In Wake of Gosnell Horror, New Film Sympathizes With Late-Term Abortionists

Cortney O'Brien

8/4/2013 3:00:00 PM - Cortney O'Brien

Kermit Gosnell, as many of our readers know, is the infamous “House of Horrors” abortionist who is thankfully now where he belongs. Come this September, however, a new film will lionize the country’s remaining late-term abortionists. They may not keep babies’ feet in jars or sever their spinal cords with scissors, but, by aborting babies past 20 weeks - when they can survive outside the womb - these abortionists are still in Gosnell’s line of work.

After Tiller is a new documentary that follows the lives of the only four remaining abortionists in the country who perform abortions in the third trimester. The title alludes to the incident on May 31, 2009, in which an anti-abortion activist shot and killed late-term abortionist George Tiller to “save babies’ lives.” Some reviewers have claimed the documentary, directed by Martha Shane, is a well-balanced film for both pro-lifers and pro-choicers to watch. But, judging by the description on its website, it’s apparent the movie is making its main characters out to be superheroes.

Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas in 2009, only four known doctors in the United States continue to perform third-trimester abortions. These physicians, all colleagues of Dr. Tiller, sacrifice their safety and personal lives in the name of their fierce, unwavering conviction to help women. But for some in the pro-life movement, these doctors are “murderers” who must be stopped.

Offering audiences an unprecedented perspective, After Tiller is an intimate look into each of the four physicians’ private and professional struggles. Wrenching moments in the clinics, when they gently counsel distraught patients facing grievous losses, force us to step into the shoes of both practitioner and patient and confront the full complexity of each decision. Decades after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, the issue remains one of the most volatile in our public sphere. After Tiller sensitively and artfully extricates the controversy from the ideological realm and humanizes those who have been demonized.

–Caroline Libresco, Senior Programmer, Sundance Film Festival

While these four abortionists may still be performing “legal” procedures according to the rule of law, for Gosnell, “murderer” no longer needs the quotation marks after a jury found him guilty of mass killings.

Further indication that the film may be biased toward these abortionists is its official trailer, which begins with footage of Tiller’s death and then suggests the remaining late-term abortionists should be commended for continuing the work they do in the midst of loneliness and adversity.

At one point, one of the featured abortionists tells a patient, “You have choices -- and they all suck.” This made me wonder -- do mothers in this country look at their children and think they made a “sucky” choice? In another chilling moment, Politico explains how an abortion doctor admits to the camera she is indeed dealing with a baby - not a fetus. Nevertheless, these four "heroes" consider it their duty to perform late-term abortion, placing more emphasis on the quality of life, as opposed to life itself.

With new revelations that abortion clinics, such as one in Delaware, are reporting filthy conditions similar to Gosnell’s, the film’s poor timing can’t be stressed enough.

To determine if the documentary seems fair to both sides of the abortion issue, or if it’s just pushing an inhumane abortion agenda, watch the trailer for yourself: