The stories coming out of the trial of abortion provider Kermit Gosnell are beyond simple characterization. For the first time, even those in favor of abortion are shocked. Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of three infants born alive at his medical clinic. He was also pronounced guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old refugee from Bhutan who died after having an abortion at his clinic.
Gosnell was also pronounced guilty of 16 counts of violating the state’s informed consent requirements, and guilty of 21 counts of performing abortions after 24 weeks of gestation, the legal limit in Pennsylvania. If this isn’t awful enough, the methods he used for murder are so brutal that he must, in all objectivity, be placed along side some of the worst serial killers in history.
The response of the life-affirming community has been one of anguish and hurt for the victims, a plea for justice on behalf of those victims, shock at the Pennsylvania Department of Health that overlooked Gosnell’s blatant violations for 17 years, and collective frustration at a mainstream media that ignored this story for too long, then buried it as much as possible.
Kermit Gosnell will not be allowed to continue his atrocities; we know that. But what about others? Recently a Planned Parenthood in Delaware was shut down by authorities because of horrendously unsanitary conditions. New stories are coming out from employees from a Houston doctor that has been accused of using the same procedures as Gosnell. The state of Texas has started an investigation. Hardly a week goes by without another story of an abortion center facing allegations of one sort or another. It’s the nature of the business.
At Raffa Clinic, as we followed the Gosnell revelations and follow related stories, all of us have gone through a variety of emotions; from mourning, to anger, to, at some points, despair. How could this happen? What can we do?
And yet, in the midst of all of this we are reminded: God placed Raffa Clinic here to be a light of hope so that every young person in our community will be empowered to choose life.
You see, no one goes to an abortion center because they see it as a great idea. Instead, they see abortion as the only way out of a terrible situation. We are here to show those who are unsure, uncertain, fearful… that though the situation they find themselves in appears hopeless, there is hope.
We are here to listen, and we are here to say with all of the love we have, “You don’t have to go there; we are here to walk with you through this time. And as we walk hand-in-hand, we will not let go.”
I’m telling you with all that is in me, this is the answer; this ministry and others like ours who are offering true hope to those who are hurting, to those who believe abortion is their only option. I believe this: If we become the first choice for those facing unplanned pregnancies, fewer and fewer will consider going to abortion centers like Kermit Gosnell’s; or like the Planned Parenthood in Delaware that was forced to close its doors.
And those abortion centers that do remain open? Without customers wanting abortions, they will close.
Our mission then, is to continually build Raffa Clinic so that we will be the first choice. And when the scared and confused come in our door, we must serve them with excellence, with hope and with love.
To fulfill this mission, we look forward to increasing our advertising in Hunt County so that more women will know about Raffa and choose to come to us first. We look forward to training more volunteer nurses to perform ultrasounds and expanding our hours in Commerce to meet the need of the students at Texas A&M-Commerce and the surrounding community. We look forward to being a strong presence in the schools with our message of abstinence. We look forward to mentoring more women and families and connecting them to the church community.
Honestly, we can’t do this alone. We need you. If you have yet to step forward in support of Raffa Clinic, this is the time. We need your involvement.
Yes, this means financial support. We can’t reach those we must unless we have the funding to use all forms of media. We can’t serve them without the best in equipment, staffing and facilities. That’s a given. You can support us online at www.friendsofraffa.org, you can write your first check and send it to: PO Box 9325, Greenville, TX 75402. You can pick up the phone and call me at 903.454.9711 if there is an alternative way you would like to give.
And this mission also means that some of you will say, “God has given me a talent I need to put to work.” It may be administrative, it could be in the health fields and it may be in a professional capacity or as a listening ear for our clients.
The Kermit Gosnell story is a reminder that the time to act is now, and for all of us in Hunt County the place to act is here. We’re ready. And we need you.