Sunday, April 14, 2013

Did They Really Have No Alternative?

Irin Carmon asked a pertinent question: why did women keep going to Kermit Gosnell’s charnal house?

She answered:

After all, the question is not just why the state failed to respond to the complaints of women and advocates who visited the clinic, although that matters hugely. It’s why women kept going there anyway: because they felt they had no alternative.

Rick Moran calls it an argument by counterfactual, and indeed it is. Strictly speaking you cannot say what would have happened if there were more clinics providing free abortions in Philadelphia.

But, Gosnell was practicing late term abortions. He was aborting viable fetuses, aka babies. I do not know what these women “felt,” but the fact is, they had an easy alternative. If you are seven or eight months pregnant, you can give birth. I suspect that Medicaid covers childbirth.

If they were incapable of bringing up another child, these women could have given their babies up for adoption. Again, this is a no-cost alternative.

Carmon is trying to fix the blame firmly on the side of the pro-life forces in this country. She wants to absolve everyone else for the horrors that went on in Gosnell’s clinic.

As for the availability of inexpensive alternatives in the early stages of a pregnancy, we all know that Plan B medication is readily available at any pharmacy and does not require a prescription. And let’s not forget the low cost of effective birth control.

To say that people had no alternatives is to indulge in moral sophistry. The “no alternatives” argument does not just absolve people of all responsibility, but it removes their free will.

If you liked Carmon’s foray into sloppy thinking, you’ll love this article from the Associated Press.

One suspects that reporter Maryclaire Dale was channeling Irin Carmon.

Noting that eight of Gosnell’s former employees are being prosecuted for capital murder, Dale suggests that there is a way to rationalize their criminal acts:

But for most, it was the best job they could find.

Unlicensed doctor Stephen Massof, 50, of Pittsburgh, said he could not get a U.S. medical residency after finishing medical school in Grenada and went to work for Gosnell as a "backup plan" after six years running a bar. He admitted killing two babies by snipping their necks, as he said Gosnell taught him to do.

Following Carmonic logic, if only we had loosened up medical licensing requirements, Stephen Massof would have found a good job and would not have gotten into the business of killing babies.

Let’s not overlook Massof’s other rationalization. He was doing what he was taught to do. It’s the modern version of: I was just following orders.


Dennis said...

I have often wondered why throughout my life I have known a number of couples who could not have children had to go to various other countries to adopt. None of these people were unable to support and raise the children they might have adopted in this country. In fact a significant number of them were middle to upper class.
A friend of mine and his wife just came back from China with another beautiful child that they adopted. He is an executive and she works for Bright House. These are good people. Why do these people have such a hard time adopting in this country?
I would posit that if adoption became a viable option in this country then much of the logic that underpins abortion would not hold up. In order to maintain political power in this area someone or some group of people has to ensure that a large number of the options that could be available to these women are not available or appraised to them.
If one knew that there were people who were available to be the loving parents to your child does anyone think that most women would opt for a partial birth abortion or worse. Most of the women have these abortions, if they survive, will live with this for the rest of their lives and generally not in a good way. It is the abortion providers who prey on these poor women and their lack of understanding that they do have other options.
Again, why is it so hard to adopt in this country if we really care for children?

CatherineM said...

We don't care about children unless they can be used politically (Newtown).

The acrobatics that writers are doing to call what went on there anything but murder is nuts.

Child birth is covered by Medicaid. If these women are as stupid as the "pro-abortion" media supposes, an ethical physician would have said, "at this stage you will have to give birth, but for free you can wait, deliver the baby and give it up for adoption.

I think it is more likely that the women didn't want the baby existing on this earth with them. In abortion discussions with other women, that is usually the reason for abortion over adoption - I don't want to know it's out there living with someone else.

CatherineM said...

In some of the articles by people who did cover it they mentioned the deplorable conditions in the facility that went unreported or was reported and ignored. Besides the babies, some women died or were seriously injured and everyone left there with an STD. What finally got this place shut down was the DEA and even then it took the city and state 3 weeks to shut it down.

In the article in the Atlantic, it mentioned that Gosnell applied to the Federation of Abortion suppliers and they said it was the worst clinic they had ever seen, but did not report it.

No one was interested in "women's health" (War on Women!!) than they were concerned about the infants being murdered.

n.n said...

Liberty is only suitable for women and men capable of self-moderating behavior.

The abortion or reproduction right is offered to appease and form a Democratic consensus from women and men who dream of material, physical, and ego instant (or immediate) gratification without perceived consequences.

The politicians who advocate for elective abortion (i.e. premeditated murder) are the same people who exploit differentials and gradients to advance their political, economic, and social standing. They denigrate individual dignity. They sacrifice human lives. They exploit and sponsor corruption for their wealth and welfare.

Dennis said...


One of the issues I avoid commenting on is shame. For what it is worth Lord knows I have definitely made my share. There is no doubt that in many situation it is an important tool to aid people in thinking about what they do and the ramifications contained therein. But, it also creates a number of problems that only gets exacerbated when helping people to take responsibility for their actions. The reason you postulate for why some women opt for an abortion is one of them.
Everyone makes errors in judgment and we should be aware that none of us are perfect or even close to it. I can readily understand why one would not want to be reminded about the missteps one takes in life.
It would seem to me that making a negative into a positive would be a far better action to take especially if there is another person's life that hangs in the balance.
My son married a woman who could not take a pregnancy to term. They wanted children so they opted for In Vitro fertilization. This meant they had to find a suitable egg donor. They went through the process, very expensive to say the least, and found a very intelligent young woman who agreed that my son was an acceptable match. My son's wife carried these children to term.
Both births were of twins, but one of the children died on the first on. They now have 3 beautiful, one boy and two girls, children and my wife and I have 3 great, and beautiful in our estimation, grandchildren.
Now I wonder if adoption had been a real option and many women recognized the joy they could have given to both the future parents and themselves in the long run how things would have played out.
What we do with the mistakes, errors and missteps of our life is what defines us as people and is always there in the mind awaiting "play back" at the most inopportune times. Every so often I get the joy of having to relive, mentally, my mistakes so one should understand it does not go away because one removes the physical reminders. To look back in fondness is far better than to feel something other than joy.

Soviet of Washington said...

Slightly OT, but most medical residencies (i.e. GME - Graduate Medical Education) in the US are funded by Medicare. Slots have been tight for awhile, and the President's 2014 budget proposes $11B in additional cuts which should ratchet-up match day pressure further as well as reducing the pipeline of future doctors.

Lindsay Harold said...

I think a previous commenter was correct. Many women these days are so hardened that they don't want their unborn child to exist on the planet. I've actually talked to pro-abortion women who speak of giving a child up for adoption as "breeding for the sake of other people." They think it's so terrible and degrading to have had a child and given him to someone else to raise that killing him is preferrable. What can you do with someone so twisted and hateful?