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July 01, 2013

"If only Kermit Gosnell had worn pink sneakers"

Imagine a parallel universe in which the media coverage of legislators' recent efforts to pass gun control omitted any reference to last year's slaughter of 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

David Freddosso explores the media's silence about the underlying reasons that Texas and other states are attempting to pass new regulations on the abortion industry.

As of Friday, the pink sneakers Davis wore on Tuesday night while standing up for late-term abortion were mentioned in more than 90 newspaper articles and 15 television segments, according to the Lexis-Nexis database. Yet a far more relevant detail — the reason this law was ever considered — received just four mentions in the papers and two on FOX News.

That reason, of course, concerns the lack of regulation that enabled the notorious Philadelphia abortionist and now-convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell.

UPDATE:  I have added the link.  Sorry, I thought I had done that when I first posted. Thanks WmBrennan for the heads up.

Posted by Michael Scaperlanda on July 1, 2013 at 10:14 AM in Scaperlanda, Mike | Permalink

Comments

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I don't buy the comparison. It's just a fact that anti-abortion politicians are not trying to put more stringent regulations on late-term abortions and make abortions safer for women. They are taking an incremental approach to banning all abortions. The pro-ife movement would not claim otherwise. I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I would imagine that most people in the United States, including those who are pro-choice, could be persuaded to regulate late-term abortions more strictly, and certainly no one who is pro-choice wants abortions to be unsafe.

The contention that regulations that would, in effect, reduce the number of abortion clinics in Texas from 42 to 5 are for the safety of women is no more than a lie.

It would be great if some "reasonable" compromise could be arrived at by abortion supporters and abortion opponents. But the fact is that abortion opponents are not interested in compromise or "reasonable" regulations. They are intent on banning abortions entirely. So any concession abortion supporters make to abortion opponents is a step toward eliminating all abortions for all reasons.

Is the Texas law going to pass constitutional muster in any case?

Posted by: David Nickol | Jul 1, 2013 11:55:30 AM

"That reason, of course, concerns the lack of regulation that enabled the notorious Philadelphia abortionist and now-convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell."

Notorious ILLEGAL abortionist, that is. This use of Gosnell continues to be troll territory on this blog. Texas has enough abortion regulations on the books that if enforced (as the ones in PN were not -- there were warning signs; they were avoided, including by pro-life officials) to deal with Gosnell.

Regulations that will close down many clinics will ENABLE Gosnells by hindering safe providers and limiting at risk women to fewer choices and more desperate measures as would things like defunding Planned Parenthood. So, there remains a rather ironic aspect to the sneers here. Yes, sneers. Talking about pink shoes is sneering. Talking to the choir is not the way to reduce abortions and Gosnell like criminals. Please stop this sort of thing.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 1, 2013 12:19:49 PM

"I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I would imagine that most people in the United States, including those who are pro-choice, could be persuaded to regulate late-term abortions more strictly, and certainly no one who is pro-choice wants abortions to be unsafe."

Apparently you are woefully ignorant of the repeated rhetoric from the largest abortion-rights lobbyist groups in this country, who repeatedly howl at any attempt to impose modest restrictions on late term abortions. Look up Barbara Boxer's jeremiads in the well of the Senate at even the use of the term "partial birth abortion."

"The contention that regulations that would, in effect, reduce the number of abortion clinics in Texas from 42 to 5 are for the safety of women is no more than a lie."

Why is that so obviously a "lie" to you? When the President passed a national ban on new offshore drilling permits in the wake of the BP oil spill several years ago, one of the reasons he gave was that there were too many operating rigs in the Gulf already to adequately ensure they were being consistent regulated by the federal agencies. Couldn't that same logic apply to abortion clinics? Furthermore, does your assumption of bad faith on the part of "the pro-life movement" by telling "a lie" realistic leave room for compromise on this issue?

"It would be great if some "reasonable" compromise could be arrived at by abortion supporters and abortion opponents. But the fact is that abortion opponents are not interested in compromise or "reasonable" regulations."

On what grounds do you assert that the failure to find a compromise on abortion lies wholly at the feet of "abortion opponents"? There are several legal theorists, for example (including some prominent liberals like one Ruth Bader Ginsberg) who have suggested that had the Supreme Court not intervened via Roe, and left the matter to state legislatures, that some likely compromise on abortion would have emerged over the course of the resulting decades, but as long as Roe prevents most state actions with respect to abortion, compromise cannot effectively be achieved indeed your closing query admits as such). Finally, do you think the President's recent rhetoric (as opposed to his speech at Notre Dame after he was first elected) moves the ball closer to compromise?

Finally, whatever your position on abortion, do you think it really acceptable for a gang of "activists" (of whatever cause) to obstruct a duly elected public body from carrying out its work by essentially screaming & hollering? Before you answer, change the issue from abortion to one that suits your political leanings more suitably.

Posted by: Josh DeCuir | Jul 1, 2013 12:28:30 PM

David, the lie that, "certainly, no one who is pro-choice wants abortion to be unsafe is a lie because it is a self-evident truth that the act of procuring an abortion in order to destroy the life of an innocent son or daughter residing in their mother's womb is always unsafe for that son or daughter, who, from the moment of conception, has been created in The Image and Likeness of God, equal in Dignity, while being complementary as the son or the daughter of a human person.

Posted by: Nancy | Jul 1, 2013 12:31:56 PM

The term "partial birth abortion" is a political label. I tend to try to let doctors handle medical terms and they did not generally use that term. The federal ban there did not just apply "late term," but also in the second trimester. It did not ban the abortions, mind you, just what would be per medical knowledge the safest ones for certain women, including those who have them for health reasons. The USSC itself left open some usage even after upholding the law generally.

The specific bill here is at issue & Ginsburg has rejected part of what it is trying to do already, so her support of a more restrained approach in Roe doesn't really help much. The comment also spoke generally. The "screaming & hollering" delayed things for a few minutes. If Davis wasn't stopped by a fairly ridiculous point of order (she was talking about something germane), it wouldn't even have happened. Her own brethren wrongly stopping her speaking was worse than that mild bit of civil disobedience.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 1, 2013 12:38:21 PM

All the heat of the previous comments aside, it remains that the media gives little coverage to the "reasons this law is considered" probably because much about the Texas Law has nothing to do with preventing the kinds of horrors that happened in Philadelphia.

Gosnell's crimes do cry out for better regulation or better enforcement, but not every conceivable regulation will help.

sean s.

Posted by: sean samis | Jul 1, 2013 12:42:17 PM

Josh, how would you suggest that those who respect the inherent Right to Life of every innocent son and daughter of a human person, regardless of their location, determine which son or daughter's life is worthy of being secured and protected? Since it is a self-evident truth that every son or daughter of a human person can only be a human person, how can any person procure an abortion with the intent to destroy the life of a son or daughter of a human person without violating our Constitution which serves to protect and secure the lives of all innocent persons?

Posted by: Nancy | Jul 1, 2013 12:55:39 PM

What is the point of Scaperlanda's post? He just cuts and pastes a contentious (if not tendentious) comment from a right-wing ideologue. (I think that is a fair characterization given his Amazon page here: http://www.amazon.com/David-Freddoso/e/B002SEJ7V4.)

Scaperlanda doesn't say whether or not he is endorsing Freddoso's opinion, doesn't vouch for Fredosso's facts, and doesn't add any facts or legal perspective. (Link to the bill? Or at least Freddoso's article?)

It is unfortunate that this post seems purposefully designed to shed only heat and no light.

Posted by: WmBrennan | Jul 1, 2013 1:00:55 PM

I hope the generally one-sided nature of the comments in response here adequately evidence that frustration of a "reasonable compromise" on abortion cannot be solely attributed to "the pro-life movement."

Posted by: Josh DeCuir | Jul 1, 2013 1:20:22 PM

"The term "partial birth abortion" is a political label. I tend to try to let doctors handle medical terms and they did not generally use that term."

Generally, what meaning do doctors attribute to the term "reproductive rights"?

"The specific bill here is at issue & Ginsburg has rejected part of what it is trying to do already, so her support of a more restrained approach in Roe doesn't really help much."

Mr. Nickol's comment (and my response) were of a more general nature with respect to a "reasonable compromise" on abortion than just the Texas bill; I think Ginsberg's comments (and the general view that Roe frustrated the emergence of a compromise with respect to abortion) still stand.

"The "screaming & hollering" delayed things for a few minutes. "

Those "few minutes" being the most critical of the session. And how dare those slippery legislators use nefarious parliamentary procedures!

Again, try changing the context to a political issue more to your liking, & see if you think the tactics are acceptable.

Posted by: Josh DeCuir | Jul 1, 2013 1:25:42 PM

Josh

I think the “generally one-sided nature of the comments in response here” only evidence that few readers here support the premise of Scaperlanda’s post. I doubt this site actively interferes with access to “pro-life” comments, so your question should be “where are all those who agree with Scaperlanda?” Where are they?

It remains that there’s more to the proposed Texas law than improvements in regulation. This is why the media generally aren’t dwelling on the supposed purposes of this law.

sean s.

Posted by: sean samis | Jul 1, 2013 1:40:34 PM

One could also say that Connecticut had plenty of laws on the book that made the Connecticut shooting illegal. Nevertheless, politcos still press on with gun control measures despite the fact that what happened there was already illegal. They must be taking an incremental approach to eliminating murder.

Posted by: CLS | Jul 1, 2013 2:00:02 PM

Josh DeCuir,

You say: "Apparently you are woefully ignorant of the repeated rhetoric from the largest abortion-rights lobbyist groups in this country, who repeatedly howl at any attempt to impose modest restrictions on late term abortions."

Do you really expect abortion-rights advocates to make "reasonable" compromises when the stated goal of the pro-life movement is not to make compromises, but to keep taking incremental steps to abolish *all* abortion rights? In any case, it appears to me that it is the courts, not abortion-rights groups that stand in the way of stronger restrictions on late-term abortions.

You say: "Finally, whatever your position on abortion, do you think it really acceptable for a gang of 'activists' (of whatever cause) to obstruct a duly elected public body from carrying out its work by essentially screaming & hollering? Before you answer, change the issue from abortion to one that suits your political leanings more suitably."

To the extent the filibuster prevented the passage of the bill, that was democracy. To the extent that the disruptions by spectators prevented passage of the bill, that was *not* democracy.

In any case, the fact remains that when abortion opponents claim to tighten restrictions on abortion clinics that in reality have the effect of shutting the clinics down, their claims to be concerned about women's health and safety are transparent falsehoods. Their goal is to shut down as many abortion clinics as they can get away with. They are, in effect, lying. This doesn't mean they are the only group of politicians who lie. A lot of politics is lies.

Posted by: David Nickol | Jul 1, 2013 2:04:18 PM

Kermit Gosnell is a spiritual brother of Adam Lanza, both enemies of humanity.

For some evidence, no mention of Kermit here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/us/politics/texas-abortion-bill.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

nor here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/us/politics/senate-democrats-in-texas-try-blocking-abortion-bill-with-filibuster.html

nor here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/25/us/texas-house-restricts-abortions-in-a-move-that-could-force-clinics-to-shut.html

For a contrast see SHES here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/nyregion/connecticut-lawmakers-pass-gun-limits.html?_r=0

here for Newtown school massacre:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/opinion/the-gun-rampage-next-time.html

These folks have an agenda for sure, which is less freedom to own inanimate objects (i.e. guns) and more freedom to kill unborn human beings.

Posted by: CK | Jul 1, 2013 2:07:27 PM

CLS,

The sheer number of laws regulating anything (guns, abortion, pizza) have nothing to do with actually achieving some goal. So the number of laws in Conn. regarding gun violence and the number of laws in Texas (or Penn.) regarding abortion are strawmen.

CK;

Gosnell’s crimes did not happen in Texas, so he’s not relevant to the Texas legislation or the filibuster. Adam Lanza’ crimes did not happen in Texas either so he’s not relevant in Texas either.

sean s.

Posted by: sean samis | Jul 1, 2013 2:19:39 PM

"CK;

Gosnell’s crimes did not happen in Texas, so he’s not relevant to the Texas legislation or the filibuster. Adam Lanza’ crimes did not happen in Texas either so he’s not relevant in Texas either."

Lanza and SHES was quite relevant to recent gun legislation in New York and to such issues recently raised at the federal level. So your narrow reading is ridiculous.

Adam Lanza and Kermit Gosnell are very relevant to our nation, its culture, and its common good which is central to Catholic Social Teaching.

Posted by: CK | Jul 1, 2013 2:36:23 PM


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/06/30/the_public_doesnt_support_wendy_davis_position.html

Posted by: Michael S. | Jul 1, 2013 2:49:56 PM

The "Wendy Davis position" is that the bill is a bad bill. The link focuses on ONE aspect of said bill, the twenty week line. Various things can be said about the discussion; e.g., the lines drawn in other nations have exceptions for various situations. Anyway, perhaps we should put other constitutional barriers up to polls. We can dredge up one of those where a majority doesn't support various BOR provisions. Any number of hard cases can be raised there.

Those who have abortions after 20 weeks, a tiny fraction, are exceptions almost by definition. Like pro-life people who when forced to make the decision that abort, polls numbers also are of limited value. This was seen, e.g., by an op-ed in the NYT in which a woman explained her own abortion, one supported by her Christian husband who on the whole had a conservative opinion. But, in the specific instance, he thought differently. This is common here.

I find these polls of limited value. Someone at Talking Points Memo cited a poll for the same reason. Turned out the poll ALSO noted that a plurality thought abortion regulations as a whole were as they should be in Texas or wished them to be weaker.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 1, 2013 2:59:17 PM

CK;

However Lanza is relevant to Texas, it's nothing to do with the topic of this thread: the Texas abortion bill and the filibuster to stop it. Strawman.

sean s.

Posted by: sean samis | Jul 1, 2013 3:03:54 PM

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/06/30/the_public_doesnt_support_wendy_davis_position.html

What's going on in Fort Worth?

Posted by: CK | Jul 1, 2013 3:09:43 PM

"However Lanza is relevant to Texas, it's nothing to do with the topic of this thread: the Texas abortion bill and the filibuster to stop it. Strawman."

The topic of this thread began: "Imagine a parallel universe in which the media coverage of legislators' recent efforts to pass gun control omitted any reference to last year's slaughter of 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School."

Therefore, Lanza is relevant to Prof. Scaperlanda's post.

Posted by: CK | Jul 1, 2013 3:12:25 PM

"Do you really expect abortion-rights advocates to make "reasonable" compromises when the stated goal of the pro-life movement is not to make compromises, but to keep taking incremental steps to abolish *all* abortion rights?"

Insofar as the goal of many "abortion-rights advocates" is to have a few restrictions & regulations on access to abortion as possible (which I suppose, given your other comments relating to fewer clinics, results in greater safety for women seeking abortions), then I should think beginning with some compromise is the only way forward.

Notwithstanding that, you seem incensed that people have deeply held beliefs about the nature of human life, & seek to effect legislation on the basis of those deeply held beliefs. The tactics used to affect that legislation may or may not be the most efficacious (and as a pro-lifer, I do not endorse all tactics of what you are calling the "pro-life movement"). But what really seems to get your gall is that they should have these beliefs at all (all the while seemingly absolving the deeply held beliefs - and tactics - of those on your side of the issue). But I simply find your continued assumption of bad faith on the part of pro-lifers to be astonishing one for a Catholic, especially in a Pope Francis world.

Posted by: Josh DeCuir | Jul 1, 2013 3:21:35 PM

By the way, as evidence for the fact that many "abortion rights" advocates want as few restrictions on abortion as possible:

http://catholicmoraltheology.com/planned-parenthood-claims-infanticide-is-a-decision-between-patient-and-the-health-care-provider-johns-hopkins-refuses-to-recognize-pro-life-club/

I would also note Professor Camosy's closing comment: "Unlike other debates which began in the 60s and 70s, the abortion debate at least appears as polarized as ever and definitely shows no signs of going away any time soon. However, if we are going to move beyond polarization to actual engagement of the issues, the first step must be that the players in the debate acknowledge that the issue is a complex one and that their opponents have a legitimate position that is worth engaging."

Posted by: Josh DeCuir | Jul 1, 2013 3:28:48 PM

CK,

I think you and Scaperlanda are stretching it, but for the sake of argument, let's say Lanza is relevant. So then is Gosnell. So, if because of Gosnell, Texas should severely regulate access to abortions, then because of Lanza, Texas should severely regulate access to guns.

Agreed?

That is the parallel: Gosnell's crimes along with Lanza's crimes mean Texas should tightly regulate both access to abortions and access to guns. If that logic does not work, if Lanza's crimes don't prompt legislation similar to the legislation Gosnell's crimes prompt, then Lanza is irrelevant; he's a strawman.

That’s my hypo; what’s your response to my hypo?

sean s.

Posted by: sean samis | Jul 1, 2013 3:30:09 PM

Sean, The issue wasn't concerning whether Texas ought to regulate guns in light of Lanza and abortion in light of Gosnell. The question was why did the media highlight Lanza when covering gun control legislation and why have they ignored Gosnell when covering recent moves to further regulate abortion.

Posted by: Michael S. | Jul 1, 2013 3:36:37 PM

To suggest that the personhood of the son or daughter residing in their mother's womb, is a matter of opinion, is the lie from the start.

Posted by: Nancy | Jul 1, 2013 3:51:16 PM

Clearly the media ignored Gosnell because in order for abortion to remain legal, they must continue to deny the truth about the personhood of the son or daughter residing in their mother's womb.

Posted by: Nancy | Jul 1, 2013 4:02:25 PM

Michael,

If the point of the original comment was “why did the media highlight Lanza when covering gun control legislation and why have they ignored Gosnell when covering recent moves to further regulate abortion” then the lede was buried. That is the author’s fault, not we readers. (I don’t know if you are the author, so I assume not.)

From what I could see, the point of the original comment appeared to be two claims: that the Texas abortion legislation is motivated by a desire to prevent Gosnell-like crimes in Texas and that the media was ignoring that “underlying reason”. As so many comments noticed, the Texas legislation is not clearly about that claimed purpose so the media was not ignoring the “underlying reason”, they just don’t buy it because it’s not credible.

The Texas legislation seems to have little to do with preventing the kinds of horrors that happened in Philadelphia.

CK provided links to news articles that mentioned Adam Lanza in conjunction with gun-control efforts; those stories were about legislative efforts genuinely intended to prevent more Sandy Hooks. This sets them apart from the Texas legislation.

If the Texas legislation were genuinely motivated as implied, then the “parallel universe” argument would be quite interesting, but since the Texas legislation is not quite what is advertised, the parallel fails. The media is under no obligation to be gullible.

sean s.

Posted by: sean samis | Jul 1, 2013 4:29:05 PM

Since an earlier comment objected to the link to "a contentious (if not tendentious) comment from a right-wing ideologue", here's Ross Douthat's attempt at framing this same issue (Warning: as Douthat is a self-professed Catholic pro-lifer, I'm sure he'll be dismissed as another "right-wing ideologue."):

"In Texas and in Washington D.C., in other words, abortion opponents have basically tried to do what gun control advocates did after Newtown, and use a horror story to make the case for policies that have clear majority support but also face passionate opposition. And Davis and other abortion rights supporters have tried to do in Texas what gun rights supporters did in the United States Senate: Use countermajoritarian mechanisms to thwart a legislative push, and hope that with time and sufficiently passionate opposition the energy behind the bill will subside."

http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/the-media-and-wendy-davis/

Posted by: Josh DeCuir | Jul 1, 2013 4:57:49 PM

That hack Douthat's blog is an unconstitutional assault on Wendy Davis's religious liberty.

Posted by: Generic MOJ Troll | Jul 1, 2013 9:50:45 PM

To be born alive is to have not died in your mother's womb, either naturally, or by being put to death.

Posted by: Nancy | Jul 2, 2013 7:18:39 AM

Let's chew on this one a while...

"Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds convictions of Weston couple who let daughter die as they prayed." http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/state-supreme-court-upholds-conviction-of-weston-couple-who-let-daughter-die-as-they-prayed-b9947267-214125451.html

sean s.

Posted by: sean samis | Jul 3, 2013 4:47:09 PM

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