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Topics: Cultural Engagement, Current Events

‘Good’ Served Two Ways

June 25, 2013

by Jeremy Dys

934643_10151445271733953_515398238_nWriting in the USA Today one day after notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of 4 counts of murder and over 200 violations of Pennsylvania’s abortion laws, Amanda Marcotte argues that the way to prevent more Gosnell-like situations is to have fewer regulations of the abortion industry.  She argues that when the pro-life community argues for more – to use her words, “unnecessary regulations” – it is actually driving women to predatory creeps like Gosnell who give no meaning to back alley abortions and keep severed baby parts as his trophies.

Instead, she says, “if we want to prevent future Gosnells, the solution is simple: Support good abortion providers.”  That begs the obvious question: is there such a thing as a “good abortion provider”?

Marcotte makes at least two major logical blunders in her argument.  First, in a clearly partisan jab, Marcotte alleges that “anti-choicers” have made Gosnell possible by demanding that lawmakers pass, “unnecessary regulations.” That’s wrong by at least two accounts.  For one thing, the pro-life community is arguing for necessary regulations, not ones she unilaterally deems unnecessary. But going beyond that, she concedes that some regulations are necessary, “in the same way that all other medical practice is regulated,” she admits.

False Advertising

Well, here’s the thing: that is not what is happening.

For instance, where I live in West Virginia’s, in our state’s largest abortion clinic, once the abortionist takes a woman’s money and then kills her baby, he never sees her again.  Not ever. There is no post-op follow up, no “see me in three days,” not even a, “take two tablets and see me in the morning.” If something were to go wrong during the abortion, the secretary drives these women around the corner to the state-funded emergency room of a hospital in which the abortionist does not even have privileges to practice.

The abortion industry, at least in West Virginia, is hardly regulated like any other medical practice.  Far from it.

Marcotte’s other logical blunder is assuming that there are, “good abortion providers.” Evidently, her definition of a “good abortion provider” is one in which a woman can access immediately and be paid for by taxpayer dollars.

Now, that’s just silly. One would expect Marcotte to mean that a “good abortion provider” is one that has sanitary offices and does not routinely injure women.  But that’s not what she says. The imprimatur for “good,” for Marcotte, is met by immediacy and price, not health and safety.

And, clearly, Marcotte has completely rejected any reference to the metaphysical category of “the good.” Humanely, is it “good” for mother’s to kill their offspring? For human flourishing, is it “good” for us to encourage the destruction of our children? Morally, can we really declare the intentional taking of an innocent human life to be deemed, “good?”

The Heart of Human Dignity

Leaving that category out may be intentional on Marcotte’s part, but it is essential that we do not.  Abortion may be a political hot potato, but it is foremost an essentially moral discussion. Abortion gets to the very heart of human dignity and worth. It is a truth – no, Truth – that the framers of our Declaration of Independence deemed, “self-evident” and essential to our understanding of the Gospel. How better to undermine our value before a Holy God than to get us to believe the lie that we – at any stage of our life – lack dignity or worth in our created humanity? We stand against abortion not for political gain and not only for the significant threats to the health and safety of the women involved.  We stand against abortion – and the proprietors of it – because at its heart it promotes the lie of Genesis 3: “. . . you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Look no further for the “god-complex” than Kermit Gosnell. But, Gosnell is not an outlier of the abortion industry, he is the abortion industry uncovered. Gosnell is the rusty coat hook covered over by the abortion industry’s glittering, pink paint.

Kermit GosnellTo use Marcotte’s undefined analysis, Gosnell was very good. He provided a service to women that no one else would.  He was efficient, minimizing his time with patients and maximizing his profits. He was good at being willing to break the abortion laws of Pennsylvania to give women the very immediate and inexpensive abortion that Marcotte suggests would benefit our country. Women that went to Gosnell were not slowed down by insurance companies or waiting periods. Gosnell was so good at what he did, that, according to Marcotte, his practice actually drove down the overall prices of the supposedly more reputable clinics.

Indeed, under Marcotte’s own standard, Gosnell was not good, he was great because he could be accessed for abortion immediately and at a reasonable price. That leaves me wondering why Marcotte thinks everyone – including her – is thinking, “How can we prevent future tragedies like this?”  Future tragedies?  Why is it a tragedy for Gosnell to provide immediate access to abortion, at any time, for any reason, all on a reduced cash-basis?


Ignoring Marcotte’s argument for the sake of reality, we realize that it is impossible for us to send our sisters and daughters to a “good abortion provider” – whether that provider’s name is Carhart, Gosnell, Karpen, or Smith.

Why? Because there aren’t any good abortion providers.

In Him – and Him alone – is the provision of all that is good.


Jeremy Dys is President and General Counsel of The Family Policy Counsel of West Virginia. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family. He is a lead blogger at and host of Engaging the Issues.

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