The Grotesque Consequences of Secular Humanism

Editor’s note: Michael Knudsen spent the last 3 days updating his Facebook status with nothing but excerpts from the grand jury report in the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. You can read his timeline here, but it is not for the faint of heart. 

The following was written at the conclusion of Michael’s updates on the grand jury report. Many points are raised. All need to be addressed. Who is brave enough to do so?

March 24, 2013

Having now concluded this 72 hour journey into studying the pit of absolute darkness and despair that was Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abominable practice, I pray for divine guidance, providence, and forgiveness, for Mr. Gosnell himself, for his accomplices, for the state officials who turned the other way, for the victims, living and dead, of his butchery….and for our nation, society, and culture. The only reason why Sandy Hook is a national tragedy, and Gosnell’s evil is not, is pure cynical politics and ideology. (I, of course, have written about how the daily victims of gun violence in Chicago, New York, D.C., and L.A. are ALSO not national tragedies, but that’s a different essay.)

To be sure, few people, even among those who condone abortion, would countenance murder, suffering, and a wanton disregard for human life on this scale (but some do, natch).

But, the bitter fact is that Gosnell’s evil was swept aside and under the rug, by those who had the power (and the duty) to stop it. And it continues to be swept under the rug, by a society that would rather simply not be bothered by the consequences of abortion, and by ideologues who dismiss any logical endgames from the denial of one’s right to life. (We’ve heard all the rationalizations, have we not? Better a human life be taken prior to birth than to risk the struggle of poverty [conveniently advocating for government as the only further solution to the latter, no matter how consistently it fails]. This logic can easily be applied to those at risk of being born with disabilities or mental retardation. Better they be killed too than to suffer with that life. And if one stops caring about the agony felt by an unborn child in the throes of abortion death, then the only difference between Gosnell’s work and a standard first trimester termination is aesthetics. Gosnell’s victims were more obvious as living human beings than a recently fertilized egg. Invent one circumstance where a human life is expendable, multitudes more can then be discovered.)

According to Planned Parenthood, states that place bans on abortion after six weeks are full of “extremists;” but Gosnell is not an extremist. He is, in the words of his attorney, a victim of racial oppression. (This is the most flabbergasting of ironies, given Gosnell’s own penchant for treating white patients far better than the rest of his clients.) In the eyes of Pennsylvania state officials, and the national media, he is an inconvenient truth best forgotten. More anger and vitriol is reserved for those who question the morality of abortion than for those who insist on denying any consent of the governed in this matter. Every year, thousands march on Capitol Hill to protest abortion….and every year, they are summarily ignored, degraded, and mocked. Gosnell cut so many corners and broke so many rules as to make his eventual downfall inevitable…..but he is no less a profiteer off the destruction of human life than is Planned Parenthood. (The latter with my tax dollars, to boot.) And yet I’m the extremist for pointing this out. (And now, thanks to Obamacare, if I buy health insurance, which I can only refuse under penalty of a fine, my money WILL go towards funding someone’s abortion. Not very pro-choicy, is it? I sure as hell have been left with no choice.)

The country remains at a place where the broader public, when asked, will support Roe v. Wade when it is formulated as granting a reproductive right (and they will NOT support telling a rape or incest victim that she must carry the child to term). However, that same public will also abhor abortion in the third trimester, and, depending on the state, will wish it outlawed still earlier in the pregnancy. Some will also support measures such as the mandatory viewing of ultrasounds, parental consent, and the ending of federal tax dollars for Planned Parenthood. (I myself think the law does nothing to protect those courageous mothers who DO keep their children who were borne of rape. In fact, most states bring the certainty that a rape victim’s life will be forever meshed with that of their rapist if they cannot get an indictment or a conviction. This must change, and the pro-life movement can and should do more to make this a plain and oft-discussed tenet of what we advocate. We already make the case that life is the better way for both mother and child; we should make the case that the law must support and stand alongside the mother every step of the way. No perfect policy will ever present itself, but today’s total abdication of any protection for rape-victim mothers is completely unacceptable.)

The peoples of different states are not uniform on this issue. And as one who believes in obtaining the consent of the governed, I can accept a nation where not all are ready to end abortion. I can also accept any steps that the public IS willing to take in order to save lives, and stem the bitter post-Roe death toll.


But the pro-choice movement (not the man on the street; the actual mouthpieces and movers of what is really a pro-abortion movement) is NOT willing to accept a nation where some are ready to end it.

And as we saw in Pennsylvania, they are willing to countenance a Dr. Gosnell in order to keep their bitter monopoly of removing any semblance of choice from the people they so sanctimoniously speak for.

I will pray for the day when this woeful status quo is brought to an end.

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  • kimvy

    We’re not fighting smart enough, but technology will be an invaluable ally. The more people see sonograms and the quality improves the more the very real thought that “this is a person” rather than a “clump of cells” will grow. Perhaps even one day technology will allow us to show a baby grimace in pain if a needle pokes the baby. Game over.

    However, we need to work with what we have and one thing that we aren’t doing nearly well enough if making the idea and process of adoption an attractive option. We need to appeal to the emotions of people, to make having a baby and the resultant adoption to be a heroic gesture. We need to make it attractive to someone to choose birth over abortion.

    This is such an amazingly self-correcting issue, though, and gets right to the heart of our devolving society – the lack of responsibility. A condom, a pill, the word no. So very very easy.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • brooksbayne

      it’s good to find people out there in social media land who feel so strongly about this issue and are willing to elaborate publicly. personally, i’m thankful for people like michael and YOU who express yourselves thoughtfully and regularly.