White House Ignores Racial Aspects Detailed by Gosnell Grand Jury, But Weighed in on Past Legal Controversies

April 16, 2013 - 3:00 PM
carney

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – The White House avoided commenting on the murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell – who according to the grand jury, disproportionately harmed low-income minority women – even though President Obama has been quick to comment on other ongoing cases that dealt with race.

“Although President Obama had no trouble commenting on the ongoing Trayvon Martin

case, White House spokesperson Jay Carney said today Obama wouldn’t be commenting on the Kermit Gosnell mass murder case because he ‘cannot take a position on an ongoing trial” or ‘comment further on an ongoing legal proceeding,’” Jill Stanek, the nurse at the center of the Illinois born alive infant protection act debate, wrote on her website.

Stanek became a pro-life activist and frequent critic of Obama for having opposed legislation in the Illinois state legislature to provide medical care to babies born alive after a botched abortion.

The killing of Martin, an unarmed black teenager, raised questions about race, but according to the grand jury report, there were also race-based aspects to the Gosnell case as well.

Dr. Gosnell is on trial for the murder of one woman and seven born babies. His trial began in March and is expected to last at least until the end of April. The grand jury report released in January 2011 cited years of neglect by state and city government agencies that could have stopped Gosnell.

“Bureaucratic inertia is not exactly new,” the grand jury report says. “We understand that. But we think this was something more. We think the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants, without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion.”

The grand jury report detailed the poor treatment of patients, the unsanitary conditions of the clinic and the improper administering of pain relievers.

“The more you paid, the more pain relief you received,” the grand jury report said. “It was all completely illegal, and completely unsafe. Only in one class of cases did Gosnell exercise any real care with these dangerous sedatives. On those rare occasions when the patient was a white woman from the suburbs, Gosnell insisted that he be consulted at every step. When an employee asked him why, he said it was ‘the way of the world.’”

The report later said, “He treated his patients with condescension – slapping them, providing abysmal care, and often refusing even to see or talk to them – unless they were Caucasian, or had money.”

Race has been invoked during the course of the trial. Gosnell is black, but so is the Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who led the prosecution.

Nevertheless, in March, Gosnell’s attorney Jack McMahon told the jury, “This is a targeted, elitist and racist prosecution of a doctor who’s done nothing but give (back) to the poor and the people of West Philadelphia. It’s a prosecutorial lynching of Dr. Kermit Gosnell.”

The grand jury report alleges that hundreds of “live, breathing, squirming babies” were born then killed. If consistent with other assertions in the grand jury report, most of the born babies were presumably of color.

“By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care,” the report said. “But that was not what the Women’s Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn’t call it that. He called it ‘ensuring fetal demise.’ The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that ‘snipping.’”

“Over the years, there were hundreds of ‘snippings,’” the report continued. “Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the ‘snipping’ was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff. But all the employees of the Women’s Medical Society knew. Everyone there acted as if it wasn’t murder at all. Most of these acts cannot be prosecuted, because Gosnell destroyed the files.”

Carney said Monday in response to a question about the Gosnell trial, “The president is aware of this. The president does not and cannot take a position on an ongoing trial.”

However, in March 2012, Obama responded to a question about Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in 2012. Zimmerman told police he believed he was acting in self-defense.

“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin, you know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said. “And you know, I think they (Trayvon Martin’s parents) are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

In a police case that was not a criminal matter, but was a local police matter that sparked a national controversy after Obama weighed in on the matter, the president said the Cambridge, Mass., police “acted stupidly” after a dispute with white police Sgt. Joseph Crowley and black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates outside Gates’ home. This ultimately resulted in the “beer summit” of July 2009.