The Gosnell Case Shows Abortion Isn't a Red or Blue Issue—It's Pink

While reproductive healthcare is embraced as a religious issue on the right and ignored by too many men on the left, actual women—particularly poor ones—get hurt in the shuffle.

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 8 | Posted Apr. 23, 2013

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But that doesn’t matter to people like Troy Newman or the other right-wingers who see Gosnell as a media opportunity to push the agenda of criminalizing abortion and shutting down clinics.

On Tues., April 16, I appeared on Huffington Post Live to discuss all this, and while it was kind of a disaster—I was asked the wrong question and then Newman sucked up all the air time spreading untruths, with no time left to refute—it did serve to illustrate the right-wing’s Gosnell media strategy at play: Gin up a controversy the media loves to talk about (that is, itself and its own biases), grab the mic, then use it to bleat out allegations that are so preposterous, even the host actually laughs at you.

“What happened in Gosnell’s clinic isn’t the norm,” says host Marc Lamont Hill, in response to Newman.

“But it is, see that’s my point,” responds Newman.

Lamont Hill struggles to stop Newman’s rant. “Are you suggesting,” Hill asks, “what happens in Gosnell’s clinic, babies being born alive and having their heads cut off, is the norm in clinics like Planned Parenthood?”

“Yes, it is,” says Newman.

Of course, it’s not. Someone affiliated with the show told me afterward that they’d been advised Newman was “a moderate.” Here’s a clue: If you have to consistently tell lies to get your point across, you have a bad point.

One has to wonder: Never mind the liberal media—what about the conservatives? Where were they for the first 27 months after the Gosnell grand jury report was published? Here’s one answer: They were waiting till the ink was dry on the legislation they cynically, manipulatively hustled into law in Gosnell’s name. They fought the state legislature battle first—the media second.

Politicians are happy to use the concept of abortion to gain political points and win votes, but they ignore the reality of the system they’re knowingly creating along the way—where the less money you have, the more you will suffer.


Here's a timeline of events in the case against Kermit Gosnell. Follow PW’s updates on the case on Twitter at @phillyweekly.

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Comments 1 - 8 of 8
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1. Anonymous said... on Apr 24, 2013 at 07:52AM

“I live one block from 38th and Lancaster. This situation was no secret for years,pro-lifers and the pro-choice community were all very much aware of what happened here. Where is the accountability? There were no late-term legal abortions available in PA, so if you were 16 and 25 weeks pregnant you could go to Gosnell's legal clinic for an illegal abortion or be forced to carry to term. People knew about this, 70 year-old Mom-mom's and Pop-pop's picketed this joint for years. Pro-choice advocates down the street (Penn for example) would suggest that women not go to this place, but, without better options, it was always there in a pinch. In addition to abuse and murder of women, this clinic was committing murders under the law by the hundreds. Where were the articles then? There may not have been a nation wide conspiracy to squash this story but there was most definitely a local one for years before. If those that value safe abortion had stood up ealier, this would not have happened.”

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2. bobguzzardi said... on Apr 24, 2013 at 01:10PM

“How is that Department of Health and Department of Public Welfare did not know when 17 year girls knew where to find Dr. Gosnell. He did kill quite a few poor black girls, women and babies. And it seems his clinic was known to a network and no one check. I thought Late Term Abortions and Partial Birth Abortions were considered to be infanticide by most. Am I wrong about that?

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3. Anonymous said... on Apr 24, 2013 at 07:01PM

“Are you all going to excuse these hundreds of young women of being ignorant of contraception, and not being aware a late term abortion of a viable fetus is murder, and the male partner being complicit in the abortion act and uncaring. Gosnell , as monstrerous as his alleged acts were, could not provide his service if his customers did not demand them or assistants to help him.
Planned Parenthood provides contraceptive services. What's the brain surgery here. Contraception or Abortions with death consequences.”

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4. D. Broussard said... on Apr 25, 2013 at 06:49PM

“I realize the cuteness of calling this issue pink, not red or blue, but abortion is not just a female issue. True Feminists want access to safe, legal abortion and male partners who take responsibility for their actions as well. I expected a journalist to write a story from the basis of facts, not to thinly veil their agenda and hatred of anyone, rich, white or male. To say that anyone (except you, of course) who is outraged or publicizes the Gosnell story in a right wing Pro-life zealot is sloppy. Not everyone disgusted by Gosnell wants it to end with the overturn of Roe vs. Wade, and more regulations for clinics isn't an attack on the poor. When something bad happens Gov't responds with more laws. Blame the people who want bigger gov't. The Conn. shooting brought about pressure for harsher gun laws. That doesn't mean the ones pushing it want to take away everyones guns, right? Right? They want to save children, but only the wanted ones.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Apr 28, 2013 at 11:18PM

“Wait, so you are saying that pro-lifers want to manipulate the Gosnell story in order to pass regulations of abortion that they believe will save lives and restrict access to something they don't believe is a constitutional right, despite a slight majority of the country disagreeing with them? They must have have gotten the idea from the anti-gun activists after Sandy Hook.”

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6. Anonymous said... on Apr 30, 2013 at 09:47AM

“Re: Broussard : "When something bad happens Gov't responds with more laws. Blame the people who want bigger gov't. "

AND blame the people who profit from bigger government. Bigger government profits from their system .

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7. fantasy said... on May 3, 2013 at 11:05AM

“I think people should be a little more cautious about the situation, if you heard really bad stories about the clinic, and you decide to still go whatever happens after that is on you.”

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8. Charlotte Taft said... on May 31, 2013 at 10:13PM

“The anti abortion forces are determined to control women. In today's world, it's not only poor and non-white women who won't have access to birth control and abortion care. As the middle class shrinks and even private insurance is legally prohibited from covering abortion, the majority of women of all races, ages, faiths and political parties will not have access to safe, legal services.”


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