by Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director
Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
HARRISBURG, Pa. - "The People v. O.J. Simpson" is a five-part television mini-series which has engaged a segment of the American public. The series is about the two people brutally murdered in 1994 and the trial that ensued in 1995. It was described as the trial of the (20th) century.
Meanwhile, in theaters, churches, and other venues across the nation, other Americans are drawn to a documentary which depicts what by rights should be described as the crime of this century-the murder of innocent babies and the maiming and killing of women by Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
I have to confess that I approached the film "3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy" with some trepidation. The last and only horror movie I saw filled me with such fear I could never approach the genre again.
And make no mistake, Gosnell's sordid tale is a horror story-a story of delivering huge babies alive and then murdering them by cutting their spinal cords while others were left struggling in toilets gasping for air; and inexplicably severing feet and keeping them in jars for posterity.
For me, one of the most poignant moments in the film is when a young woman discovers that one of those severed babies' feet belongs to her own baby-the child she lost in Gosnell's House of Horrors.
Despite my own squeamishness, I would encourage every pro-life activist-indeed, every American adult-to see "3801 Lancaster." The significance of the film might best be summarized by Pennsylvania state Senator John Rafferty, who is quoted as saying, "We've allowed a man to butcher babies...butcher women, and nobody did a damn thing about it."
Thanks to an exhaustive investigation by a grand jury, we know that the Pennsylvania Department of State knew that at least one woman had died in Gosnell's facility, but did nothing. The Philadelphia Department of Health failed to act, and the Pennsylvania Health Department refused to inspect the abortion center for 17 years.
As the grand jury stated, pro-abortion politics kept inspectors away-if health regulators had found evidence of lax care, it could, in their view, threaten "access" to abortion-a practice more sacred in their opinion than innocent human life.
One of the eerie aspects of "3801 Lancaster" is hearing Gosnell calmly attempt to justify his actions, steadfastly maintaining his innocence. He sounds erudite, even affable-a sharp juxtaposition from the abortionist who dealt so coldly with his patients. The question is asked: What happened to change him from a legitimate doctor to a symbol of evil?
I would argue that what happened to him was abortion. Routinely taking innocent life-the most defenseless, the most vulnerable lives-has to have an effect on a person. If power corrupts, the power to kill through abortion corrupts absolutely.
Gosnell might have set out to help poor women--he fancies himself a man of the people-- but he ended up butchering them, and, in the view of the grand jury, killed hundreds of full-term babies. If Gosnell is a monster, and there is little doubt of that, he is the monster that the abortion industry created.
Perhaps the scene in the movie that haunts me the most is a young African-American woman describing her experience at the hands of Gosnell. She appears as if when the life of her unborn child was sucked out of her, so was a part of her life removed.
She said she thought she could trust this man because he was a doctor-she had been taught to trust doctors, in fact. But that trust was horribly violated, a violation she lives with everyday.
Not all of Gosnell's victims died. Some walk among us, haunted by the crimes he committed against their families, brutalized not only by a man, but the industry that gave rise to the brute.
Editors note: There is a showing of 3801 scheduled for Upper Darby PA on Thursday, March 24th at 7:30 at the Studio Movie Grill. Tickets must be purchased by March 17th online here.