Kirsten Powers and the Still Small Voices

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11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Kings 19: 11-13

One of the ironies of the Gosnell case is that a liberal Democrat, Kirsten Powers, is largely responsible for shaming the Mainstream Media into covering the Gosnell case.  A supporter of abortion, who now believes that life begins at conception, she wrote a fiery series of columns in which she called out the media for their obvious bias in refusing to cover the Gosnell murder trial for fear of jeopardizing the right to abortion.  Yesterday she called for banning late term abortions:



But Gosnell’s clinic was not illegal. It was a licensed medical facility. The state of his clinic was well known: there were repeated complaints to government officials and even the local Planned Parenthood. He wasn’t operating under the radar but in plain sight, and he received referrals from abortion clinics up and down the East Coast. Gosnell performed plenty of abortions within the 24-week limit in Pennsylvania and worked part time for a National Abortion Federation–accredited clinic in Delaware.


The woman Gosnell is on trial for allegedly killing, Karnamaya Mongar, perished during a legal abortion while she was 19 weeks pregnant. Gosnell was not forced to operate in the dark because of anti–abortion rights regulations. It’s the opposite: he was able to flourish—pulling in $1.8 million a year—because multiple abortion rights administrations decided that to inspect his clinic might mean limiting access to abortion. It’s all in the grand jury report, if you don’t believe me.


One of the bodies discovered in the raid of the clinic was of a 22-week-old baby with a surgical incision on the back of her neck, which penetrated the first and second vertebrae. The only thing that would make her death illegal would be if Gosnell failed to finish her off in her mother’s womb.


Does that statement make you uncomfortable? Good.


What we need to learn from the Gosnell case is that late-term abortion is infanticide. Legal infanticide. That so many people in the media seem untroubled by the idea that 12 inches in one direction is a “private medical decision” and 12 inches in the other direction causes people to react in horror, should be troubling. Indeed, Gosnell’s defense attorney Jack J. McMahon has relied on the argument that Gosnell killed the babies prior to delivering them, therefore he is not guilty of murder. His exact words were: “Every one of those babies died in utero.”


Gosnell is accused of aborting infants past the 24-week limit in Pennsylvania. But those same deaths – if done in utero – would have been perfectly legal in many states with sometimes abused health exceptions, which can include the elastic category of “mental distress.”

Go here to The Daily Beast to read the rest.  She is a woman clearly in transition from her ardently pro-abort prior stance.  She still wishes abortion to be legal in the first 12 weeks, but I have noticed that once someone calls for late term abortions to be illegal they usually, sooner or later, come to the position that all abortion is the killing of the most innocent among us and must be stopped.

Why is she doing this?  Still small voices I think.  Raised an Episcopalian, she was an atheist for most of her adult life.  Now she calls herself an orthodox Christian, by which I think she means the Mere Christianity of CS Lewis.  She has hearkened to the still small voice of God that is within all of us, no matter how fiercely some of us pretend not to heed it.  The second still small voice is that of the victims of Gosnell.  Most of her life Powers has been turning her head, pretending that the victims of abortion somehow do not count.  Clearly, the Gosnell case has caused her to hear the stilled small voices of the murdered children.

In this vale of tears two of the great gifts given us by God is compassion and repentance.  I think Kirsten Powers is in the early stages of the exploration of those two divine gifts in regard to abortion, and she needs our prayers.

More to explorer

Thought For the Day


I am truly surprised by this:   The Arizona Democratic Party is planning to hold a vote this week to determine whether

Saint of the Day Quote: Saint Joseph of Cupertino

  I like not scruples nor melancholy: let your intention be right and fear not. Saint Joseph of Cupertino     There


  1. The distinction is not new. In 1797, David Hume (a nephew of the philosopher and the leading authority on the criminal law) says this: “A child, though it has become quick is regarded as pars viscerum matris and not a separate being and it cannot with any certainty be said whether it would have been born alive or not. The destruction of an unborn infant therefore, though an atrocious crime and severely punishable under a different denomination is not murder. But if breathing once has begun, it is immaterial how frail may be the tenure by which life is held … A child which is only a minute old, or an old man on the brink of the grave are equally entitled to have their lives protected by the pains of murder; for it belongs to the Supreme Disposer of events, not any human hand to determine the duration of life. (Commentaries on the Law of Scotland Respecting Crimes 1:186)

    I believe the law of England was to the same effect.

  2. Yep, a distinction based on bad science, as this Report of the American Medical Association in 1859 on abortion stressed:

    “AMA Report on Criminal Abortion, 1859

    Although no draft of the Report on Criminal Abortion has been located, the unanimous approval of Horatio’s March effort probably indicates slight changes at most from the following final version read at the convention in Louisville in May, 1859 and published later that year in the Transactions of the American Medical Association.

    The committee appointed in May, 1857, to investigate the subject of Criminal Abortion, with a view to its general suppression, have attended to the duty assigned them, and would present the following report:

    The heinous guilt of criminal abortion, however viewed by the community, is everywhere acknowledged by medical men.

    Its frequency – among all classes of society, rich and poor, single and married – most physicians have been led to suspect; very many, from their own experience of its deplorable results, have known. Were any doubt, however, entertained upon this point, it is at once removed by comparisons of the present with our past rates of increase in population, the size of our families, the statistics of our foetal deaths, by themselves considered, and relatively to the births and to the general mortality. The evidence from these sources is too constant and too overwhelming to be explained on the ground that pregnancies are merely prevented; or on any other supposition than that of fearfully extended crime.

    The causes of this general demoralization are manifold. There are three of them, however, and they are the most important, with which the medical profession have especially to do.

    The first of these causes is a wide-spread popular ignorance of the true character of the crime–a belief, even among mothers themselves, that the foetus is not alive till after the period of quickening.

    The second of the agents alluded to is the fact that the profession themselves are frequently supposed careless of foetal life; not that its respectable members are ever knowingly and intentionally accessory to the unjustifiable commission of abortion, but that they are thought at times to omit precautions or measures that might prevent the occurrence of so unfortunate an event.

    The third reason of the frightful extent of this crime is found in the grave defects of our laws, both common and statute, as regards the independent and actual existence of the child before birth, as a living being. These errors, which are sufficient in most instances to prevent conviction, are based, and only based, upon mistaken and exploded medical dogmas. With strange inconsistency, the law fully acknowledges the foetus in utero and its inherent rights, for civil purposes; while personally and as criminally affected, it fails to recognize it, and to its life as yet denies all protection.

    Abundant proof upon each of these points has been prepared by the Committee, and is elsewhere* [Report Footnote: *North American Medico-Chirurgical Review, Jan. 1859, et seq.] being published to the profession; but as the statements now made are almost axiomatic, recapitulation would be here wearisome and is unnecessary.

    Our duty is plain. If, by any act, we can effect aught towards the suppression of this crime, it must be done. In questions of abstract right, the medical profession do not acknowledge such words as expediency, time service, cowardice. We are the physical guardians of women; we, alone, thus far, of their offspring in utero. The case is here of life or death–the life or death of thousands–and it depends, almost wholly, upon ourselves.

    As a profession we are unanimous in our condemnation of the crime. Mere resolutions to this effect, and nothing more, are therefore useless, evasive, and cruel.

    If to want of knowledge on a medical point, the slaughter of countless children now steadily perpetrated in our midst, is to be attributed, it is our duty, as physicians, and as good and true men, both publicly and privately, and by every means in our power, to enlighten this ignorance.

    If we have ever been thought negligent of the sanctity of foetal life, the means of correcting the error are before us. If we have ever been so in deed, there are materials, and there is good occasion for the establishment of an obstetric code; which, rigorously kept to the standard of our attainments in knowledge, and generally accepted by the profession, would tend to prevent such unnecessary and unjustifiable destruction of human life.

    If the tenets of the law, here unscientific, unjust, inhuman, can be bettered–as citizens, and to the best of our ability we should seek this end. If the evidence upon this point is especially of a medical character, it is our duty to proffer our aid, and in so important a matter to urge it. But if, as is also true, these great fundamental, and fatal faults of the law are owing to doctrinal errors of the profession in a former age, it devolves upon us, by every bond we hold sacred, by our reverence for the fathers in medicine, by our love for our race, and by our responsibility as accountable beings, to see these errors removed and their grievous results abated.

    In accordance, therefore, with the facts in the case, the Committee would advise that this body, representing, as it does, the physicians of the land, publicly express its abhorrence of the unnatural and now rapidly increasing crime of abortion; that it avow its true nature, as no simple offence against public morality and decency, no mere misdemeanor, no attempt upon the life of the mother, but the wanton and murderous destruction of her child; and that while it would in no wise transcend its legitimate province or invade the precincts of the law, the Association recommend, by memorial, to the governors and legislatures of the several States, and, as representing the federal district, to the President and Congress, a careful examination and revision of the statutory and of so much of the common law, as relates to this crime. For we hold it to be a thing deserving all hate and detestation, that a man in his very originall, whiles he is framed, whiles he is enlived, should be put to death under the very hands, and in the shop, of Nature.

    In the belief that we have expressed the unanimous opinion of the Association, our report is respectfully submitted.

    Horatio R. Storer, of Massachusetts.
    Thomas W. Blatchford, of New York.
    Hugh L. Hodge, of Pennsylvania.
    Charles A. Pope, of Missouri.
    Edward H. Barton, of South Carolina.
    A. Lopez, of Alabama.
    Wm. Henry Brisbane, of Wisconsin.
    A. J. Semmes, of District of Columbia.

    If the recommendation of the report are adopted, the Committee would offer the following resolutions:

    Resolved, That while physicians have long been united in condemning the act of producing abortion, at every period of gestation, except as necessary for preserving the life of either mother or child, it has become the duty of this Association, in view of the prevalence and increasing frequency of the crime, publicly to enter an earnest and solemn protest against such unwarrantable destruction of human life.

    Resolved, That in pursuance of the grand and noble calling we profess, the saving of human lives, and of the sacred responsibilities thereby devolving upon us, the Association present this subject to the attention of the several legislative assemblies of the Union, with the prayer that the laws by which the crime of procuring abortion is attempted to be controlled may be revised, and that such other action may be taken in the premises as they in their wisdom may deem necessary.

    Resolved, That the Association request the zealous co-operation of the various State Medical Societies in pressing this subject upon the legislatures of either respective States, and that the President and Secretaries of the Association are hereby authorized to carry out, by memorial, these resolutions. “

  3. Horatio Storer is probably one of the greatest American pro-life heroes that no one has ever heard of. Notice also that the AMA committee represents both Northern and Southern states, at a time when they were on the verge of war; perhaps they themselves or their own family members fought one another on the battlefield just a few years later. Yet they all agreed on the need to halt the “wanton and murderous destruction” of unborn children. It would be interesting to know whether any of the Confederate states, in the period between their secession and readmission to the Union, attempted to carry out the AMA’s recommendation for tougher abortion laws.

  4. Alison, a student of Hume’s, writing in 1832, certainly recognized the humanity of the child, for he says, “the life of one human being is by such practices seriously endangered, and an incipient existence stifled in another.” Note that he says “incipient” and not “potential.”

    Hume’s reason is that “it cannot with any certainty be said whether it would have been born alive or not.” and Alison stresses that “Administering drugs to procure abortion is an Offence at common law punishable with an arbitrary pain and that equally whether the desired effects be produced or not,” which obviates difficulties of proof, especially in a system that requires proof beyond reasonable doubt and on corroborated evidence. I once checked the indictments for abortion in the Books of Adjournal for the period 1900-1967. I looked at about 40 of them and all were for administering drugs or using an instrument with intent. In only two was it averred that the pannel actually “caused or procured [the woman] to abort, or part in an untimely manner with the foetus or child in her womb;” In both, the actual delivery was averred to have taken place in the Casualty Ward of a hospital, and one was coupled with a charge of murdering the mother. Clearly all these charges were based on what the prosecutor could prove.

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