Someone wants to make a movie about Kermit Gosnell and has turned to crowd-funding to finance the film. You can read the fund-raising pitch here; the campaign closes on May 12, 2014. You can read some of the backstory on the movie and see a couple of PSAs supporting it at HotAir.
I don’t know anything about the people making the movie; I don’t know anything about the movie itself; I know it will be very easy to make a very bad movie about Gosnell and his crimes. Nonetheless I have contributed to the fund-raising campaign for this movie at Indiegogo. I would like to see the Gosnell story told to a wider audience and perhaps this movie will accomplish that.
However, the aspects that will apparently be the focus of the movie - Gosnell as serial killer, the "media cover-up" - are the least interesting parts of the story. Serial killers are a dime a dozen and concerns about the media coverage are inside baseball. What I would like to understand are the other characters in this story: the women who came for abortions so late in their pregnancies and to such a horrible place; Gosnell's employees who killed alongside him; the colleagues who turned a blind eye to Gosnell's murders; the regulators who failed so miserably. I believe that telling these stories as they should be told will require a book. And, to me, the template for a book about the Gosnell story is The Perfect Storm.
The Perfect Storm is dispassionate but not cold; the facts are carefully researched; the characters are revealed through their own words and actions and by the descriptions of people around them; the communities - beliefs, norms, possibilities, limitations, culture - that shaped the characters’ decisions and actions are shown straightforwardly, without romanticizing or condescending; the technical information necessary to understand what happened is presented clearly and in sufficient detail; when the author must speculate on actions and outcomes, he makes it clear he is doing so; the author does not have a discernible ax to grind; and the book is a can’t-put-it-down read. I hope that somewhere out there is an author or journalist, perhaps one whose interest will be caught by the Gosnell movie, who can do for the rest of the Gosnell story what Sebastian Junger did for the Andrea Gail, the men who died on her, and the others whose lives were battered by the 1991 storm.
A Really Long Post About Abortion and Reasoning By Historical Analogy That is Going to Make Virtually All of My Readers Very Angry At Me - Megan McArdle on, largely, the personhood argument.
Protect and Defend by Richard North Patterson - A novel about a late-term abortion.
Abortion refusal death - This gives a brief description of the death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant Indian woman who died in Ireland from an infection due to an incomplete miscarriage that should have resulted in an abortion to save her life. Just as I believe legalized abortion supporters must confront Gosnell, I also believe those who would legally restrict abortion must confront Mrs. Halappanavar. (There is an interesting discussion about Mrs. Halappanavar’s death in the comments to a post at Grim’s Hall.)
Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story and 14 Theories for Why Kermit Gosnell’s Case Didn’t Get More Media Attention - Both by Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic. I was unaware of either of these until I did some poking around to write this blog post. The first is a good summary of the case; the second is an interesting survey of possible explanations for the media’s disinterest. I did a Bing search for:
friedersdorf gosnell site:http://www.theatlantic.com
and he seems to have written a great deal on the topic. I have not read everything the search returned but what I have read is well worth the time and effort.