Conor Friedersdorf dives into the gruesome details of the Gosnell trial. It's not pretty, and I'm warning you now that clicking the link to the story will make you deeply uncomfortable, if not actually driving you to tears.
It's the tale of, yes, abortion, that nasty subject. But it's also about a failed bureaucracy, an alleged murderer who should be held accountable, and a state that looked away because it seems they were scared of the politics of abortion.
Inducing live births and subsequently severing the heads of the babies is indeed a horrific story that merits significant attention. Strange as it seems to say it, however, that understates the case.
For this isn't solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth into toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers.
Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn't make national headlines?
But it isn't even solely a story of a rogue clinic that's awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions! If I were a city editor for any Philadelphia newspaper the grand jury report would suggest a dozen major investigative projects I could undertake if I had the staff to support them. And I probably wouldn't have the staff.
But there is so much fodder for additional reporting.
So, papers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal (and TV outlets like CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and others): get reporting. There's something here for everyone.
And if you omit "abortion" from your reporting, you'll be hearing from us.