April 14. 2013 1:05AM

The Gosnell silence: Murder, abortion and the media


In Philadelphia, a doctor is on trial for the gruesome murders of eight people inside his low-rent office. A former assistant testified that she personally witnessed the physician commit at least 30 murders. Most of the patients were "beheaded," another assistant said, adding that there was "blood all over the place." If you have not heard of this doctor's trial for committing a terrifying, decades-long string of serial killings, there is a reason. He is an abortionist.

His name is Kermit Gosnell. He was arrested after a 2010 FBI raid at his offices, which were described this way in the grand jury report: "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."

The sensational nature of this case alone justifies massive media coverage. The doctor ran a filthy, uninspected clinic for decades as state regulators looked the other way. He infected women with diseases by using unsterile equipment. Two of the women who came to him for abortions died. But Kermit Gosnell is not a household name for one reason: His crimes raise uncomfortable questions for supporters of unlimited abortion on demand.

Gosnell delivered babies who were more than 24 weeks old. He then severed their spines at the neck. He called this "ensured fetal demise." Really, he beheaded them. The world of the abortionist is governed by euphemisms.

Gosnell's trial is about more than a blood-soaked house of horrors. That the media would cover. Its real news value lies in what it says about the artificial lines we draw in the name of protecting a woman's "right to privacy." It is OK to forcibly, brutally end one baby's life, but not another's. This trial provokes the obvious question: Why? For too many reporters, it is a question they don't want to think about.