Real Story of a Canceled Abortion Prosecution: Infanticide

Recently there has been a meme going around on social media praising the work of Gisella Perl as “the angel of Auschwitz.” She performed secret abortions on inmates because women who got pregnant would be horribly killed along with their babies. Perl reasoned that she was taking one life that would be killed anyway in order to save the mother and perhaps give her a future when she could have more children.

But the most important thing you should realize is that defending Perl isn’t just about abortion. Perl killed a baby as part of her work. According to

Gisella Perl shows us that there is no meaningful difference between abortion and infanticide.


2012 feature on Jewish Holocaust doctors—published by Boston University—confirmed what I suspected. Not all of the children Perl killed were aborted in the womb:

[Perl] wrote of the arrival of Yolanda, a poor former patient who had once sought the doctor’s help to conceive. Now, here was Yolanda, transported from Hungary, her belly swollen nearly to term. Perl delivered the baby—a boy—in secret, on the foul floor of the camp toilet, with her bare hands and without a drop of water. Then she put Yolanda in the hospital with pneumonia, not one of the illnesses, like typhus, that was punishable by death under camp edict. At first she hid the baby, whose cries would have brought certain death for him and his mother and would have put an end to Perl’s clandestine efforts to save as many pregnant women as possible. “Then I could hide him no longer,” she wrote. “I took the warm little body in my hands, kissed the smooth face…then strangled him and buried his body under a mountain of corpses waiting to be cremated.”

Interesting that people pretend they are developing a justification for abortion that isn’t simply a justification for straight-up murder of any kind. There is no record that Perl ever performed an abortion for anyone after her time in the concentration camp, so even if one wants to justify her, she provides no excuse for infanticide for anyone since then.

But I saw another story that also shows that abortion and infanticide are not meaningfully different from one another. This story at now has a different headline: “No Charges for Mom Who Took Abortion Pill at 5 Months.” The original headline said she faced life in prison for taking abortion pill.

Life in prison for taking a pill? It seems jolting to give someone a sentence like Gosnell’s when abortion is legal in many cases. Even a pro-lifer might think that it is weirdly arbitrary to focus so much punishment on one woman when so many get nothing but make lots of money for the same deed.

But notice how this went down:

“Once she took those pills … she was in a world of hurt for a while,” says brother Rico Riggins, who didn’t know she was pregnant. A neighbor drove Jones to the hospital on Saturday, but she delivered a baby boy en route. The baby died at the hospital 30 minutes later. “We lost what would have been a nephew for me. And everything. And then my sister,” says Riggins, who now has guardianship of Jones’ son, who is less than 2 years old.

5 month fetusThe “fetus” or baby was five and a half months old from gestation. So this woman showed up with a baby and the baby died at the hospital because the mother had deliberately caused its death.

Why wouldn’t that be prosecuted as a homicide? Babies have been born earlier than five and a half months and have survived, thrived, and grown up. That’s what hospitals are supposed to make happen!

Here is a Huffington Post article about a little girl born at 23 weeks, younger than this child that was killed by his or her mother taking a drug. And here is an image of a 27-week-old child I got from this page dedicated to preemies. That baby is only a couple of weeks older than the child who was killed.

27 weeks

So it isn’t that a mother was simply facing life in prison for an abortion drug. She was facing the charges because she obviously had killed a baby. There was no other way to look at it, until the “but we let mother do that” rationalizations had time to kick in. The mother looked like she had committed infanticide.

Because she had. She gave birth to a child and the child then died because the mother had taken actions intending to kill it. That is infanticide.

And it is abortion.

There is no meaningful difference.