Of all the ways to kill a squirming newborn, a scissors to the back of the neck seems a bit arbitrary. It doesn't even seem like the easiest method of "ensuring fetal demise." Even sharp scissors don't just snip through bone the way they snip through paper.
I don't think Gosnell simply pulled the idea of "snipping" out of thin air. I'm guessing he got it from somewhere. I'm guessing that he got it from a highly reputable source.
I direct your attention, gentle reader, to Martin Haskell's D&X presentation paper to the National Abortion Federation, in which Haskell (pictured, right) teaches this prestigious group of highly reputable providers how to use his new and improved abortion method. This method, like Gosnell's preferred method, involved getting the fetus out entirely in one piece. You might have heard this procedure referred to as "partial birth abortion."
I'll let Haskell explain the method himself:
"...the surgeon takes a pair of blunt curved Metzenbaum scissors (pictured -- ed.) in the right hand. He carefully advances the tip, curved down, along the spine... until he feels it contact the base of the skull.... the surgeon then forces the scissors into the base of the skull.... Having safely entered the skull, he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening."
That the baby starts out alive, and that the goal of using the blunt, curved Metzenbaum scissors is to to "ensure fetal demise" is pretty clear when one listens to Haskell's presentation and the discussion afterward. He chuckled that the baby sometimes "helps" -- his word -- by wrapping its little arms and legs around the "surgeon's" hand while the scissors are being positioned.
No, the idea of jamming scissors into the back of a living, wriggling baby's neck is not one that is original to the illustrious Dr. Kermit Gosnell. He clearly sat at the feet of the master when he learned how to make sure that the abortion patient doesn't go home with a live baby.
I don't even think that Gosnell came up with the term "ensure fetal demise" on his own. Haskell made reference to two different methods used in late second-trimester abortions to ensure "fetal demise."
I would also love to know if Gosnell attended this particular gathering of reputable abortion providers. It was held in September of 1992 in Dallas. A peek into this -- and into entire extent of the National Abortion Federation's role in the Gosnell debacle -- would certainly be a more productive use of Congressional time than taking turns carping about whether or not journalists (who should, after all, be outside Congressional influence) are giving the Gosnell story enough coverage.
PS: Please feel free to use these images which sum up the whole matter:
Now get tweeting!