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Kermit Gosnell’s Slaying of the Innocents

Lyle J. Arnold, Jr.
A multitude of more than a half million descended on Washington DC to brave the cold and snow on January 25, 2013. This massive number of people was there to protest the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, allowing abortion on demand in all 50 States. It was a record-setting turnout in spite of the subfreezing temperature - 23-degree weather – and occasional snow flurries.

A middle ages depiction of the Slaughter of the Innocents

The Slaughter of the Innocents, by Giotto

When King Herod heard about the Infant King's birth, he was troubled. In his Life of Christ, Fr. L. C. Fillion describes the scene, “He suddenly learns that he has a powerful rival, the Messiah Himself, and in anguish he wonders whether he will be able successfully to combat Him.”

He bids the Magi to return to him after the birth, “Go and diligently inquire after the Child, and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore Him.” They complied, and found the Divine Infant in Bethlehem.

Opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. After a short stay with the Child and His Mother and St. Joseph, they began their promised trip back to Jerusalem, to tell Herod of their findings.

But the cruel tyrant's scheme was thwarted by God, who, in a supernatural dream, enjoined the travelers to take a different route for their return journey. When Herod realized he would not learn any specifics from the Magi, he hatched his murderous plan, to slaughter all the male infants age two and younger in Bethlehem and the surrounding hamlets.

Bethlehem's population at that time was about 2,000 souls. The number of infants killed are estimated by most interpreters to be about 20 to 25 babies. Herod’s soldiers carried out the execution, so the tetrarch did not personally witness the blood bath as do today’s parents, whose children are murdered in the womb or after delivery. (1)

Kermit Gosnell and his clinic

Kermit Gosnell and the clinic where he committed his crimes

Abortionist doctor Kermit Gosnell is on trial for murder in Philadelphia, facing a possible death penalty. He admits to some 16,000 abortions, but the murder trial is not for abortions.

He is being tried because, aside from regular abortions, he would induce labor in young women, and then, after delivery, he would snip the spinal cord at the necks of the live infants. There are five cases of murder pending. Four are first-degree counts for babies who were killed after they were born alive. One, a third-degree charge, is for the death of woman who suffered complications from a botched abortion.

Descriptions of the clinic where he carried out his gruesome work paint a squalid picture of a chamber of horrors. Pieces of infants were found in toilets (at least one was still living), as well as in freezers, jars and boxes. An inspection showed blood on the floor, equipment inoperable, instruments dirty and contaminated. Cats roamed freely over the blood-stained furniture and blankets, which smelled of urine. Even medical records were blood stained.

A baby's slit neck

severed baby feet in jars

Above, A baby boy killed with a slit to the neck; below, severed feet of aborted babies kept in jars
Eight of his co-killers – some with little or no medical training – have already pleaded guilty to criminal activity. Clinic worker Ashley Baldwin testified about watching Massof slit the necks of babies that moved or breathed “five or ten times.” Then he snapped the baby's neck. Gosnell told her that this was just standard procedure.

Gosnell actually took pictures of his victims, some that showed five or ten incisions that were made to get to the cut of the spine. Presently Gosnell is in solitary confinement, because regular felons would kill him. Rapists, child abusers and gang snitches are seen as the lowest of prisoners and often are held in solitary for their own safety. (2)

There is a kind of irony in the Gosnell case. In the King Herod incident and the cases of the some 50 million abortions that have been committed in the U.S. since Roe vs. Wade, only the “doctors,” their assistants and the unfortunate mothers witness the bloody carnage of human beings taking place.

Fr. Fillion once stated: “Frequently the principal vanished before the accessory.” (3) Said in another way, the accident of a thing is often mistaken for its essence. The Gosnell case is unique in that it shows us a barbaric close-up of the murder of the innocents. It does not differ in essence from all other abortions, but only in its accidents.

The Kermit Gosnell case depicts a just picture of the horror of abortions. I wish this picture would be more broadly reported and viewed to reveal the reality of the monstrous crime of abortion. Perhaps it would prevent many mothers from having them.
1. Rev. L.C. Fillion, SS, The Life of Christ - A Historical, Critical, and Apologetic Exposition, Vol. 1, St. Louis: B. Herder Bk, 1943, pp. 346-357.
2. “Verdict Watch: Gosnell in solitary confinement,” WND online, May 2, 2013
3. Fillion, The Life of Christ, p. 180.
Posted May 13, 2013

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