The basic claim (which many of them made back in 2011 and are regurgitating now) goes something like this: "Gosnell was allowed to operate for many years only because desperate, poor women went to his clinic. If tax dollars funded abortion (or if there were less restrictions on abortion) then women wouldn't have gone to Gosnell but to other clinics."
For example, here's Amanda Marcotte:
Pro-choicers are the ones trying to prevent future Gosnells. Gosnell made money exploiting desperate women, so the way to prevent future monsters like him is to make sure women aren’t desperate. Pro-choicers raise money for abortion funds, so more women can afford quality care. They set up volunteer-staffed help lines to get women through the process of seeing a reputable provider. They demand an end to the Hyde Amendment, so low-income women can use Medicaid to pay for quality providers.There are many problems with this belief.
1. Gosnell was performing abortions before the Hyde Amendment. He was performing abortions before Roe. The man was performing abortions for close to 40 years with tax funded abortions and without.
2. Women also went to him because he was the only abortionist in the area willing to perform post-viability abortions. Do the same abortion advocates blaming prolife laws for Gosnell's actions wish there were more abortionists performing elective post-viability abortions in Pennsylvania?
3. Some of the women who had late-term abortions went to Gosnell's clinic after they first tried to get an abortion at the National Abortion Federation-affiliated clinic Gosnell worked at part-time in Delaware. If the NAF standards are good for women, how could Gosnell work part-time at a NAF clinic? I've never seen an abortion advocate mention that Gosnell worked at a NAF clinic. I wonder why.
4. Last but not least: Stephen Brigham. Brigham is an abortionist who has operated in numerous states for years despite losing his medical license in various states at various times. He was most recently in the news when his abortion caravan system of starting an abortion in one state and finishing it in another led to a woman have severe complications. The abortion caravan started in New Jersey and ended in Maryland. Both states have very few prolife laws and both use tax dollars to fund abortions. If tax-funded abortions and fewer prolife laws would have prevented Gosnell, they should have prevented Brigham.
While Marcotte and other abortion advocates may claim they want to prevent other clinics similar to Gosnell's and hold clinics to certain standards, their fear about what caused Gosnell (lack of abortion access) is actually the same fear which played a large role in allowing Gosnell's clinic to operate without inspection for 17 years. It's also the reason why RHRealityCheck's Robin Marty bemoaned the closure of an unsanitary abortion clinic in Muskegon.
The abortionist who operated the Muskegon clinic, Robert Alexander, was basically Michigan's version of Kermit Gosnell (filthy clinic, post-viability abortions, numerous complications, etc.) yet Marty's biggest concern was not about the health of women who went to Alexander but to how women in West Michigan would now have less access to abortion. Never mind the access they lost was to a disgusting, unsanitary, disorganized abortion clinic with numerous roof leaks and blood splattered everywhere.