphia Inquirer described the scene:
Semiconscious, moaning women sat in dirty recliners and on bloodstained blankets. The air reeked of urine from the flea-infested cats permitted to roam the clinic. There was blood on the floor and cat feces on the stairs.
According to investigators, Gosnell used rusty instruments that spread venereal disease among patients.
Several state departments — including the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Department of State, and Department of Public Health — as well as local health care providers turned a blind eye to conditions at the clinic. So did the National Abortion Federation, an organization dedicated to examining abortion facilities. According to Time magazine, the NAF inspector called WMS “the worst abortion clinic she had ever seen,” but “never passed the information on to other authorities.” Sanitary conditions and health violations alone take up a disconcerting amount of District Attorney R. Seth Williams’ 281-page report to the grand jury.
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The pollution of the surroundings matched the corruption of the procedure performed. Gosnell reportedly delivered viable children, then cut their spinal cords with scissors — a process he called “snipping.” Clinic worker Tina Brown testified that as a baby squirmed in his hands, Gosnell joked, “that’s what you call a chicken with its head cut off.” He enjoyed cutting off babies’ feet and keeping them in jars on the premises. Other aborted body parts, or whole babies, could be found in jars and cat food containers.
This method of abortion was legal until 2002, when President George W. Bush signed the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA). Barack Obama’s opposition to a similar bill in the Illinois State Senate is perhaps the most shameful mark in his career.
Obama: Pro-Abortion Extremist
As a state senator in Springfield, Barack Obama opposed the Illinois version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2001, 2002, and 2003. The bill roared to life after Jill Stanek, a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, testified to the gruesome practice in that hospital. Abortionists would induce labor, then allow unborn children from the fifth month onward to die, a practice that took up to eight hours. Stanek testified one baby “was left to die on the counter of the Soiled Utility Room wrapped in a disposable towel. This baby was accidentally thrown in the garbage, and when they later were going through the trash to find the baby, the baby fell out of the towel and on to the floor.”
Obama gave 10 different reasons for voting against the bill — from protests that it would undercut Roe v. Wade to allegations that Stanek and others lied during their testimony — none of them persuasive.
When running for U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama decided on his story: the Illinois bill, he claimed, lacked a key provision that explicitly denied the bill granted Constitutional rights to children still inside the womb. In a debate with Republican opponent Alan Keyes, he said, “At the federal level, there was a similar bill that passed because it had an amendment saying this does not encroach on Roe vs. Wade. I would have voted for that bill.”
State Senator Richard Winkel Jr. had tried to amend the Illinois bill to introduce identical language with the federal BAIPA, but his measure never got a vote in the Health and Human Services Committee. HHS was then chaired by Barack Obama. (It later died in the Rules Committee.)
Nonetheless, Obama maintained this account throughout the 2008 presidential campaign. The National Right to Life Committee produced documents proving Obama voted against SB 1082, which contained the provision in question. When CBN News’ David Brody asked about their report, Obama replied, “I hate to say that people are lying, but here’s a situation where folks are lying.” The non-partisan FactCheck.org investigated the matter and concluded, “by the time the HHS Committee voted on the bill, it did contain language identical to the federal act.”
It seems clear Obama’s support for the BAIPA was merely rhetorical; the politician’s trick of insisting he would vote for any bill to ban a reprehensible measure…except the one actually in front of him.
The case is bolstered by Obama’s support for the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would strike down virtually every state restriction on abortion. Witness also how quickly he reneged on his promise to Congressman Bart Stupak to assure ObamaCare would not fund abortion, or how he has turned the FBI loose to spy on pro-life organizations.
Nothing in Obama’s actual voting record suggests he would have done anything to outlaw the disgusting practices of Kermit Gosnell.
As long as the Oval Office is occupied by the most pro-abortion president in history, one who selectively enforces the law, neither unborn children nor their mothers will be safe from the culture of death.