Friday 22nd March 2019

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

The Gosnell Divide

October 30, 2018 Frontpage No Comments


My neighborhood movie theater has half-price Tuesdays, see any movie for $5.25. I’m not a big movie buff, but when I see something I think I’d like, I take a chance on the early Tuesday morning showing. Unfortunately, popcorn (the killer kind, with lots of butter) and a soda still cost eleven bucks, but what the heck? It gets me out of the house for a couple of hours even if I don’t like the movie.
This past week I saw Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. It was moving and tearful, and if you can only see one movie for the rest of your life, this is the one to see. It is about the story that the media tried to ignore and is now the movie that the media are trying to ignore.
For those of you who don’t remember, or were caught in the media blackout, Kermit Gosnell was an abortion doctor in Philadelphia who is now serving three plus life terms for the murder of three babies born alive after an attempted abortion, and one case of manslaughter for the death of a patient.
The Gosnell trial, when it was covered, caused a sensation, especially in the pro-life community that railed against Gosnell as well as the initial lack of interest by the mainstream media.
The Gosnell case, as was well documented in the movie, began in February of 2010 when his clinic was raided over an illegal drug prescription practice. It seems the good doctor was selling prescriptions for narcotics — OxyContin, Percocet, and Xanax, among others, to anyone who could come up with the cash.
It was estimated that he “sold” prescriptions for over 900,000 pills and over 19,000 ounces of cough syrup containing codeine.
It was during that raid that police found baby parts of aborted children, expired medication that was still being used, and frozen aborted bodies, many over the gestational age of 24 weeks, which was the legal limit for abortions in Pennsylvania. So, what started out as a raid over Gosnell’s prescription business quickly turned into an investigation over his abortion practices.
Besides having a completely unsanitary facility — patients were given bloody blankets, cat feces including fleas were all over, and aborted body parts and other “medical waste” were strewn throughout the offices — the authorities soon learned that Gosnell had turned much of his work over to untrained office staff who were sometimes given blank, signed prescription forms to give to clients.
During the course of the investigation, it was found that the state had a policy of not bothering abortion clinics due to the political fear that abortion advocates would claim that the state was trying to hinder the “reproductive rights” of Pennsylvania women. As a result, none of the state’s 22 abortion clinics had been inspected in more than 15 years.
Gosnell himself, during his 30-plus years of practice, had been sued at least 46 times and still no one in authority saw any red flags. In fact, complaints made by other doctors who treated Gosnell’s patients were routinely rejected as not coming from the patient herself, most of whom did not want to admit in a public complaint that they had obtained an abortion.
Investigators also found that there were numerous cases of babies being born alive after an abortion attempt who were then killed by Gosnell or one of his associates using a pair of scissors to sever the child’s spinal cord.
Gosnell’s medical license was immediately suspended and the following year a Pennsylvania grand jury indicted him for seven counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of children whose spinal cord he had cut, one count of manslaughter for the death of a patient due to his negligence, and a slew of other counts, including his prescription sales racket.
There would have been more charges, but many of the doctor’s records could not be located.
As the grand jury stated in its 280-page report:
“We believe, given the manner in which Gosnell operated, that he killed the vast majority of babies that he aborted after 24 weeks. We cannot, however, recommend murder charges for all of these cases. In order to constitute murder, the act must involve a baby who was born alive. Because files were falsified or removed from the facility and possibly destroyed, we cannot substantiate all of the individual cases in which charges might otherwise have resulted.”
The movie begins with the initial raid with Lois & Clark’s Superman, Dean Cain, playing the part of the lead detective, James Wood. It follows the investigation, through the grand jury, to trial and its ultimate conclusion.
Of note is the absence of any press coverage of the Gosnell matter until a composite character, blogger Molly Mullaney, played by Cyrina Fiallo, posts a picture of the empty benches that had been reserved for reporters on her social media page, paralleling the actual absence of media interest in the trial until conservatives took to social media to protest.
Only then does the press respond with any coverage.
The movie is rated PG-13 and goes out of its way to avoid sensationalizing the film by not showing the muck and gore that made up the real thing. In one scene the jury is shown a picture of a baby killed by Gosnell, referred to as Baby Boy A. The photo is never shown on screen; the audience only sees the back of the photo as the prosecutor, played by Sarah Jane Morris, shows it to the jury.
In that scene the extras who were playing jurors were shown the actual photograph and their reaction to seeing the photo for the first time was a powerful and moving moment.
But as the real trial was initially ignored by the media, fearful of prejudicing the public against abortion, the movie was considered outside of the mainstream and was only able to secure funding after the producers made a Crowdfunding request.
Even after the movie was ready for release, major media outlets either refused to advertise it, or required modifications in advertising texts before they would accept it. Cain and others in the film also reported personal blowback for their appearance in a movie that examines the seamy side of the abortion industry.
In the past few weeks I’ve written about civil incivility and the world being turned upside down. The story of Gosnell, the person and the movie, reflect on that incivility that permeates the new paradigm in which we now live.
Politically correct forces of the activist left will not suffer any viewpoint or opinion that does not ratify their beliefs. Just as the mainstream media initially refused to cover the Gosnell trial for fear of tarnishing the high and sacred sacrament of abortion, the elites of Hollywood objected to telling the story of how one doctor in Philadelphia was able to skirt the law for so long, under the nose of those who were empowered to enforce health and safety codes and to protect the community.
Snipping the spinal cord was not unique to Kermit Gosnell. During the time I was doing my radio program, I was inundated with messages from Christian groups about this doctor and that who were doing about the same thing as Gosnell.
As frequent were reports of women being seriously injured, sometimes killed in abortion clinics. When I posted a conversation with Cain and others about the film on my Facebook page, one woman replied, “Brought back memories of working at certain hospitals.”
Abortion supporters claim that Gosnell does not represent the abortion industry, and that abortion is needed so women can have proper health care. Problem is, we know the truth. Abortion is not health care, yet “reproductive freedom” is the mantra of the left; and I don’t have to tell you that is what the battle over Brett Kavanaugh was all about, demonstrating the ends to which the tolerant pro-abortion, anti-life left will go.
The Gosnell divide is not just about abortion, it is a microcosm of the divisions we now face in our communities, churches, and body politic: life, civility, and traditional Christo-American values or, the abandonment of same. Remember next week, that is what is really on the ballot. Pray and vote wisely.
(Mike can be reached at:

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Nancy Pelosi: ‘I Myself, as a Catholic, Believe…’

( – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said at her press briefing on Thursday that she wants to “salute” the Green New Deal and went on to explain that “as a Catholic” she believes—“as do many of our Evangelical friends”—that…Continue Reading

Pope Francis warns against gossip, forgetting one’s own sinfulness

Rome, Italy, Mar 3, 2019 / 01:30 pm (CNA).- In a visit to a Roman parish on Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to stop gossiping and ruminating on the shortcomings of other people, and to instead focus on repenting of…Continue Reading

Catholic network Salt + Light stands by CEO Fr. Rosica despite plagiarism

TORONTO, March 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation is standing by Father Thomas Rosica, the network’s CEO, despite revelations of his extensive plagiarism going back almost 30 years. Meanwhile, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says…Continue Reading

Measure to protect babies who survive abortion fails in Senate 53-44

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Senate in an evening vote Feb. 25 failed to pass a measure sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, to require that babies born alive after an abortion be given medical attention and “the same protection of…Continue Reading

Prosecutors drop second trial against Cardinal George Pell

Melbourne, Australia, Feb 25, 2019 / 06:21 pm (CNA).- Prosecutors have abandoned a planned second trial against Australian Cardinal George Pell, who was convicted in December 2018 on five charges of the sexual abuse of minors. Pell is reported to…Continue Reading

Rosica resigns from college board after plagiarism apology; Jesuits withdraw award

Washington D.C., Feb 25, 2019 / 02:47 pm (CNA).- A Canadian priest who apologized last week for plagiarism has resigned from the governing board of a Catholic college affiliated with the University of Toronto. “As a sign of contrition and…Continue Reading

Abuse Survivor: Pope’s Devil Comments ‘Outrageous’

Pope Francis’ latest slam on church critics as cohorts of Satan stunned survivors of priest sex abuse and their advocates, who called the pontiff’s remarks “outrageous” on the eve of his clergy summit on the long-running scandal. “It’s outrageous ……Continue Reading

Pope picks liberal cardinals Cupich, Marx, Tagle for featured talks at Vatican Abuse Summit

ROME, February 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany, and Cardinal Antonio Tagle of the Philippines will be featured speakers at the Vatican’s upcoming summit on clerical sex abuse titled, “The Protection of Minors…Continue Reading


RAPID CITY, S.D. ( – A bishop is calling a Catholic apostolate “evil” for being critical of Cdl. Blase Cupich. Bishop Robert Gruss of Rapid City, South Dakota issued a statement to be read from all parish pulpits the weekend of Feb. 9–10 condemning…Continue Reading

The Christian Faith: The only valid and the only God-willed religion

The Truth of the filial adoption in Christ, which is intrinsically supernatural, constitutes the synthesis of the entire Divine Revelation. Being adopted by God as sons is always a gratuitous gift of grace, the most sublime gift of God to…Continue Reading

Roberts joins Supreme Court’s liberal wing in blocking Louisiana abortion law

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Supreme Court’s liberal wing on Thursday in temporarily blocking a Louisiana law that would have placed restrictions on abortion clinics, in the high court’s first major ruling on abortion since the confirmation of Associate Justice…Continue Reading

Supermodel Takes On Catholic Poland With Sex Education Campaign

Supermodel Anja Rubik could be a symbol of any modern, progressive European country. After joining a campaign to defend women’s rights, she started tackling school sex education and published a book for teenagers that sought to counter the teachings of…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

On the question of a heretical pope


The issue of how to handle a heretical pope, in concrete terms, has not yet been treated in a manner which approaches anything like a true general consent in the entire Catholic tradition. So far, neither a pope nor an Ecumenical Council has made relevant doctrinal pronouncements nor have they issued binding canonical norms regarding the eventuality of how to handle a heretical pope during the term of his office. There is no historical case of…Continue Reading

GOP congressman sues Twitter for shadow-bans, discrimination against conservatives

March 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes is taking Twitter to court for the social media giant’s alleged discrimination against himself and other prominent conservatives through shadow-banning and other means. Last summer, Nunes was one of several Republican lawmakers and GOP leaders whose Twitter accounts had disappeared from the drop-down menu that normally populates when typing in a name, without comparable figures such as Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez or any…Continue Reading

US bishops’ anti-poverty charity gave $60,000 to pro-gay Marxist group last year

March 15, 2019 (Lepanto Institute) — The 2017–2018 Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grants list shows that the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) received $60,000, bringing the total this organization has received to $290,000 since 2005. In 2012, the Reform CCHD Now coalition alerted the US bishops to serious problems with NWBCCC including homosexual activism and the promotion of Marxism. Monsignor Kevin Sullivan of the A

Cardinal DiNardo hospitalized after ‘mild stroke’

Houston, Texas, Mar 16, 2019 / 06:33 pm (CNA).- The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference was hospitalized March 15 after suffering a mild stroke, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, which has been led by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo since 2006. “It is expected that Cardinal DiNardo will remain hospitalized for a few more days of testing and observation, followed by a transfer to another facili

Democrats Demand Right to Life for Kittens, But Block Bills to Stop Infanticide

What do cats have that newborn babies don’t? Democrats’ support. In one of the sickest ironies no one is talking about, Senate liberals picked this moment — 17 days after they voted to kill America’s perfectly healthy infants — to fight for the humane treatment of kittens. Maybe the DNC’s strategists are out to lunch, or maybe the Left really is this shameless, but I can’t wait to see so


Medical Ethics: “Who’s Next?”

By BARBARA SIMPSON (Editor’s Note: This column first appeared on WorldNetDaily, March 1, 2019.) + + + It’s really getting out of control. The headlines and news reports are filled with life and death. Not war. Not accidents. No, these news stories are about how and when our medical system can, and will, legally kill…Continue Reading

A Dark Night Finally Turns To Day

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of Creators Syndicate distributes his column.) + + + They could have just kept going, but they didn’t. It was another cold South Dakota day on February 28, 1981, when Lee Litz went out with a friend to test-drive a…Continue Reading

My Reply… An Eastern Orthodox Writer’s Attempt To Justify Divorce And Remarriage

By JAMES LIKOUDIS An Eastern Orthodox correspondent has taken issue with Catholic teaching rejecting adultery as a legitimate ground for divorce and remarriage. His arguments stem from ill-digested readings drawn from both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox sources. The writer, in effect, rejects Catholic doctrine regarding the absolute indissolubility of sacramental marriage. That doctrine, based on…Continue Reading

How Middle America Is To Be Dispossessed

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In all but one of the last seven presidential elections, Republicans lost the popular vote. George W. Bush and Donald Trump won only by capturing narrow majorities in the Electoral College. Hence the grand strategy of the left: to enlarge and alter the U.S. electorate so as to put victory as…Continue Reading

Love And The Virtue Of Love

By JUDE DOUGHERTY At some time in the last century, perhaps due to the influence of John Dewey and other influential academics in this country, the concept “the values we hold dear” came to replace the notion that we may be accountable to a moral order quite independent of ourselves. Politicians, educators, and journalists commonly…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Empty Chalice At Consecration Time… Could Signal A Grave Violation Of Canon Law

By Fr. Edward McNamara, LC (Editor’s Note: Following is a Q-and-A from Fr. Edward McNamara’s regular column published by ZENIT News Agency. The date of this column is March 12, 2019. (ZENIT holds the copyright to this article. All rights reserved.) + + + (Legionary of Christ Fr. Edward McNamara is a professor of liturgy and dean of theology at…Continue Reading

Heaven, The Promised Land

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Lent (YR C) Readings: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15 1 Cor. 10:1-6, 10-12 Luke 13:1-9 In the readings today we hear about both the justice and the mercy of God. The first reading is all about God’s mercy. The people of Israel had been enslaved in Egypt for 430 years, but in that time they…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Cardinal Pell: The Pendulum Swings

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The pendulum means nothing on its own and functions only by means of a power external to itself: the law of gravity. The swing of the pendulum is a symbol of the lack of balance, for the forces at work upon it which keep it in constant motion prevent its rest in a central position…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In his weekly bulletin at the Church of St. Michael in New York City, Fr. George Rutler, after noting that John Henry Cardinal Newman of England will soon be proclaimed a saint and Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary will be declared venerable, said that “Mindszenty was not Newman’s intellectual peer, but his life was the most muscular testimony…Continue Reading

The Church In The Midst Of The Storm . . . “Come To Me All Who Are Weary”

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission of Human Life International, It first appeared at on March 4, 2019. Fr. Boquet is the president of HLI.) + + + “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me” (John 14:1). Holy Mother Church is in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello

By CAROLE BRESLIN Mary and Joseph led a chaste life, as husband and wife for the greater glory of God. The parents of Therese of Lisieux, Marie-Azélie Guérin and Louis Martin, also hoped to live this way, but their spiritual director advised them not to do so. In obedience, they provided the Church with a wonderful example of holiness. Another…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Cuthbert

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Melrose Abbey in Scotland, which is located about 30 miles south-southeast of Edinburgh, attracts more visitors than just about any other attraction in Scotland. Although mostly in ruins now, the abbey boasts a museum and other sites of interest, such as the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce. Mel Gibson revived interest in him with the…Continue Reading