I feel compelled to point out that this story of pro-life conversion by a reporter in the face of the Gosnell horror is coming to us as anonymous hearsay from someone else. Mullane’s reporting on the trial has been solid – he’s the one who shamed the rest of the media into briefly establishing a presence in the courtroom by posting a picture of the empty press gallery. I’m not questioning his integrity, but as a matter of principle, we must acknowledge anyone can claim he was quietly told something by an anonymous source.
Also, Mullane hasn’t told us exactly what the unnamed “very liberal, very pro-choice” reporter thinks about abortion now. Was he okay with late-term infanticide before, but now finds it a spinal-cord snip too far, while keeping the rest of his pro-abortion credentials in order? Or did he swing all the way to pro-life? In either case, this wondrous conversion would count for a lot more if the reporter in question identified himself and wrote about it.
“You can’t sit in that courtroom and learn about what abortion does to the unborn child and to the woman in many cases… you can’t sit there day after day, and week after week, and listen to that testimony and not be changed, and not have a change of heart, or at least reconsider your position,” Mullane said in that Huckabee interview. I’d sure like to believe that’s broadly true, but I know for a fact it’s not universally true.
Our abortion-extremist President, for example, heard all sorts of testimony about grisly late-term procedures, and remained comfortable with letting born-alive infants die. He doesn’t seem terribly worked up about the Gosnell horror, for that matter – no “if I had a son, he’d look like one of the babies Kermit Gosnell carved up and kept as a trophy” remarks from the Great Moral Colossus Of Our Age. Even as this trial lurched through its grisly final chapters, President Obama was off telling Planned Parenthood that they’re doing God’s work.
As Mullane noted to Huckabee, Governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania doesn’t appear to be having a crisis of conscience over the Gosnell trial, either, and his polices helped keep that house of horrors running for years on end without supervision.
I suspect the most common response you’d get from a “very liberal, very pro-choice” observer who sat through the entire Gosnell trial would be something like, “Yes, this is awful, but it’s an isolated incident. We can fix all this with a few policy adjustments, without damaging the great pro-choice cause.” I’m more interested in seeing how the trial, along with material like Live Action’s undercover videos of late-term abortion inhumanity, plays with average people who consider themselves mildly pro-choice. (Carrying a dead baby in your womb for three days is “like putting meat in a Crock-Pot,” according to celebrated abortionist LeRoy Carhart, caught on tape as he discussed the procedure with a pregnant woman he thought was a prospective patient.)
I think those average people have absolutely no idea what really goes on behind abortion clinic doors, especially in matters like late-term and sex-selection abortions. They think these clinics are responsibly run by serious people who carefully discuss a momentous decision with pregnant women, under the watchful eye of government regulators, in keeping with the old “safe, legal, and rare” standard of abortion. That’s not always the case; based on Live Action’s work, it’s arguably not often the case.
If the Gosnell horror drives this point home – especially with independent voters and moderate Democrats, whose identification as “pro-choice” has been slipping steadily over the past few years – it might be enough to rally popular support behind action to rein in the most ghoulish excesses of the abortion industry.