Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment at Family Research Council. This article appeared in WORLD Magazine on August 13, 2013.
Warren Hern of Boulder, Colo., admitted to The New York Times more than 20 years ago, "There is a horror at what I do." Hern specializes in the late-term abortions and has benefited from the relative obscurity most abortionists have enjoyed. But with the homicide convictions of abortionist Kermit Gosnell fresh in people's minds, Americans are able to examine the ghastly "procedure" we were promised would be "safe, legal, and rare."
And Gosnell was just the beginning.
The recent closure of Femcare, an abortion center in Asheville, N.C., by the state's Department of Health and Human Services, revealed more than two-dozen serious health and safety violations, including filthy floors and overused anesthesia masks held together with tape.
Femcare's closing marks the 42nd abortion center shut down this year. If the uncovering of such recklessness by state health inspectors continue, we may see, by year's end, twice as many closures of these killing centers as compared to last year.
Charlie Butts of OneNewsNow.com quoted Troy Newman of Operation Rescue on this growing and healthy trend: "... from a high watermark in 1991 of about 2,200 [abortion centers], we're down to 625; and the rate of them closing down has sped up. ..."
The Gosnell trial in Philadelphia exposed the house of horrors that had been in operation for years. Gosnell was convicted in May of homicide and was given life sentences in connection with the deaths of a woman patient and several babies born following botched abortions. Gosnell "snipped" their spinal cords, killing these gasping newborns.
From sworn testimony at his trial, we learned it was "raining blood" in his filthy killing center. Plus, Gosnell would often do abortions on black and Hispanic women in bloody and unhygienic rooms while reserving rooms with cleaner sheets and floors for his white patients.
Kirsten Powers was one of a handful of liberal journalists who raised questions about the mainstream media's studied avoidance of the Gosnell trial. Those who routinely demand access to high-profile trials, who even pump for the Supreme Court proceedings to be televised, stayed away from the Philadelphia courtroom in droves.
Powers and Conor Friedersdorf, with his powerful column for The Atlantic titled "Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story," deserve recognition for their integrity in journalism. Friedersdorf's column described the horrific scene of unregulated killing in Gosnell's abattoir. According to one witness, Gosnell even remarked that one of the babies he killed was big enough to "walk me to the bus stop." Actually, that poor murdered child was big enough to walk Gosnell into prison for life.
And since the Gosnell trial and verdict, Powers has not let up on her reporting on the unsafe and unsanitary conditions in these killing centers, showing that Gosnell is part of a pattern of abuse. For example, in Delaware, former employees of a Planned Parenthood facility have come forward to detail abuses.
Many of those journalists and whistleblowers are pro-abortion, believing it can be safe, legal, and rare. We will never agree with them that abortion is ever safe for the unborn child, but to the extent these brave writers and even braver witnesses speak the truth, we can thank them.
Hern is right to say, "There is a horror at what I do." One can hope that the more Americans see the reality of abortion, the more they will recognize the horror of death by dismemberment for unborn babies at the threshold of life and why Warren Hern and his fellow abortionists are pariahs within the medical community.