Culture, Feminism & Sexuality

Ann McElhinney on Gosnell

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Ann McElhinney speaks at CWN

by Lil Tuttle

Ann McElhinney discussed her book, Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer, at the January Conservative Women’s Network luncheon.  It is a poignant story of helpless victims, callous government officials, and willful media blindness.

The Human Side

Fifty million lives have been terminated by abortion, but 50 million is so large a number that it’s easy to lose the human element in the abortion story.

Ann gives voice to some of those individuals who are the defenseless victims of the abortion industry. The women who died in the Gosnell clinic.  The tiny infants who lived so briefly after being aborted. Baby Boy A “changed everything” for three people who knew him in his very short life.

Young woman listening to McElhinney's Gosnell story

A young woman listens to the Gosnell clinic story

The Political Side

If you ever needed an argument for small government, Ann told the audience, it’s in this book.

Many of the Pennsylvania state Health Department staff responsible for overseeing the Gosnell clinic were nurses. They inspected the clinic and authorized its continued operation.  They also received the many complaints over the years from patients, staff and independent physicians about the clinic’s inhumane operations.  They knew women were dying there.  Yet they did nothing, not even to remedy the most basic unsanitary conditions at the clinic.

On the day Philadelphia police raided the Gosnell clinic, Jim Wood (the detective who broke the case in the end) and veteran police officers were accompanied by two Department of Health nurses. When they entered, they found a young woman being prepped for an abortion.  The health department nurses phoned superiors in Harrisburg for guidance.  Harrisburg superiors instructed the nurses to do nothing to interfere with the young woman’s abortion procedure.

The Gosnell clinic’s sordid history illustrates the callousness of big government bureaucracies that serve and protect political agendas rather than people. It shows what happens when good people do nothing. “Silence in the face of evil,” Ann told the audience, “is itself evil.”

The Media Side

The Gosnell clinic is also a story of willful media blindness.

Everyone knows who Michael Brown is, because his story was widely publicized by national media. Yet almost no one knows the names of the women whom Gosnell was convicted of murdering.  National media simply chose not to cover their stories, even though they were the central figures in Gosnell’s very public trial.

Few know, too, that the police raid found 47 frozen bodies of infants in the clinic’s basement. Some do, of course.  Namely those who joined in the memorial service for the infants on June 10, 2015, at Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Ann encouraged everyone engage in the abortion debate to read the book, particularly the detailed testimonies of the two abortionists who gave testified as experts during the Gosnell trial. It provide critical information people are unlikely to find elsewhere.