Doctor Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia has been charged with eight counts of murder for the deaths of seven infants and one adult woman in conjunction with abortions at his clinic, according to the New York Times: Doctor Is Charged in Killing of Newborns.
It is surprising this story has attracted relatively little commentary. Of course the accused may be innocent. The details in the article are grisly; a quote attributed to Dr. Gosnell is chillingly inhuman; but elements like that typically encourage news coverage. In this case I think little is being said because nobody knows quite what to say. This puzzlement is captured in the BBC’s headline: Dr Kermit Gosnell ‘killed babies’ at abortion clinic.
UPDATE: Elizabeth Scalia talks about Gosnell and the deliberate cultural/regulatory structure that enables abuses like those he’s accused of.
“Yesterday on Twitter, a journalist wrote: ‘This abortion doctor story is gruesome. Anti-choicers will seize on it, but it’s about criminal behavior, not abortion.’ It’s funny how framing works. A massacre perpetrated by a deranged man is not about the deranged man; it’s about ‘rhetoric.’ But a massacre perpetrated by an abortion provider whose violations against laws of the nation and of humanity were overlooked for years is ‘not about abortion.'” — Gosnell; Baby Feet Kick the Nation
This case is particularly gruesome; but infanticide is infanticide, no matter which side of the state or national border the “clinic” is on, and whether or not the operator keeps souvenirs. If it’s done with order and professionalism in a scrupulously clean building with the assistance of well educated staff, so much the worse.