THOMAS: 'Gosnell' affirms pro-life

THOMAS: 'Gosnell' affirms pro-life


Arguably a contributing factor to the continuation of abortion is that it is performed out of sight and thus, out of many minds.

A film about one of the worst practitioners of abortion, Kermit Gosnell, opens Oct. 12 in at least 600 theaters. Gosnell is the Philadelphia abortionist sentenced in 2013 to life in prison without parole for the murder of a baby born alive in a botched abortion.

The film is based on trial transcripts and police records.

Here's the background, as summarized on "In 2011, Gosnell and various co-defendant employees were charged with eight counts of murder, 24 felony counts of performing illegal abortions beyond the state of Pennsylvania's 24-week time limit, and 227 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law.

The murder charges related to an adult patient, Karnamaya Mongar, who died following an abortion procedure, and seven newborns killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors after being born alive during attempted abortions. In May 2013, Gosnell was convicted of first degree murder in the deaths of three of the infants and involuntary manslaughter in Mongar's death. Gosnell was also convicted of 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. Gosnell waived his right to appeal in exchange for an agreement not to seek the death penalty. He was sentenced instead to life in prison without the possibility of parole."

The closest the film comes to depicting an abortion is when detectives raid Gosnell's filthy clinic and discover dozens of jars filled with baby feet. It is enough to reach all but the hardest of hearts.

Earl Billings, the actor who plays Gosnell, depicts a cold and cynical man who seems to have insulated himself from what he has done, rationalizing that he is helping desperate women who can't get late-term abortions elsewhere.

Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups are likely to brand the film propaganda, but what these organizations have long promoted to women -- that they will find relief, their lives will be better and what they are discarding is not yet completely human -- is the real propaganda.

In his book "Crusade in Europe," Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote about the Nazi death camps he visited at the end of World War II. He ordered photographers to take pictures of the dead bodies that had not yet been incinerated and the emaciated bodies of those still clinging to life. Eisenhower believed it important to record these scenes because he rightly feared there would be Holocaust deniers.

Here's what he wrote: "The same day [April 12, 1945] I saw my first horror camp. It was near the town of Gotha. I have never felt able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency. Up to that time I had known about it only generally or through secondary sources. I am certain, however that I have never at any other time experienced an equal sense of shock."

While not nearly as gruesome as the death camps Eisenhower saw, the film "Gosnell" forces viewers to confront what has been done to 60 million (so far) babies and women in America since abortion became legal in 1973. It's worth seeing with someone on the fence about abortion and even a pro-choice person who is honest enough to consider the counterargument affirming life at all stages.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist. He can be reached by emailing

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