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Although most media so far are ignoring it, the trial of a Philadelphia abortionist has opened a nasty window into the abortion industry. Dr. Kermit Gosnell is specifically charged with delivering seven late term babies alive and then killing them with scissors. He’s also charged with killing at least one mother.

According to a prosecutor, Gosnell “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord,” which he called “snipping.”

Gosnell ran his abortion mill for over 30 years, so God knows how often he performed this “snipping.” He reputedly destroyed hundreds of unborn babies by cutting their spinal cords, but the records are incomplete. Current Pennsylvania law restricts abortion after six months. So the thousands of babies he destroyed under six months were perfectly legal. His so called clinic, which targeted minority women, made up to $15,000 daily, and he was renowned for offering late term abortions.

There’s widespread silence because it is hard to disapprove killing a six month unborn baby while defending killing a five month unborn baby. It’s even harder being disgusted by scissoring a baby outside the womb while defending the dismembering of the same baby inside the womb.

As details emerge, despite media indifference, what will churches say, especially if officially pro choice, like United Methodism, which first backed abortion rights starting in 1970? Early this year, officials from the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society and Women’s Division publicly celebrated the 40th anniversary of court decreed abortion rights without acknowledging any tragic aspect to 50 million destroyed unborn.

After the Board of Church and Society defended partial birth abortion in the 1990s, the 2000 General Conference specifically condemned it. The Board at least no longer defends it but neither does it espouse the church’s official stance. Subsequent conventions have similarly limited United Methodist support for abortion rights, only to be ignored by the church’s official lobby agency, plus the women’s agency.

Could or will these church agencies condemn Dr. Gosnell’s infanticide by scissors? Likely not. It’s a slippery slope to criticize one form of abortion. It would be terrifying to these agencies if United Methodism actually began to return to what remains the universal Christian consensus that the unborn are created in God’s image. But United Methodists can challenge these agencies about their silence.

Like the rest of the Religious Left, United Methodist agencies want greater regulation over nearly every area of life, excepting any protection for unborn babies. Fortunately, their days of abortion advocacy are numbered. As United Methodism becomes more global, especially African, the church’s General Conference will amend and ultimately overturn archaic and morally vacuous pro abortion stances. Some day, in the not distant future, United Methodism will unequivocally defend all the silent victims of future Dr. Gosnells. May the Holy Spirit hasten that overdue day.