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Public Statements

Regarding National Media Coverage of Philadelphia Murder Trial

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PITTS. Thank you, Congressman Smith, for your leadership on this issue here in Congress, very, very wonderful, inspiring leadership to all of us who've been engaged in this, on this issue for years in State legislatures like Pennsylvania and across the other parts of the country.

But U.S. Route 30 runs through the heart of my district, in Lancaster County and Chester County, in Pennsylvania. You follow that road all the way into Philadelphia, you'll pass a nondescript, triangle-shaped brick building at 38th Street. And for years, Dr. Kermit Gosnell operated a factory of death in this location, just across the street from a church.

This week, Gosnell is on trial for multiple homicides that demonstrate just how thin the line between abortion and murder is in this country.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell spent years taking advantage of vulnerable women, offering illegal and dangerous abortions in exchange for cash. He also operated a pill mill, selling prescription drugs to anyone in the neighborhood with enough cash.

He sold death to the poor, and he lived handsomely for years. State authorities never darkened the door of what he called a "clinic'' until a mother died of an overdose during one of Gosnell's procedures.

He used clinical terminology to pave over the fact that in many cases he was killing a child who had already been born. While he is charged with seven counts of murdering an infant and a single count of murdering a mother, we don't really know how many children died after they were born.

Just as he was careless with the lives of children, he was careless with the lives of mothers, and he treated them in terrible conditions, often sending them out of the clinic injured and still under the influence of anesthesia.

We should always remember that abortion is the most violent form of death known to humankind. And there are always two victims in every abortion. One is the child, the unborn child. The other is the mother. One is dead, one is wounded.

An abortion is violence against the unborn. It's also violence against women.

But the facts of this case raise the disturbing question of just how close legal abortion practices come to outright murder. Gosnell knew that there was little real medical difference between killing the child in-utero and killing them outside of the mother.

Like standard, legal abortion practice, he would use chemicals to first poison the unborn child. And if he had waited until death to remove their bodies, he would be within the law. Because he took the children out of the mothers while they were still alive, he is guilty of murder.

Gosnell only took a leap that certain intellectuals and so-called medical ethicists have been talking about for decades. Just last year, two researchers published a paper in the prestigious Journal of Medical Ethics entitled ``After Birth Abortion.'' Their assertion was that a fetus doesn't become a child until they are wanted.

Let us never say that these are unwanted children, not while there are tens of thousands of married couples waiting to adopt, couples who wait months or years to bring home a baby boy or a girl. Many Americans even travel far abroad in order to adopt. In many cases, they go all the way to China or Ethiopia.

Gosnell's victims, and the millions of other lives lost to abortion are, by no means, unwanted.

The case of Dr. Gosnell is gruesome. The place that he ran was a gruesome factory and disturbing, but only because it strips away the clinical nature of most abortions.

His carelessness exposed what the fetus actually was--a human that he cruelly murdered. And yet the press will ignore, will remain silent on what is happening in this very important trial in Philadelphia. We ignore the tiniest human life at great peril because, as Gosnell demonstrates, flippancy for life creeps from the infant to the adult. We must protect all life, no matter how small or at what stage.

And so I commend Congressman Smith and my other colleagues who have come to speak today about this important policy issue. It's about people, it's about children, it's about women.


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