Gosnell's killed babies: How does Harris-Perry's Community help them?

If our children belong to the Community, why didn't the Community prevent Gosnell's murder of babies born alive? Photo: Gosnell

LOS ANGELES, April 15, 2013— Melissa Harris-Perry is the host of MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry”, and a professor of political science at Tulane University. The professor has been at the heart of controversy regarding her most recent “Lean Forward” ad in which she instructs the viewer on the concept of “Collective Responsibility”.

For those who, like me, don’t know who Harris-Perry is, most heard about the video from the protests raised by conservatives and the right-leaning media.

Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin made humorous hay out of Ms. Harris-Perry’s postulations that the society needs to “break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families and recognize that children belong to whole communities.”

Others decided to write to Ms. Harris-Perry about her video, and from what she says in her blog post, “Why Caring for Children is not Just a Parent’s Job“, some of these other critics were neither humorous or nice.

Ms. Harris-Perry responded to them thusly: “One thing is for sure: I have no intention of apologizing for saying that our children, all of our children, are part of more than our households, they are part of our communities and deserve to have the care, attention, resources, respect and opportunities of those communities.” [emphases mine]

It seems that Ms. Harris-Perry is not backing down; she says what she means, and means what she says. I give her credit for being consistent, though I find her views highly questionable.

While we are on the subject of community responsibility, I have been combing through the Pennsylvania District’s Grand Jury transcript on the findings from its investigation on Kermit Gosnell, M.D.’s “Women’s Medical Society”, a West Philadelphia abortion clinic.

Kermit Gosnell was indicted in 2011, and is now on trial for eight counts of murder stemming from babies who were born alive then murdered, and a women who died on his table.

To say it is not easy reading is an understatement; at times I have to walk away before becoming violently ill from the atrocities documented, or violently angry that such evil was allowed to flourish for almost 40 years.

The transcript notes the “impressive” name of the clinic, and further states that, “Gosnell seemed impressive as well. A child of the neighborhood, Gosnell spent almost four decades running this clinic, giving back – so it appeared – to the community in which he continued to live and work.” [emphases mine]

So in light of all this talk about community and community responsibility toward our children, I have some questions for Ms. Harris-Perry:

Is this West Philadelphia community where Dr. Kermit Gosnell ran his corrupt business the type of “community” you are speaking about? Where was this “community” during Gosnell’s nearly four-decades of overseeing this clinic from Hell, where babies were being born alive in toilets, having their spinal cords “snipped” to complete their murder?

Where was the “community” when the 17-year old mother mentioned in the transcript had labor induced at 30 weeks in order to bring forth “Baby Boy A” only to have him murdered?

Where was the “community” when that young girl needed counseling, assistance, or a safe haven that would have helped her to make a better decision than the late term abortion of her viable baby?

Where was the “community” when women were infected with venereal diseases from the reuse of unsanitized instruments, had baby body parts left inside their uteruses, and had internal organs ripped and punctured due to Gosnell’s butchery?

Where was the “community” when Nepalese refugee Karnamaya Mongar was given so much Demoral by untrained and unauthorized clinic staff that she stopped breathing, and when timely and critical help might have saved her life, it was not provided due to the fact that the clinic had broken equipment and bolted emergency doors?

Where was the “community” when the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the State oversight agency for such clinics, abruptly decided to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. Where was the “community responsibility” in demanding this agency protect women and children from the fraud and abuse at Gosnell’s clinic that had been reported for years?

Finally, Ms. Harris-Perry, where was the “community” of journalists at NBC when it came time to report the Kermit Gosnell trial? NBC/Universal is the parent company of MSNBC, the station where you chose to share your insights about community responsibility.

Where have they been since March 18, when the trial began?  Why did it take them a month of almost blackout, and a public outcry on social media before NBC even bothered to send a reporter into the courtroom to fill the mostly empty media seats?

It is apparent that the community was non-existent when it came to Gosnell’s barbarity. The few atrocities mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg which is graphically illustrated in the 281-page transcript.

So, what makes people like Melissa Harris-Perry think that the “community” will do a better job at protecting and nurturing children who already have parents who want and care for them?

When Melissa Harris-Perry and her ilk include the unborn and those born alive on the abortion table under their banner of “care, attention, resources,” and “respect”, and stop selectively cherry-picking the children they want, then maybe they can lecture others about community responsibility.

The Gosnell trial shines a glaring spotlight on the failure of the community, and a failure of the State to not only protect children, but the women who were horrifically exploited.


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Jennifer Oliver O'Connell

Jennifer Oliver O’Connell is the "In My Orbit" columnist for Washington Times Communities, writes on Los Angeles Faith and Community for Examiner.com, teaches Yoga, and coaches on careers and reinvention.

You can keep up with what's in Jennifer's orbit through her As the Girl Turns website: (http://asthegirlturns.com).

Contact Jennifer Oliver O'Connell

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