As hardened as we may be to the most grotesque news these days, I’d wager that there are not many people who didn’t pause in special horror at the story of a mugger in Georgia who last Thursday demanded money from a woman pushing a stroller, and, when she didn’t cooperate, went and shot her 13-month old baby boy in the face, killing him. The 17-year old suspect was indicted today, along with an alleged accomplice who is 15 years of age.
I wonder if I’m the only one—though I bet I’m not—who found in the timing of this particular obscene crime a gruesome echo of crimes being detailed in a trial currently taking place in Philadelphia. There, a man named Kermit Gosnell is charged with the murder of a 41-year old woman and seven infants. The trial is not getting a whole lot of publicity. The defendant is not as interesting as, say, Amanda Knox; the killings were not committed with an AR-15 rifle; and the actual events took place some years ago now. Kermit Gosnell is a doctor, who ran an abortion clinic in the city of Philadelphia where, by all accounts, most of the desperate women who came to see him were treated worse than animals, and where late-term babies were routinely induced to premature birth, so that shortly after they saw their first light and took their first breaths their spines could be severed by shears. I guess it was the easiest way of doing business. The clinic was uninspected for about 17 years, enabling the abbatoir-like conditions to flourish. Though, of-course, it is more than just a lack of official inspections that allows something like this to go on, in our great and so-civilized society.
Two years ago, when the indictments were first handed down, I wrote the best I could about it in this space, and I would have to stand by every word: Helpless in Philadelphia.