at last, a reckoning?

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 04, 2006

Christin Gilbert (right, in the photo below) died after a botched abortion with botched after-care in Dr. George Tiller's notorious Wichita clinic (see earlier OTR postings here, here, and here). Earlier this week a judge ordered a grand jury to convene to investigate Tiller for possible violations of Kansas law that include second-degree murder, failure to report abuse, illegal late-term abortion, and mistreatment of a dependent adult. His order was in response to a petition calling for the investigation and bearing 6,186 certified signatures of Kansas citizens.

Gilbert was afflicted with Down Syndrome, and a particularly poignant aspect of her story is seen in the contrast between the innocence of the woman herself and the shamelessly crass self-interest of the "abortion providers" -- whose callousness brought about needless death of her child and whose defensive oafishness contributed to the needless death of Christin herself. I find it hard to rid myself of the picture evoked by the autopsy report, of Christin's corpse lying face-up on the mortuary slab, with empty eye-sockets staring at the ceiling. Her eyes, says the report, were "absent secondary to organ procurement."

NARAL and NOW like to plaster their websites and propaganda with pictures of serious, attractive, well-groomed professional women, the kind of women easy to imagine as responsible, intelligent, and capable of making their own health-care decisions. Hint: don't look for a photo of Christin, or her lost child, to be added to their galleries.

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  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2006 5:45 PM ET USA

    stpetric is both muddled and naive. Muddled, because there is loving DONATION only if the person to whom the organs belong does the donating. Christin surely didn't. 'Donation' is mostly used as a euphemism for third party authorization of expropriation of organs. Naive, because to get at your heart, lungs and liver in a transplantable condition they would first have to kill you. It happens quite frequently, you know, but I trust stpetric doesn't wish to exit in that fashion.

  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2006 4:45 PM ET USA

    I applaud the good intentions of all organ donors. However, let me explain why I will not sign up to be a donor. The medical profession has been severely corrupted. We have had scandals at University medical schools - selling embryos and selling body parts and organs. I don't want to give those people any incentive to declare me "dead" before God is done with me.

  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2006 4:20 PM ET USA

    To allay everyone's concerns: The clear implication of Di's observation is the vulnerable are being viewed as worth more broken up into constituent parts than whole. The Oedipus Rex overture is particularly chilling. I hope the poor girl was at least passed from this earthly hell before they stole her sight.

  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2006 7:07 AM ET USA

    Personal Note on Organ Donation: My wife and two daughters received cornea transplants due to the Christian motives of the next of kin. My mother donated her body, with our permission, to determine whether she died of Parkinson's or Lewy's Bodies. Thank God for those beautiful relatives who restored sight to my wife & daughters. WWJD?

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2006 10:19 PM ET USA

    Since Christin had Down's Syndrome, there must have been a massive failure in her care and supervision to allow the circumstances leading to her pregnancy in the first place. Then, as previously pointed out, there are many other lapses in that care leading up to the abortion. This should be plastered in EVERY diocesan paper, but I'll put good money on it not even receiving a mention on one of the last pages (in small print too!). Keep praying we come to our senses before it's too late.

  • Posted by: stpetric - May. 04, 2006 10:08 PM ET USA

    The donation of Christin's corneas is not macabre; it very likely means that some formerly blind person can now see. Organ donation is a great act of love that all of us can make. I hope my own autopsy report notes not just empty eye sockets, but also voids where my heart, lungs, kidneys, liver -- and any other organs that would be of use -- once were!

  • Posted by: Cupertino - May. 04, 2006 9:30 PM ET USA

    This is a great case to rally around! Pro Life folks in Kansas have a wonderful opportunity to push the State Legislature to adopt restrictions on abortions performed on Down's persons and other mentally deficient persons. This sort of gradualism will work because it will be upheld by the US Supreme Court, I believe. Criminal prosecutions are great if they result in convictions but they are tough because abortion is legal under Roe.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2006 7:52 PM ET USA

    The question is, why did it take a citizen's petition to get a grand jury together on this? Why didn't the State of Kansas prosecute Tiller the Killer on prima facia evidence? Besides her family, then, the failure of the state to go after Tiller is another serious breach of trust.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2006 4:40 PM ET USA

    JMJT The horrific death of Christin and her baby should be a rallying call for the hierarchy to proclaim that this is exactly what happens when truth is cast aside for the "convenience" of society. The distribution of condoms "for the good of society" is another giant step away from truth. I have not read of a single Bishop who has spoken out on Christin's death nor have I read it in my diocesan paper.

  • Posted by: rpp - May. 04, 2006 3:36 PM ET USA

    The doctor and the clinic employees are not the only "less than innocent" people here. How about her parents? You know the ones who made the decisions, failed to get her prompt care, then prevented ER doctors, when poor Christin finally got there, from treating her until it was too late. The whole episode reminds of a film made in the 1930's, "Life Unworthy of Life". Here is a hint about the producers: the film is in German. The list of people who belong in jail here is very long!

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2006 2:06 PM ET USA

    You are right not to let that butcher Tiller off the hook - but may I ask some rude questions? She was 19? She had Down's syndrome so she was in the custodial care of her family? They arranged this? They paid for this? They literally forced this on her? Since a person who is 19 and has Down's Syndrome can not be considerend an adult, they have a heavy moral and maybe legal responsibility in this matter. May God have mercy on their souls.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2006 1:57 PM ET USA

    Di, That's a memorable phrase "absent secondary to organ procurement". I intend to use that joust in any conversational setting in which "those who wish to pluck thine sight" are jawing over cocktails. Guaranteed to cause them to choke on their olives. Secondary to hors doeuvres procurement, of course.