Sunday 21 December 2014

When it comes to uncomfortable truth, today's liberals look away

Published 04/04/2014 | 02:30

Film furore: The poster for Phelin McAleer's proposed film about Kermit Gosnell
Film furore: The poster for Phelin McAleer's proposed film about Kermit Gosnell

Of all the hot-button issues, none is as divisive as abortion. Forget the rights or wrongs of gay marriage, forget the ifs or buts of climate change, forget even the rather more amorphous – from an Irish context – arguments about the death penalty.

No, if there is one issue that is guaranteed to have friends fall out and enemies hate each with even greater passion, this is the one. Because people on both sides absolutely refuse to compromise. And with that refusal to compromise comes an equally self-defeating refusal to accept that the other side may have some valid points.

In the public arena, the presumption is that people of good conscience can disagree with each other and Queensbury rules are respected – keep it above the belt, no personalised attacks and slurs are allowed.

When it comes to abortion, however, those rules are replaced by something more akin to Mixed Martial Arts or the UFC.

So it should come as no surprise that in an area such as this, which brings out the worst in people even as they claim to be doing good, censorship is commonplace.

That reached truly farcical levels in Ireland a few years ago when pages of English newspapers that carried ads for abortion providers were routinely ripped out, or the whole paper was impounded.

But that kind of insanity isn't the sole preserve of fanatical pro-lifers, there is plenty of suppression on the pro-choice side as well.

The latest, and most extreme, example of intolerant liberalism comes with the story of Irish film-maker Phelim McAleer, who has been forced to withdraw from the movie fundraising site, Kickstarter, when they tried to censor calls for funding for his latest project.

McAleer, who has previously courted controversy and barbecued sacred cows with films such as Mine Your Own Business and FrackNation, has been described in the past as a sort of right-wing Michael Moore, and his films pull no punches.

His latest project, however, was nearly killed before it was born – which is more than can be said of its subject, the serial killing abortion 'doctor' Kermit Gosnell, who had no problem killing breathing babies.

Gosnell's name should be written in blood in everyone's brain, but he remains largely unknown in his native America and on this side of the pond. Because Gosnell was no ordinary abortion provider, he was the Harold Shipman of abortion providers.

By the time he faced trial for multiple murders in 2011, a Grand Jury had accused him of killing hundreds, if not thousands, of viable children.

The shocked mayor of the city, at the time, Michael Nutter, admitted that: "We've had a monster living in our midst", while ABC's Terry Moran, who was one of the few to cover the murder trial, said: "Kermit Gosnell may be the most successful serial killer in the history of the world."

As McAleer points out: "There have been four movies about Ted Bundy, five about the Zodiac Killer, three about John Wayne Gacy..." and yet Kickstarter accused McAleer of "breaching its community standards," and demanded the filmmaker amend the subject matter to make it less offensive.

Those same community standards are fine with movie projects that include rape and murder and, yes, serial killers and that is how it should be – no topic, absolutely none at all, can ever be considered unsuitable for movie treatment. Except Gosnell, apparently.

So why the silence about the doctor and these attempts to stymie the movie?

Well, if a white doctor had routinely gone into a poor black neighbourhood and killed, not aborted, living, breathing babies, he would go down in history as a racist maniac who waged a genocidal war on minorities.

But Gosnell is black and his defence team tried to use the race card during his trial, likening it to "a lynching of a black man".

This was no lynching, but a liberal media and its supporters were prepared to look the other way when faced with an obvious case of mass murder, simply because it involved a black doctor, an ethnic minority patient list and the toxic topic of abortion itself. Some questions, it would appear, are better left unasked – all in the name of the Greater Good, you understand. And we all know how where that attitude brings us...

When it comes to this black and white issue, I am proudly, if uncharacteristically, beige. Ultimately, I know enough to know that despite any personal misgivings I might have, I don't have the right to tell any woman, or anybody else, what they can do with their bodies.

Like many people, any time I begin to feel sympathy for the pro-life argument, I'm invariably confronted by the sight of some man who feels qualified to smugly inform a woman what decisions she may make about her own reproductive health.

In a sense of basic humanity, the sight of some pious, jumped-up little choir boy lecturing a woman in distress should make us all queasy and uncomfortable.

But that shouldn't preclude us from feeling queasy and uncomfortable about the shameful silence from the pro-choice side on this case; a pro-choice side who would prefer to let the deaths of hundreds of minority babies go unpunished and unremarked upon rather than confront an atrocity being carried out in the name of their cause.

McAleer has already seen the attack dogs of the liberal let loose to do their worst, with repeated claims that he is nothing but a sinister right-wing shill who is in the pay of even more sinister, secret right-wing groups.

But if that was the case, would he have had to go to Kickstarter for funding? That hardly sounds like the work of a vast right-wing conspiracy, does it?

McAleer withdrew from Kickstarter on Wednesday and the ensuing controversy should guarantee the $2m they need to make Gosnell: America's Biggest Serial Killer.

But no thanks to the liberal establishment.

On May 13, last year, the jury convicted Gosnell of three counts of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, and many lesser counts.

Prosecutors waived the death penalty and the Philadelphia DA's office agreed to two life sentences without the possibility of parole for not appealing.

Irish Independent

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