Finally: 56 Days Later, ABC Ends Blackout and Covers Gosnell 'House of Horrors'

 Fifty six days after the grisly trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell began, ABC broke its self-imposed blackout and finally offered coverage. World News anchor Diane Sawyer belatedly told viewers that Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder against newborn babies, as well as on a slew of other charges. Terry Moran explained, "For two months, jurors heard often shocking, grisly testimony." He described the details as a "house of horrors." A house of horrors that ABC took 56 days to notice.

As the Media Research Center has aggressively documented, ABC went from March 18, 2013 (the trial's start) through Monday afternoon with no coverage. Yet during the same time, the network devoted a staggering 187 minutes (or 70 segments) to other shocking criminal cases, such as Jodi Arias and Amanda Knox.

Moran noted that "Opponents of legalized abortion seized on this case." The journalist quoted Jeanneane Maxon, the vice president of Americans United for Life. She asserted, "Well, Gosnell's not an aberration. Abortion clinics are unregulated and every year we see the deaths of women inside these clinics."

Nightline's Moran first highlighted the Gosnell case on Twitter, way back on April 12. But he has failed to cover the story until now.

A transcript of the May 13 segment can be found below:


DIANE SAWYER: And now we turn to a verdict making headlines tonight, fueling arguments on all sides about abortion in America. Tonight a doctor in Philadelphia is facing the death penalty for what he did. Just hours ago, a jury finding him guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. ABC's Terry Moran tells us what the jury decided today, and what it means.

TERRY MORAN: Dr. Kermit Gosnell, led away in handcuffs today after jurors convicted him of murdering three babies, killing them with scissors after they were born during botched abortions he performed on women who were as much as seven months pregnant. His lawyer described Gosnell's reaction.

JACK MCMAHON (Gosnell lawyer): He's disappointed and he's upset.

MORAN: For two months, jurors heard often shocking grisly testimony, including from members of Gosnell's staff, who claimed they witnessed him killing live babies. The case began in February 2010, when FBI agents raided Gosnell's clinic. They were looking for evidence of prescription drug dealing. Instead, they found a filthy house of horrors.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Children were born and then killed.

MORAN: For decades, Gosnell ran his clinic, the Women's Medical Society in West Philadelphia, a poor, mostly black neighborhood where doctors were scarce and patients were sometimes desperate. Gosnell's lawyer calls this prosecution racist, arguing his client served his community and never killed a live-born baby. But jurors found otherwise. Opponents of legalized abortion seized on this case.

JEANNEANE MAXON (VP, Americans United for Life): Well, Gosnell's not an aberration. Abortion clinics are unregulated and every year we see the deaths of women inside these clinics.

MORAN: But supporters of abortion-rights argue that Gosnell's shady, dangerous practices are exactly what women will face across the country if abortion is outlawed. Gosnell now face the death penalty. Terry Moran, ABC News, New York.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org