Friday, April 10, 2020

Gosnell: The Untold Story - Chapter Two, Desiree Hawkins

My quarantine reading is the audiobook of Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer, by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. At the bottom of this post are links to commentaries I've written so far.

Desiree's Referral

Desiree Hawkins
I had been hoping to share the video of the interview with Desiree Hawkins, who had been referred to Gosnell by Hagerstown Reproductive. Her abortion was, of course, a nightmare ordeal, but the nightmare wasn't over. Years later she got word that her baby's foot was among those found in jars in Gosnell's clinic.

Desiree had been referred to Gosnell's clinic by Hagerstown Reproductive Health Services, which is a National Abortion Federation member clinic. (Even more damning, Gosnell worked one day a week at a National Abortion Federation member clinic.) Yet the media routinely cast Gosnell as an "outlier" or "rogue." Why would the most reputable abortion facilities in America refer women to an "outlier" or a "rogue"? Why would they hire one?

On a related note, Hagerstown Reproductive Health Services still advertises surgical abortions, but as of 2018 they hadn't been licensed as a surgical abortion provider since 2013

Unfortunately, 3801 Lancaster no longer has the video of the interview with Desiree available. I do recommend watching the entire film. It's a chance to hear directly from the women, the people in the neighborhood, and Joe Slobodzian, one of the few reporters who actually bothered to cover the story the way it should have been covered.

You can choose your preferred online venue on the documentary's web page. You can also read a write-up with more details of Desiree's story.

Further Along Than She Thought
Desiree had been shocked to learn that Gosnell had kept her baby's foot. She was also outraged when she was given access to her medical file and learned that she had not been 19 weeks pregnant, as she had believed. She had been 23 weeks pregnant. Desiree said that if she had known that her pregnancy was that far along, she would have carried to term and made an adoption plan.
If Gosnell's ultrasound had been accurate, Desiree's baby would have had a 10% - 35% chance of survival if delivered alive the day of the abortion. She wouldn't have had to remain pregnant a single additional day and still could have placed a live baby for adoption.
Desiree's experience is hardly unique. Lime 5 had many stories of women who'd been told that they were not as far along in the pregnancy as they actually were. Many of them said that they never would have consented to an abortion at the actual gestational age. I also did a writeup of cases on my old RealChoice page at 0catch, not all of which ever made it into Lime 5.

Prior posts:

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