Abortion is an unpleasant business. It’s tragic, messy, traumatising, and unfortunately necessary in some circumstances. Emotions run especially deep in the case of late term abortions since the loss of potential is almost tangible. This is what makes the Kermit Gosnell case so shocking.
To me this is a case of the justice system working. Here is a man who did not just perform abortions – he coldly killed babies who survived the abortion procedure. It is this distinction which landed Gosnell is prison for the remainder of his days.
Thursday, 16th May, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby is calling for investigations into babies being left to die after being born alive following failed late term abortions.
The call comes as US abortionist Kermit Gosnell was given life in prison after being found guilty of murdering three babies who survived abortion attempts.
ACL spokesperson Wendy Francis said Dr Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder, as well as over 200 violations of Pennsylvania’s abortion laws, including the performance of late-term abortions.
“Dr Gosnell’s case has shocked people worldwide on both sides of the abortion debate,” Mrs Francis said. “The level of brutality involved is unfathomable, with eyewitness accounts of babies who were born alive crying in pain before having their spines snipped with scissors.”
Although this is an extreme case, Mrs Francis says the barbaric treatment of babies born alive after failed abortions is happening in our own country.
“There was the infamous 1998 case in Darwin, when baby Jessica Jane was born alive at about 22-24 weeks after a failed abortion and left to die after crying alone for 80 minutes,” she said.
“The most recent Annual Report of Victoria’s Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity shows that, of a total of 196 post-20 week abortions performed for ‘congenital abnormality’, 42 of the babies died after birth,” Mrs Francis said. “Even before the 2008 liberalisation of abortion laws, in 2007 there were 52 neonatal deaths out of 181 post-20 week abortions for ‘abnormalities’.”
“The appalling case of Kermit Gosnell should awaken Australians to the fact that the same horrors are happening under our own noses,” said Mrs Francis. “Late-term abortions are failing, and babies are being left alone to die even when they could be saved.”
“The circumstances of these cases in Australia must be investigated, and we must ensure that this practice is not more widespread,” Mrs Francis said.
Wendy Francis rightly points out that the Gosnell case shocked “both sides” of the debate, but tragically gets almost everything else wrong.
“The procedure was necessitated, in the opinion of Dr Cho, by concerns for the mother and not because of any foetal abnormalities.”page 5, Inquest into the death of Jessica Jane  NTMC 37
The case involves a women who found herself in the tragic situation of having to terminate her pregnancy. However, after the procedure was complete the nurse was shocked to hear the baby cry. This is where Wendy’s account of things goes badly off the rails.
Rather than leave the baby to die “crying alone for 80 minutes” the nurse wrapped her in a blanket, tried to raise assistance (it was 4AM), attended to the mother who was experiencing further difficulty, and checked on the baby every 10 to 15 minutes.
“I could not just leave it like we do with some, in a kidney dish, and I put it into a warm rug and put a drape over the top of it so at least it was warm. During all this time I’d been back and checked it about every 10, 15 minutes.”page 7, Inquest into the death of Jessica Jane  NTMC 37
Wendy Francis says:
“Late-term abortions are failing, and babies are being left alone to die even when they could be saved.”
However, the corner’s report Wendy references says the complete opposite.
“The evidence established that the deceased was fully born in a living state. In the 80 minutes of her life she had a separate and independent existence to her mother.” – page 20, Inquest into the death of Jessica Jane  NTMC 37
Here the Corner is stating that Jessica was an independent person capable of living separate from here mother, but he goes further:
“In my view, the fact that her birth was unexpected and not the desired outcome of the medical procedure, should not result in her, and babies like her, being perceived as anything less than a complete human being.”page 20, Inquest into the death of Jessica Jane  NTMC 37
Since the foetus survived the abortion procedure (and is clearly capable of living independently) we should treat her as a full human being.
The report continues:
“The deceased having been born alive deserved all the dignity, respect and value that our society places on human life.”page 20, Inquest into the death of Jessica Jane  NTMC 37
So here we have the Corner saying that babies born from failed abortions should be treated as full human beings with all the rights, dignity, care, and respect that we would give to any other person. The circumstances of their life make no difference in these cases.
If the findings of the coronial inquest are followed, and the tireless doctors and nurses are living up to their humanitarian pledge, the 42 babies which died after birth where given every possible chance to live. This is a much different picture to Wendy’s cries of “babies being left alone to die even when they could be saved.”
Imagine for a moment that you are a politician. Perhaps you are Prime Minister of a large, modern, secular western democracy like Australia. Wouldn’t it be in your best interests to ensure every citizen of your country enjoys the same freedoms and privileges? Wouldn’t you want to make sure that no one was discriminated against socially, financially, or politically due to irrelevant attributes such as skin colour, native language, personal religious beliefs, gender, or sexual preference? What would you think of groups who continually sought to prevent your fellow citizens from obtaining equal rights and campaigned for their particular religious views to be granted special privilege and access above all others.
Such views should be relegated to the sidelines of our public discourse as they do not promote unison, cohesion, fairness, and equality for citizens of Australia. These people should be ignored, starved of media oxygen, and left to rant their incoherent and backward arguments into the void. Instead the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, shall be appearing as keynote speaker at the Australian Christian Lobby’s 2012 National Conference.
Earlier today I posted a response to the Anglican Bishop of Tasmania the Right Reverend John Harrower’s press release regarding the gay marriage bill before parliament. Now that the bill has passed, the Australian Christian Lobby has issued a press release intelligently and thoughtfully explaining their position on this complex issue. Let’s have a look.
The Greens’ intolerance of toward people who support marriage between a man and a woman is not only absurd but a worry for people who dissent to their views, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
Apparently the ACL believe equality for all regardless of natural and innate sexual orientation is tantamount to intolerance toward opposite sex couples. This is laughably stupid.
The Tasmanian Greens claim today in Parliament that Liberal Leader Will Hodgman’s views supporting marriage are ‘bigoted’ is vitriolic and intolerant ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said.
Well, when you have no evidence based rational reasons for preventing others from enjoying the same privileges and rights you do, then you will rightly be called a “bigot”. Get used to it.
“A disappointing factor of the marriage debate has been the serial demonisation of people who support marriage,” Mr Brown said.
If marriage is such a great thing, then why aren’t the ACL ecstatic that now even more people will be tying the knot?
“What have we come to where it is ‘bigoted’ and ‘shameful’ to support the idea of marriage remaining between a man and a woman?
If you find the idea of marrying somebody of the same sex, then don’t do it. Preventing other people from marrying because you find the idea distasteful is selfish and mean. What would Jesus think?
“Many people support marriage because they believe being raised by parents of different genders, wherever possible, is in the best interests of a child. Surely this is not bigotry,” Mr Brown said.
No marriage certificates have ever asked if the couple are fertile and willing to have children. Nor do we annul marriages if couples have not had kids within a sufficient period, or wringing our hands at the plight of single parents (at least in relation to their marital status). Moreover, there are no studies demonstrating different gender parents produce “better” children (whatever that means), but the ACL won’t let pesky things like facts get in the way.
“If the Greens had absolute political power, what would they do to ‘bigots’ who do not conform to their views? Would it become a crime to say that a child should have every opportunity to have a mum and a dad?”
What an absurd example demonstrating a slippery slope argument. We could easily reverse the question – what would the ACL do if they had absolute political power? Seems their religious ancestors dealt with homosexuals rather harshly:
“If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” – Leviticus 20:13 NAB
Is this the kind of world we wish to return to? A theocracy? I think not.
Mr Brown said today’s debate on same-sex marriage was a typical misuse of the Parliament’s time by the Greens who don’t seem to care that marriage is a Commonwealth responsibility in their pursuit of radical social experiments.
The National School Chaplaincy Program is promoted by the Federal Government as a inter-faith program which aims to help troubled public school children. At least that’s what the guidelines say despite the program being rampantly overrun by evangelical Christian organisations. However, that is not the view many religious people who support the program share, including Jim “not for gay marriage or Islamic” Wallace, the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
Jim Wallace: “The unique pastoral care that is given by chaplaincy is because it draws particularly on its Christian faith just as Salvos have a unique form of pastoral care drawing on their Christian faith particularly in welfare areas. Their (the Christian constituency’s) concern is very much that the program wouldn’t be secularised and that it could retain its unique flavour through its link to Christian faith. Do you see that continuing, would that be your objective?”
Prime Minister: “Yes I do see that continuing….. My view about the chaplaincy program is yes it would continue as a chaplaincy program with everything that that implies.”
It is intensely disappointing and annoying that our atheist ex-practicing Baptist Prime Minister cannot see the inherent discrimination in assuming those without irrational and superstitious beliefs are unfit to help troubled children. When will the majority of Australians wake up to this nonsense?
“While the census data is rightly used to assist the government to plan for services and infrastructure, other groups, including some atheists, are seeking to push their agendas by encouraging people to leave the form blank. Not every person who holds judeo-Christian values attends a church, but if enough of them leave this section blank, some will use this to minimize the importance of basic Christian values in this country. We need to prove the size of the constituency who hold these values.”
Australian Christian Lobby
Firstly, the “No religion” campaign is not asking people to leave the question 19 of the Australian census blank. The campaign web site clearly states that people should seriously consider their religious beliefs and answer the question honestly.
The central tenets of the Christian faith were determined by the Nicene Council in 325AD, and the overwhelming majority of Christian faith’s have agreed with the basics of the document. You know the drill – there is one god who made everything, Jesus was born of a virgin, was tortured and crucified under Pontius Pilate, rose from the dead after three days, and sit at the right hand of the father awaiting to return and judge us all.
Seemingly embarrassed by this nonsense, the ACL are twisting (hoping?) the question actually asks:
“What is the person’s religious basis for their values?”
It asks nothing of the sort.
“Do unto others”
Moreover, what are these “religious values” to which they refer? The ACL article is silent on the matter, but we atheists are often told god wrote the moral law in stone and gave them to Moses (although he broke that copy upon his return, but luckily god has a facsimile). “Do unto others as they would do unto you”, “don’t steal”, “don’t murder” are often cited as examples of god’s perfect law.
The trouble is, we do not need a god to determine these values. All human societies have exhibited these characteristics. As a social species we have evolved to work in groups – helping each other survive and thrive. Our instincts have been honed through innumerable generations to fight common enemies, rather than family members. We “do unto others” out of an ultimately selfish desire not to be killed, or have our possessions stolen by one of our own. These are humanist values. They were not handed down by a genocidal and judgemental god.
If you adhere to “the golden rule”, but do not really believe Jesus rose from the dead, healed the blind with his spit, or walked on water, then for god’s sake tick the “other” box and write “humanist” in the space below.
Abortion is an unpleasant business. It’s tragic, messy, traumatising, and unfortunately necessary in some circumstances. Emotions run especially deep in the case of late term abortions since the loss of potential is almost tangible. This is what makes the Kermit Gosnell case so shocking. For those who may not know, Kermit Gosnell was recently sentenced
Continuing my twitter review of “The Bible” which is currently airing on the History Channel (of all places). Parts 1 and 2 can be found here. #TheBible recap: People taking to themselves, wandering around lost, ninja angels, and a metric shit tonne of smiting. Abraham has been promised “descendants as numerous as the stars”. A
Some of you may have heard of the Bible. Fewer still may realise the History Channel aired a dramatisation of this holy text. In the name of science I obtained a copy of this epic series and began tweeting my observations. @markybob00 thought it might be a good idea to keep these in an archive somewhere,
Over at Conversion Points Radio Jared Orme presents his argument for how atheism has logically resulted in the deaths of over 100 million people under the totalitarian regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao. Unfortunately for Jared he opens his argument with the statement: “These historians put the problem squarely upon the same ideology
I am told this interview went to air sometime later, however due to technical error Jared had lost the original record. I present it here unedited, although I did remove the pre and post chatter and some minor stuff in the middle where advertisements would have been placed. Listening back, there are points I wish I had communicated better and some I should have attacked much more forcefully. Oh well, maybe next time?
Please note there were some problems with the recording on my end as the Skype plugin I used did not seem to capture my microphone. In order to compensate I have compressed the recording, which gives it a rather loud flat sound. I am afraid this was the best I could do with the time, knowledge, and resources at my disposal.
Standard Podcast[ 55 min 14 s | 75.77 MB ]Play NowDownload