Garance Franke-Ruta just broke the record for pro-choice incoherence. In a new piece at The Atlantic entitled, "Kermit Gosnell and the Anti-Abortion Movement's Intelligence Failure" she blames the continuation of abortion Kermit Gosnell's atrocities on the prolife people who protested outside his clinic once a month on Saturday mornings for 20 years. It's apparently their fault the women who got abortions didn't tell them more about Gosnell's clinic.
Nor did the group pull public (such as court) records of complaints against Gosnell, which might have allowed anti-abortion advocates to see the pattern state regulatory authorities were ignoring, despite repeated complaints from doctors and Gosnell's victims. "Groups like Operation Rescue have the manpower to investigate clinics. Most pro-life groups don't have that kind of manpower. We're there to offer women an alternative," she said. The problems with the clinic were "apparently known in the neighborhood, but I wouldn't necessarily know that."
Amid the extraordinary cavalcade of system failures that allowed Gosnell to operate as he did, it's an open question whether the anti-abortion movement could have done more to call attention to his abuses if it had been able to forge any kinds of bonds of trust with the abortion-seeking women who were injured by him. Finnegan rejected that premise. "We are not responsible for the abortion industry or what goes on there," she said.
It's a hard argument to make 40 years after Roe, during which the nature of abortion services in the United States have been shaped by the political opposition to them more than any single other factor. In the wake of the Gosnell scandal, renewed anti-abortion activism in Pennsylvania led to legislation requiring abortion-providing facilities to be licensed as ambulatory surgery centers; Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill into law in December 2011, and it went into effect last summer.
While claiming the prolifers who were protesting outside at the clinic once a month for 20 years should have been pulling records and alerting authorities (you know those same authorities who knew about the botched abortions, etc. and did nothing) and therefore didn't do enough, Franke-Ruta gives a pass to the National Abortion Federation representative who was actually inside the clinic and saw it's condition because ..... well.....Gosnell's clinic got raided a couple months later.
Finnegan, for her part, blames the National Abortion Federation, the professional association of abortion providers in North America, for not reporting Gosnell to authorities after inspecting his facilities. "The National Abortion Federation knew how bad things were in the Gosnell facility. We did not," she told me. It's a fair point -- except that Gosnell only reached out to NAF and asked for an inspection after the November 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, and was shut down by state authorities less than two months after NAF rejected his application. NAF did its inspection on Dec. 14 and 15, 2009, and rejected Gosnell's application on January 4, 2010. The clinic was raided on Feb. 18 of that year and Gosnell's license was suspended on Feb. 22.
So apparently the women who had abortions and babies whose neck were snipped in those two months don't really count, huh?
Franke-Ruta also critiques Rick Santorum for not forcing the media to cover the Gosnell trial more.