Steyn reveals what the Kavanaugh fight was really all about, via movie review.
On the day that Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a judge on the highest court in the land, this new film is as appropriate a choice as any for our Saturday movie date: it was America’s abortion absolutism that drove both the fanatical opposition to Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination and the media blackout on the case of Dr Kermit Gosnell, and their opposition to anyone telling his story. Gosnell opens in movie theaters this coming Friday, but a few days ago The Mark Steyn Club Cruise hosted a special screening with filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer as we sailed through the Gulf of St Lawrence. The audience was profoundly moved. One lady, having worked in a very famous West Coast medical facility, said that Dr Kermit Gosnell’s preferred method of “abortion” – live births – was common there too, and that we were all “complicit”. Another viewer focused on his own profession of anesthetist, and teared up as he recalled the untrained fifteen-year-old who functioned as Gosnell’s and used a handmade color-coded chart to remember what to give whom. In fact, unlike the older women with whom she worked, the teenager had at least some semblance of sympathy for the patients, a rare sighting of human feeling in a building from which it had otherwise fled.
In the course of bringing one Philadelphia “doctor” to trial, almost every person in a position of authority in Pennsylvania cautioned that this case “is not about abortion”. And thus the tale as told by the writers and director Nick Searcy: it starts out as a story not about abortion, but about illegal drugs, and a multi-agency federal/state investigation that leads to a particular inner-city clinic. When they enter, they find a garbage-strewn dump where cats wander in and out of operating rooms defecating freely, where “medical waste” is piled up wherever space can be found, and where the kitchen fridge is filled with dozens of jars containing tiny baby feet preserved as if they were pickled eggs. The doctor arrives with food for his pet turtles, who are treated better than any of the women. “This is normal?” asks Detective Stark (Alonzo Rachel). “I dunno,” says his partner (Dean Cain). “I’ve never been in an abortion clinic before.”
Their curiosity is resented by the bigshot feds from the DEA and the FBI, who don’t want abortion getting in the way of their routine drugs bust. Likewise, the Department of Health has sent along a hatchet-faced nurse to ensure that the raid does not in any way impede the “procedures” being performed at the clinic: No one wants this case to be “about” abortion – not the District Attorney, concerned about the politics of being seen to oppose “reproductive rights”; not the Assistant DA’s own obstetrician or the doctor next door, both of whom refuse to testify; and certainly not the lady judge, who’s more concerned about the welfare of Gosnell’s turtles than of his patients.
Wandering genially through the squalor and degradation is the abortionist himself. Earl Billings is the spitting image of Kermit Gosnell and plays him as an affable black man with a beatific smile and a soft-spoken manner that never rises to any epithet stronger than “Oh, my!” It is a remarkable performance of a man of many contradictions, not least in the strange mix of refined esthetic sensibility and total indifference to minimum hygiene standards: in one memorable scene, he plays Chopin on the parlor piano as millions of fleas swarm up the legs of the cops in the basement below.
If Kermit Gosnell isn’t to be considered the living embodiment of evil—evil incarnate, evil made flesh—then the word truly has no meaning at all. And I say that as someone who is NOT blanketly opposed to all abortions always; I still believe that there are circumstances where they are tragically, sadly necessary, the lesser of two evils. In fact, I have a close friend who was forced to resort to it in an extreme circumstance, when he and his wife…well, that’s a topic for another day, maybe.
And it isn’t relevant to this particular case anyway. Gosnell was a warped, inhuman monster operating not a “clinic” but a real, true chamber of horrors straight out of a B-grade horror flick. That the Abortion At All Costs Left has so deftly swept him under the rug to protect their gruesome sacrament blackens their very souls. And there’s even more sick-making, near-incomprehensible horror throughout the rest of Steyn’s post, if you can believe it.