Now before people start getting into a heated debate over morals and what is right or wrong, I want to say this. This is going to be several posts. Where this movie is concerned, I have been pretty much playing the part of the Devil's Advocate. Yes, this movie is about the most controversial issue in the world in a way. But this is not about whether life begins at conception, or when the heart starts to beat, or when the child is born. This has to do with the fact that this Philadelphia doctor was murdering babies AFTER they were born alive. Whether you believe that an abortion is OK because it's not a baby yet is beside the point. It doesn't matter that the women who went to this doctor were there to have an abortion. What matters is that in many cases, he was breaking the law because the state law dictated that after 24 weeks, a woman cannot have an abortion.
In several cases, the baby was extracted, very much alive and crying. He would then cut the baby's spine. Even the Jewish community, who believe that life does not begin until the shoulders are out of the womb, recognize this as a murder. These babies could have lived had he simply had them taken to a hospital. The most significant part of his trial focused on "Baby Boy A" where a girl working in the clinic saw the baby moving and breathing and saw the doctor cut his spine. She took a picture of this baby. They did not show this picture in the movie but did tell you where you could see it if you could bear to look at it. I've seen the photo (true photo). One woman was also supposedly killed by this doctor.
There is another issue that was address however, and I can't even wrap my head around it. It was the deplorably filthy conditions of this doctor's clinic. He had cats running around loose in there (a medical clinic should have no more than a fish tank in the waiting room). They were pissing, crapping, and I'm betting not fixed and therefore spraying pheromones all over the place. Biohazard bags full of dead babies scattered all over the place. Milk containers and Chinese food boxes in the refrigerator being used to keep baby parts. He had containers where he was saving the feet of the babies. Garbage all over the place. Bugs everwhere. And his home was just has sickening. How can one stand to live like that? I mean, I'm a total slob, but I don't have food laying around spoiling and I can't stand bugs!
When authorities showed up with a warrant, he was more than willing to let them do whatever they needed. He simply sat down at his piano and played his classical music. When they asked to see the basement, he didn't fight it but did say he'd rather they didn't "It's a bit messy." Gee, Gosnell. You don't say.
So as the Devil's Advocate, the point I have been making is that it doesn't matter whether we agree with abortion or not (it's never been a secret how I feel about it). But it IS a medical procedure nonetheless and it needs to be treated as such. But Philadelphia's governor was telling the Health Dept to stay out of there and not inspect. The clinic should have been shut down long before any of this murder trial took place. But the government wants to protect women's rights. OK, but what about their HEALTH? Isn't one of our rights as women to not be put at any more risk than necessary? A abortion clinic needs to be just as clean and sterile as any hospital surgery room! Instruments need to be sterilized before being used on the next patient! So that's what I have to say about the events in this movie.
My aunt and I actually went into Philadelphia a couple weeks ago and we went to the actual building that had been this doctors "clinic." The building has never been sold even though it's been shut down since his arrest. His name is still on a board inside the entrance.