(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)
Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Steve Scalise (R-La.), and 70 other House members sent three separate letters to ABC, NBC and CBS news executives asking them to end their media blackout of the Kermit Gosnell trial, and to start covering "high-profile abortion controversies" that are of interest to the public.
Blackburn told The Christian Post on Friday that she has yet to hear from ABC or NBC, both of which haven't covered the Gosnell trial at all. But she did receive a phone call from the president of CBS, who noted their coverage in January 2011 of the grand jury's report that was mentioned on the evening news and their national morning program. He also said their local affiliate in Philadelphia, Pa., broke the story in 2010, but admitted to not covering the six-week trial for their national evening news program.
In the letter to network news executives Ben Sherwood, David Rhodes and Patricia Fili-Krushel, Blackburn said she and other House members are asking the executives for "clarification as to their choices to not cover the Gosnell trial."
"What we're left to believe is that they haven't covered the trial because it's about poor women in minority neighborhoods," Blackburn said. "Or is it because they ideologically and politically are trying to cover up abortion cases, even in the Gosnell 'House of Horrors' murder trial?"
Blackburn told CP that in the last three years, 15 states have launched investigations into abortion providers and clinics, including Planned Parenthood clinics.
She also cited recent comments made by Dayle Steinberg, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, who admitted at the recent PPSP gala to knowing about the unsafe and unsanitary conditions at Gosnell's abortion clinic, in which women contracted STDs, but said she didn't report him to the Department of Health.
Blackburn also mentioned the temporary closing of the Delaware Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in which five women were rushed to a nearby hospital for care following their abortions. "Two pro-choice nurses quit their jobs at Planned Parenthood, and called it a 'meat-market style assembly line' abortion clinic. …Then you've got the Baltimore Sun reporting the closure of three abortion clinics, one of which a patient lost her life. And the Richmond newspaper in Virginia has written about 80 violations in abortion clinics in that state," she pointed out.
In January, Blackburn introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 61), a bill that, if passed, would stop the HHS from giving taxpayers' dollars to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers under Title X funding. President Obama spoke against this legislation during his Friday morning speech at the Planned Parenthood convention in Washington, D.C.
Gosnell, 72, could receive the death penalty if the jury finds him guilty of murder charges. He faces four counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing babies who were born alive; and one count of third-degree murder for the death of Karnamaya Monger, a 41-year-old refugee who died in 2009 from a Demerol overdose administered to her at the Women's Medical Society abortion clinic that he owned and operated for 40 years in West Philadelphia.
Judge Jeffrey Minehart dropped three of the first-degree murder charges against Gosnell on Tuesday after defense attorney Jack McMahon argued that the medical examiner wasn't able to prove that the babies had been born alive, due to their bodies' condition after having been frozen inside freezers at Gosnell's clinic.
District Attorney R. Seth Williams laid out the case against Gosnell, his wife, Pearl, and eight employees in a grand jury report, which reveals that Gosnell profited $10,000 to $15,000 a day at his late-term abortion clinic – not including the $200,000 he made from writing 2,300 illegal prescriptions for OxyContin and other addictive drugs.