The issue of abortion is a contentious one and virtually everyone who has come across the issue, even at a base level, has an opinion. Regardless of whether you are a strong pro-choicer or an avid pro-lifer, Republican or Democrat, the recent case of Dr. Gosnell out of Philadelphia should astound, frustrate, and shock you. For many, however, the mention of Dr. Gosnell may not achieve an emotional relevance at all. Rather, it will leave many asking ” Doctor who?”

Dr. Kermit Gosnell ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia that has been likened to a shop of horrors rather than a place for medical treatment. Women allege that Dr. Gosnell would perform induced abortions, often late in pregnancy, and deliver babies that he would then end the lives of. Women were not treated with respect or dignity, but as if they were animals. He has been accused of using improper medical techniques in both the abortion and the subsequent aftercare, if there even was any administered. Past patients suffered infertility issues, infections, and some even died from the lack of care that they received. Currently, the 72 year old doctor is being charged with murder of a woman and attempted murder, both serious charges that carry with them the extreme weight of the law.

Women, both black and white, were treated by Dr. Gosnell at his Philadelphia abortion office. They were not, however, met with the same approach. Past patients alleged that black women were ushered into a dark and dingy room where respect was at a premium. White women, in contrast, were said to be taken into an office that was substantially better, though not great. When abortions were performed, it was alleged that many of the children were born alive, moving their arms and reaching out for comfort. It was then that the Doctor and staff would heinously break necks, twist limbs, and cut spines in order to end the life of the little being.

What is appalling about this case, aside from the graphic nature, is that there has been such a lack of coverage. Both Republican leaning news outlets and those that may have a liberal agenda have both failed the American public in covering this issue. At its basis, yes, this case is about abortion and when it is right or morally wrong to end the life of a fetus, or baby, through medical means. But, at the heart, this case is about racism, the treatment of the poor, and the loss of empowerment of hundreds of women who want to Dr. Gosnell to end their pregnancy.

Cases involving abortion, or the topic itself, are definitely a moral one but the media need not assess their own position in covering the topic. It is as if there is a perpetual agenda at both Republican and Liberal news outlets that there can be no coverage on abortion without taking a side. Wrong. To not cover a case as major and vital, as well as gruesome, such as this trial is disturbing in that it highlights the weaknesses of a media that may not know how to cover without bias. Liberal outlets fear that they may be weakening their argument with a sick and twisted abortion doctor while Republican stations fear the mention of the Gosnell’s African-American ethnicity may backfire and make them appear racist rather than pro-life. The result has been a virtually silent media who choose cases like Jody Arias, the media-buzzing defendant of the week, rather than this heinous man. The case against Dr. Gosnell, then, is equally about abortion and murder, as it is about the failure once again of a well-entrenched, agenda-driven media. All who are not covering, for whatever reason, should truly be ashamed.

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