McArdle: Why I didn’t write about Gosnell trial

McArdle: Why I didn’t write about Gosnell trial

To start, it makes me ill.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to read the grand jury inquiry. I am someone who cringes when I hear a description of a sprained ankle.

But I understand why my readers suspect me, and other pro-choice mainstream journalists, of being selective—of not wanting to cover the story because it showcased the ugliest possibilities of abortion rights. The truth is that most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories—if the sick-making was done by “our side.”

Of course, I’m not saying that I identify with criminal abortionists who kill infants and grievously wound their patients.  But I am pro-choice.

What Gosnell did was not some inevitable result of legal abortion.  But while legal abortion was not sufficient to create the horrors in Philadelphia, it was necessary.  Gosnell was able to harm so many women and babies because he operated in the open.

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Moreover, as Jeffrey Goldberg points out, this has disturbing implications for late-term abortions.  It suggests that sometimes, those fetuses are delivered alive.  Worse, it hints at what we might be doing inside the womb to ensure that the other ones aren’t.  I don’t think that this affected my thinking, since I don’t support late-term abortions of viable infants unless the mother’s life is in danger.  But I understand why pro-lifers have their suspicions.

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