Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post on Thursday carried a front page story featuring predictable criticism of Catholic hospitals for prohibiting abortion—or “reproductive care,” as the Orwellian liberal paper called it. Inside the paper, on page 3, was a short story from Associated Press with a curious headline: “Murder charges for abortion provider.” The placement of these stories is a concrete example of pro-abortion media bias in action.

Of course, abortion IS murder to the hundreds of thousands who will be gathering in Washington, D.C. on Monday for the annual “March for Life.” GE’s ultrasound machine showing life in the womb has proven beyond doubt that the “product of conception” is indeed a human being. Still, many in the liberal media do not want to face up to the facts.

If history is any guide, the Post can be expected to bury a story about the March for Life rally in the Metro section of the paper.

Of more significance, however, is the use of the term “abortion provider” to refer to an abortionist charged with murder.

The Post—and most of the liberal media—have not yet seen fit to report in detail on the information in the 261-page grand jury report on what was happening at the “Women’s Medical Society” in Philadelphia. A subsequent on-line search of the Post finds four articles about the “abortion provider” charged with murder. All of these stories are from the AP.

A notable exception to this lack of serious coverage was the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, who surprised conservatives by airing a Wednesday night story on the revelations. “This next story comes with a strong word of caution,” she said. “The details are gruesome. You won’t want young children to watch. A Philadelphia doctor who made millions performing late-term abortions was charged today with murder. The D.A. says the doctor killed seven babies after they were delivered alive.”

The report by correspondent Elaine Quijano on the “house of horrors,” which had been operating for 30 years, included these revelations:

  • Children were born and then killed by putting scissors in the back of their neck and snipping their spinal cord.
  • One woman, 41-year-old Carnamaya Mongar, died in 2009 after receiving an overdose of anesthesia.
  • Photos from inside the clinic show unsanitary, squalid conditions with jars and bags of aborted fetuses.
  • Fetal remains were found in a refrigerator that the employees used to store their lunches.
  • The abortionist, Kermit B. Gosnell, has been named in 46 lawsuits, but his clinic had not been inspected by state officials since 1993.
  • None of the employees had any medical training. A high school student was employed as an anesthesiologist.
  • The doctor used unsterilized instruments, infecting patients with venereal disease and often punctured uteruses and intestines.

As shocking as these charges are, the Grand Jury report is even more graphic and includes photos of the gruesome practices that were underway. Here are some of the allegations:

  • The “really big” and illegal abortions were scheduled on Sunday, and paperwork on them was taken out of the “clinic” to be hidden or destroyed in Gosnell’s home.
  • “There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs.”
  • “Semiconscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners with blood-stained blankets.”
  • Fetal remains were stored in orange juice cartons and cat-food containers.
  • Rows of jars contained the severed feet of fetuses.
  • A filing cabinet in Gosnell’s home, in his 12-year-old daughter’s closet, contained $240,000 in cash and a gun.
  • Gosnell performed a “Mother’s Day Massacre” on patients bused to his clinic in 1972, using an experimental device called a “super coil” consisting of plastic razors to perform abortions.
  • One witness testified that sometimes patients “miscarried or whatever it was” into the toilet and clogged it. The remains had to be fished out of the pipes.

We anxiously wait for the Post and other media to follow up on the Grand Jury report, which is extremely critical of the failure of State authorities—Democrats and Republicans—to investigate this “clinic.” The report said, “Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.”

These “pro-choice” political authorities didn’t want to interfere with a “woman’s right to choose.”

It is a sign of long overdue progress that a Grand Jury put all of this material into a report, and that the District Attorney, R. Seth Williams, has filed charges as a result. But it turns out that the abortion-related horrors were discovered almost accidentally after Gosnell’s facility had been raided by federal and local authorities who believed he was writing illegal painkiller prescriptions.

Philadelphia Daily News reporter David Gambacorta had interviewed the abortionist on March 8, 2010, about some of the controversies swirling around him then. He said he did no wrong.

But where were the media while all of this was going on? And where’s the follow-up coverage of whether similar facilities are operating in other cities?

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