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Public Statements

Regarding National Media Coverage of Philadelphia Murder Trial

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, will the decades-long national news media cover-up of the brutality and the violence of abortion methods ever end?

Will Americans ever be told of the horrifying details as to how and how often abortionists dismember, decapitate, and chemically poison innocent babies?

Will Americans ever be informed by a conscientious, unbiased national news media that in the past 40 years over 55 million child victims have been brutally killed by abortion, a staggering loss of children's lives that equates to the entire population of England, and that many women have been hurt physically, emotionally, and psychologically? And according to the Center for Disease Control--and this is a very conservative estimate from CDC--over 400 women have actually died from legal abortions.

Will Americans ever be told that of the 55 million children, Planned Parenthood alone claims responsibility for destroying 6 million babies and that just 2 weeks ago a Planned Parenthood leader in Florida testified at a legislative hearing at a State initiative to protect born-alive infants that even when a child survives an abortion, the decision to assist or kill the born-alive infant should be ``up to the woman, her family and her physician''? In other words, if a child intended to be aborted survives the assault, the choice to kill remains--so-called ``after-birth abortion.''

Isn't that extreme child abuse?

Murdering newborns in the abortion clinic, it seems to me, is indistinguishable from any other child predator wielding a knife or a gun. Why isn't the child also seen as a patient in need of medical care, warmth, nutrition, and--dare I say--love?

Now another national media coverup--in this case, even when a Jeffrey Dahmer-like murder trial of an abortionist named Kermit Gosnell, who ran the benign-sounding Women's Medical Society unfolds in a Philadelphia courtroom, replete with shocking testimony of beheadings, unfathomable abuse, death, and body parts in jars. To this day, the national news media remains uninterested, woefully indifferent--AWOL.

Why the censorship? Why does Gosnell's house of horrors--his trial--fail to this day to attract any serious and meaningful national news reporting?

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is on trial for eight counts of murder. One count is for the death of a woman, a victim who died during an abortion in his clinic. Seven counts are for babies who survived their abortions and were born alive but then killed by severing their spinal cords with a pair of scissors.

In the words of the grand jury report: ``Gosnell had a simple solution for unwanted babies--he killed them.'' He didn't call it that. He called it ``ensuring fetal demise''--a nice euphemism. The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors in the back of the baby's neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that ``snipping.'' Over the years, according to the grand jury report, there were hundreds of snippings.

Indeed, the national news media has not only taken a pass and looked the other way, but their stunning indifference has done a grave disservice to Gosnell's victims: the woman killed, other women injured, and children slaughtered by Gosnell. Because of the national news media's indefensible silence and because of their failure to report, other women and children at other abortion mills might also be at risk.

The grand jury report, again in January of 2011, pointedly pointed out and noted that an absence of press coverage and gross negligence by the health department in Pennsylvania enabled Gosnell to show a ``contemptuous disregard for the health, safety, and dignity of his patients that continued for 40 years.''

Right from the beginning of Roe v. Wade, he was overlooked by a media that was disinterested. Some media commentators, however, are beginning to take note of the national news media blackout and the bias that undergirds and is inherent in that blackout.

The title of an editorial yesterday in the Investors Business Daily was ``Newtown in the Clinic: The Media Ignore the Gosnell Trial.'' It begins in part:

Media bias: A basketball coach who shoves and curses at his players merits constant coverage by a media also transfixed by Newtown; but a Philadelphia doctor on trial for murdering a woman and seven babies? It's ignored.

Those who get their news from the three major networks have probably not heard of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, now on trial in Philadelphia, charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of third-degree murder for killing seven babies who survived abortions and a woman who died after a botched painkiller injection.

The editorial points out that, according to the Media Research Center, in 1 week, Rice--who is the coach from Rutgers--received 41 minutes, 26 seconds on ABC, CBS, and NBC in 36 separate news stories. Gosnell received zero coverage.

The editorial points out:

If Dr. Gosnell had walked into a nursery and shot seven infants with an AR-15, it would be national news and the subject of Presidential hand-wringing.

In today's edition of USA Today, columnist Kirsten Powers writes:

Infant beheadings, severed baby feet in jars, a child screaming after it was delivered during an abortion procedure. Haven't heard about those sickening accusations?

It's not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page.

She goes on to write in her column:

A LexisNexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last 3 months. The exception is when Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan hijacked a segment on ``Meet the Press.''

Again, I ask my colleagues, and I ask the news media: Why the blackout?

Will America ever be told the brutality of abortion and the violence that is commonplace inside the abortion industry; or will the media, the national media especially, continue to censor and censor and, in this case, censor a trial--a trial of the century--that exposes all of the all too inconvenient truth: that not only are unborn children destroyed in these killing centers by being decapitated and dismembered but that even babies who survive the abortions can't escape the deadly hand of these child predators?

I would like to yield to my good friend and colleague, Vicky Hartzler.


Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Dr. Harris, thank you for that very insightful--and I would say brilliant--defense of not just the unborn, but the newly born, and your very logical argument as to how this is already being extended in what is euphemistically called after-birth abortion to those, like Dr. Gosnell's victims, who have been born and then are killed.

I would point to my colleagues, before going to Mr. Stutzman, that one of the clinic individuals who was actually killing these children--this came out in testimony at the trial--said that when he heard the child crying, it was like an alien.

Children cry when they're being killed--and in this case, a very painful--as you pointed out, pain-capable children are at least 20 weeks gestational age. Many of these kids were 23, 24, 25, even higher. As we've learned from the grand jury, as well as from these proceedings, some of these children were as old as 30 weeks gestational age--very, very large children, very mature children, but no different than the child who just a few weeks and even months before, same child, just a little more mature and, as you said, worthy of protection always.


Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Indiana for that very extraordinary and eloquent speech, bringing to the American people an inconvenient truth that needs to be exposed, and for, again, reminding us all that the major news media--NBC, CBS, ABC--have all had a blackout, there's been a coverup. If this was any other trial of a horrific bloodletting, a house of horrors, it would be front page, it would be the lead story, maybe second or third on some nights on the major networks.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, to its credit, a newspaper that is not pro-life editorially, and I know that because I've talked to them over the many years, they, nevertheless, have deployed reporters who have done a very, very good job in covering this trial. But that's pretty much where it ends. And, again, the major networks ought to be there.

I would point out that the reason why this clinic in this house of horrors was allowed to do much of what it has done is because of the chilling effect that the proabortion side has had on inspections of clinics where children are routinely slaughtered.

The grand jury itself said: ``The politics in question were not antiabortion, but proabortion. With the change of administrations from Governor Casey,'' a Democrat pro-lifer, ``to Governor Tom Ridge,'' a proabortion Republican, ``officials concluded that inspections would be putting a barrier up to women seeking abortions. Better to leave the clinics to do as they please,'' went on the grand jury report, ``even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.'' That is found on page 9.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield to my good friend and colleague from Pennsylvania (Mr. Rothfus) for as much time as he may consume.


Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. I thank my friend for coming from his markup to be with us here today.

There was a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer--again, just tell the truth, just tell the story about what's happening in the trial--and they report that this week an ex-employee of Gosnell talked about how she perceived the brutal snipping of the spines of newborns still alive after abortion.

``Did you know it was murder?'' Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore asked ex-clinic worker Lynda Williams, referring to the clinic's practice of snipping the spines of babies born alive during abortion procedures.

``No, I didn't,'' said Williams, 44.

She goes on to say that one of her duties was to retrieve fetuses from women who would sometimes spontaneously abort in the waiting room after getting large doses of drugs. ``One day,'' she testified, ``a women expelled a second trimester fetus and it was moving.'' Williams said she took a pair of scissors and snipped the spine as Gosnell showed her. ``I did it once,'' she said, ``and I didn't do it again because it gave me the creeps.''

Mr. Speaker, let me conclude. Dr. Andy Harris a few moments ago talked about the bioethicists who had made statements that after-birth abortion is justified because the newborn, or children who have been out of the womb for even weeks, have the same moral stature--and that is none--as an unborn child. Those two bioethicists say: ``The devaluation of newborn babies is inextricably linked to the devaluation of the unborn.'' They said: ``We propose that this practice of after-birth abortion be called that, rather than infanticide, in order to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed''--that is to say the baby--``is comparable to that of the fetus.''

Whether she will exist is exactly what our choice is all about. So the choice to kill extended to the point of snipping the spines of children who were born and struggling and gasping for breath and for some kind of outreach of hands that would save that child, but it wasn't there. That is now being prosecuted, as it ought to be, as murder.

Our hope is that the blackout of this trial of Kermit Gosnell will end. It is ongoing. It's occurring today. It's occurring every day. I don't know how long it will take. But to NBC, CBS, and ABC and to the major news media, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and others, just tell the story. Keep your editorials on the editorial page--you are absolutely entitled to that--but don't let that creep onto and bleed onto the other pages. Just tell the story. And the indifference, again, and the lack of coverage suggests a coverup.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.


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