The murder trial of a Philadelphia physician opened the door of another "don't ask, don't tell" taboo.
The most notorious murder case most people never heard of wrapped up this week when a physician accused of killing babies was sentenced to life in prison.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder in connection with the deaths of three babies and manslaughter stemming from the death of an adult female patient.
Why was a case of this nature — a physician murdering infants — low-profile? Why did most of the news media mostly ignore it until the end? Why would many readers have turned their heads even if the news coverage had been complete?
The answer is the same as those to earlier questions. Why did this doctor operate with impunity for years? Why did health inspectors ignore complaints to the point of going 17 years without a visit to his filthy facility?
The grand jury report, which we invite people to read online, noted that "over the years, many people suspected problems at Dr. Gosnell's clinic but inquired no further." That's because they didn't want to know.
Abortion is a federally guaranteed constitutional right. Most people understand it allows a mother to terminate the life of her unborn child. Few people have the stomach to contemplate the particulars.
So abortion proponents speak of being pro-choice while not saying what it is people are choosing. They dehumanize the victims of abortion procedures by characterizing them as "fetuses," not the flesh, blood and beating hearts most expecting parents envision.
It's a natural-enough human instinct. Who wants to contemplate the horrific?
"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 grand jury report stated.
Abortion supporters insist that Dr. Gosnell is an outlier and charge criticism by abortion foes is really a back-door attempt to make abortion illegal. They may well be right on both counts.
But late-term abortion is a reality in this country. So is the termination of the lives of infants who somehow survive an abortion procedure. A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman testifying before a legislative committee in Florida recently told legislators that whether a child who survives an abortion is allowed to live is a decision that "should be left up to the woman, her family and the physician."
The living child has no rights and no chance. Who wants to think about infanticide? It's easier to ignore it than confront cruelty to an innocent that's more than the stomach or the heart can bear.