A Catholic acquaintance of mine mentioned on Facebook how none of the mainstream media were covering the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. At first, I thought it was just another doctor on trial for abortion. Then I found the Grand Jury report. (Apparently, a lot of people are trying to access the PDF document, now. Fortunately, I got a copy of the report before the server crashed: Copy of Grand Jury Report on Kermit Gosnell Case.) About an hour before I started writing this post, The Atlantic was the first mainstream outlet to write an article. It’s tagline? “The dead babies. The exploited women. The racism. The numerous governmental failures. It just is insanely newsworthy.”
I’ve been thinking about it all afternoon, and like The Atlantic author, Conor Friedersdorf, I felt nauseated. Yet, I felt compelled to continue reading the 281-page report. It was written like a horror story, except it was non-fiction. I kept asking God, “Why did you permit this?” And as I was praying, I started thinking about Christ’s Agony in the Garden. The night before he was crucified, Jesus prayed to God to let the cup of suffering past from his lips. Tradition teaches us that Jesus, at that moment, was taking on the full weight of all of humanity’s sins onto his shoulders. He saw all the atrocities men and women would commit throughout all of time, including the ones by Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Christ was so distressed that he started to sweat blood. The nausea I felt, the injustice, the sheer horror and incredulity that I felt about what Gosnell and his employees did was just a drop in a bucket compared to what Christ saw. In my own small way, I felt united to Christ at that moment.
All afternoon, I couldn’t help but think of the babies in that report as my own children. When I came home from work this evening, I went straight to my children, picked them up and hugged them. I thanked God for them. I thanked God on behalf of my children, that they were born to Anne Marie and I instead of to parents who have been brainwashed by society to view children as a burden.
As I rocked my baby to sleep this evening, I started to pray the rosary. Being Friday, it was the Sorrowful Mysteries. The first mystery was the Agony in the Garden. My natural reaction to this case is disgust for Gosnell, his employees, and the whole pro-choice movement. Praise Him, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, I ended up praying for the murderers, instead. As I went through my “Hail Marys…” I realized that the women and babies who died are now in a better place, but the souls of these murderers are still up for grabs. The real enemy aren’t the people on trial, or the government officials who turned a blind eye, or people who advocate for abortion rights. The real enemy is Satan. The devil wants the souls of these murderers, the officials, and the people whose passion comes from love. These souls are in greater danger than the victims. So, I prayed for them. I admitted to God that I felt they didn’t deserve it, but I also didn’t want the devil to win.
The evil that took place at the Women’s Medical Society will continue to haunt me, but now I can unite the drop of agony I feel to Christ’s agony when he prayed for all of us.