I was not able to hear all of the closing arguments yesterday at the murder trial of Kermit Gosnell as I had to slip out for the press conference and prayer vigil, however, there was one thing in particular about being in the courtroom that had me in tears.
I was standing at the partition behind the counsels’ tables where Kermit Gosnell’s abortion facility had been recreated for the jury – the court would not allow the jury to go and visit his clinic, so the prosecution took the contents of one of his exam/surgery rooms and set it up on the floor in front of the jury. Most of it had been disassembled but the exam table and the recliner from the recovery room remained on the floor.
The horror of what had happened on that exam table hit me hard – the thousands of children whose lives had been brutally ended right there, without concern or hesitation from Gosnell or his staff. I continued to look at these two pieces of furniture; they were ripped, dirty, and stained and I thought, “What was going on in a woman’s heart and mind that she would willingly get up on that table for anything?” And then I started to cry because I realized that they got up on that table because this is all that they believed they were worth.
Gosnell operated in an impoverished part of town, selling his services to some of the most demoralized and vulnerable women. He was not helping them exercise their “choice” or “reproductive rights,” he was giving them what he believed they deserved…a dirty and unsanitary place to get rid of their problem and then get out the door. As Gosnell’s defense attorney argued, he provided desperate young girls with what he thought was “relief, a solution to their problem.” We know that abortion is not a solution, it is only a temporary fix that masks the real problems a woman is facing. Gosnell did not care about these women, he only cared about making a quick buck.
I have had the privilege of working with Rachel’s Vineyard and attended a retreat with a nurse who had helped commit thousands of abortions. She told us over the course of the weekend that she hated the women who came in for abortions because they were the reason she had to do this work – if they were just able to stop getting themselves in trouble, then she wouldn’t have to assist with killing their children.
I think this is part of what was happening at Gosnell’s clinic – he hated these women and therefore provided them with the care that he felt they deserved. These women believed that they were not worthy of anything good and so they accepted the conditions at his clinic as appropriate for their circumstances. It slays my heart that anyone would be so hurting that they would believe themselves only worth of a dirty exam table, unsterilized tools, and the clear scorn Dr. Gosnell had for his patients.
I shared these thoughts with Cheryl Sullenger from Operation Rescue and she began to show me images on her cell phone from other clinics that are under investigation. Clinics with ceiling tiles that are missing or falling apart, wiring that is exposed, dirty exam tables, garbage piled up, baby body parts in the refrigerator next to the staff lunches, and more. Operation Rescue has done an excellent job of documenting how Gosnell’s facility is just business as usual for the abortion industry.
There is something wrong in our nation when a woman willingly accepts these conditions as her best option for help in her crisis; when she feels that abortion is her best or only choice and that an unclean, unsafe, bloody exam table is all that she is worthy of.
Pray for the jury in Gosnell’s murder trial, that God would grant them wisdom, and that justice would be had for all of Gosnell’s victims. This verdict will set a precedent for our nation and in the closing of other abortion mills like Gosnell’s. But most of all, pray for the desperate women who are contemplating laying their bodies down for the next Gosnell. That they will realize they deserve better than abortion, and recognize their own inherent worth and that of the preborn child growing in their womb.