- Cullman, Alabama

May 15, 2013

Editorial: The house of death

The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — The grisly details emerging from the murder trial of a Philadelphia abortion doctor place a glaring spotlight on a national disgrace.

From the day Roe v. Wade cleared the way for legal abortions in 1973, the intent of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling has been left on the courtroom floor as political arguments have overshadowed the health issues at stake. In its ruling, the high court confirmed that a person has the right to abortion, but the right had to be balanced against two particular interests: protecting prenatal life and protecting women’s health. In the Philadelphia case, both of these interests were routinely ignored.

While members of Congress and American citizens have continued to debate the issue, abortion remains controversial throughout society. The fact that the United States came to the point of legalizing abortion speaks poorly of society’s breakdown in respect to life. And now that a doctor has been found guilty of first-degree murder — delivering babies past Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit and snipping their spines with scissors — a complete re-examination of the intent of Roe v. Wade and the abortion industry should move up the agenda of reasonable public discussion.

The Philadelphia doctor, Kermit Gosnell, portrayed himself as an advocate for poor and desperate women in the impoverished west side of the city. But the court has proven otherwise. Gosnell did not provide mandatory counseling for the women who came to his clinic. The entire operation was corrupt, from beginning to end, and sadly was a house of death and unspeakable cruelty.

The right to an abortion was declared by the nation’s highest court based on health issues. Perhaps the justices did not foresee the coming storm of politics attached to abortion.

The case in Philadelphia points to poor regulation, which is shameful when so many lives are at stake. Legalized abortion may be here to stay, but if this case is even a hint of similar problems across the nation, a more productive public discussion and directive in oversight are necessary.