The legalization of abortion was supposed to have protected not only "a woman's right to choose," but women's health in general. Unfortunately, the advocates hadn't yet heard of Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell and his abortion house of horrors.Click my post title for more.
In the wake of revelations about the unethical practices, unlicensed practitioners and grisly conditions at the West Philadelphia family planning clinic (are mummified fetuses in jars a form of birth control?), I expected the pro-choice activists to circle the wagons and attack a much greater enemy than the doctor himself: pro-lifers.
They didn't disappoint me.
Abortion is still legal and widely available in Pennsylvania. Which means legalization hasn't entirely eliminated the questionable medical practitioners who plied their trade in the dingy pre-Roe alleys. It just moved them into the light of day on Lancaster Avenue.
But the pro-choice crowd simply can't admit that. They'll acknowledge that licensing requirements must be made stricter. They'll applaud the fact that Pennsylvania suspended Gosnell's license, and that he agreed to a suspension in Delaware. They'll say that this doctor wasn't typical of the average abortion provider.
And they'll do what our sister paper did in its editorial on the topic, conjuring up the images of Barnett Slepian and George Tiller, abortionists killed by radical anti-abortion activists:
"Sadly, threats, protests, and even the murder of doctors who perform abortions have forced many good physicians out of the abortion business, leaving others to fill the void."
Like I said, I saw it coming.
You can't risk undermining the whole decades-long charade that legalized abortion is a medical necessity and that only by removing virtually all restrictions on availability can you promote "reproductive health." The women who died at Gosnell's clinic might differ, if they still could.
Still, I'm willing to concede that the vast majority of abortion clinics don't resemble the hellhole on Lancaster Avenue.
I'm also willing to admit that most of the people who perform abortions believe they are providing a necessary service.
But what I refuse to accept is the spin that many pro-choice advocates apply to this and similar issues, trying to make it seem as if they are the only ones who care about women's health.