Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Sunday 25 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Toribio Romo González
Aleteia logo
Voices & Views
separateurCreated with Sketch.

‘3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy’ details monstrous story of Kermit Gosnell


3801 Lancaster | YouTube

David Ives - published on 12/23/17

Amazon Prime offering is a disturbing look at a death-loving villain and how he was able to continue for so long.

If there is anything undisputed, it is that the actions of abortionist Kermit Gosnell were those of a monster. Even some of the nurses interviewed for the documentary 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy, women who still voice full support for the practice of abortion and continue to help with the procedure, evidence nothing but complete disgust and disdain for Gosnell’s practices.

Let that sink in for a moment. Even people who participate in abortions on a daily basis can’t stomach the things Gosnell did.

It took some time to reach that point, though. As detailed in 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy, it was only after one death too many at Gosnell’s hands that the authorities felt compelled to investigate and expose what the doctor had been up to for years. Up until that time, it had been the understood policy of the state of Pennsylvania that all grievances dealing with abortion providers be given only the most cursory of look-sees before being dismissed. What law enforcement found inside Gosnell’s clinic the day they raided it, however, made that policy impossible to follow.

Two of the police officers interviewed for the documentary were there that day and tell what they saw. Gosnell’s clinic was a hell-hole. The floors were covered with mounds of trash and piles of animal feces. Every counter and medical instrument was encrusted with filth. The worst, however, were the various body parts of babies stored about the facility, including Gosnell’s prized collection of baby feet which he kept in jars in his office. Even years later, the officers appear visibly shaken as they relate this discovery.

Alone, such unsanitary conditions would call for the closing of Gosnell’s practice, but his crimes went much further. Former patients are interviewed, and they discuss their mistreatment at the hands of this so-called healer. What they suffered is best summed up by comments in the official grand jury statement, which reads thusly:

“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths.”

Undeniably monstrous. And yet Gosnell himself remains unrepentant. Interviews taped in prison, where Gosnell will spend the remainder of his days, reveal a man convinced of his own righteousness. A professed Baptist, he even quotes scripture in support of his actions. Like almost all villains, Gosnell sees himself as the hero of the story and believes one day he will be recognized as such. Everyone else, including his peers in the abortion industry, is content to have the doctor right where he is at.

3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy isn’t just about Hermit Gosnell, however. Roughly two-thirds of the way through, the documentary veers away from the Gosnell case and begins discussing investigations into a number of Planned Parenthood clinics in the northeast. Many abortion activists have cried foul at this shift in focus. They claim the documentary is trying to unfairly link Gosnell to other clinics where the alleged health and safety violations have not been anywhere near as severe.

That’s not exactly what’s going on, though. While the filmmakers are unabashedly pro-life and, in all probability, would shed no tears at Planned Parenthood being associated with Gosnell, that is not the point of their documentary. What they are getting at with the inclusion of the Planned Parenthood cases is that the political machine which allowed Gosnell to go untouched for so long still exists. It illustrates that in their effort to protect the income stream generated by the abortion industry, the powers that be continue to turn a blind eye to the abuses inherent in the system. Who cares if a few monsters are created and women suffer at their hands, as long as the dollars keep flowing in? The makers of 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy do, and they would like for you to care as well.

3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy is now streaming on Amazon Prime. It is rated TV-MA for some graphic and disturbing images.

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.