Four Doctors: We’re Proud to Be Doing Third-Trimester Abortions

National   |   Stephen Phelan   |   Jan 23, 2013   |   5:42PM   |   Washington, DC

This is one of those stories where it helps to take a deep breath and remember that because of the lies surrounding abortion, many people simply don’t realize what they are defending. Abortion supporters think they are on a moral crusade, one which they would say is about defending women’s rights.

That being said, however, sometimes the gap between “good intentions” and actions is harder to understand. Such is the case when artists set out to tell “a more human” story about abortion, and end up leaving out crucial information that any journalist would naturally find important. This is pretty much the definition of propaganda.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Premiering today at the Sundance Film Festival as part of the U.S. documentary competition, “After Tiller” is an intimate and heartfelt look at the four doctors performing third-trimester abortions in the United States, doing so even after the 2009 assassination of such a physician, Dr. George Tiller. … the film brings an emotional clarity to an issue in which every nuanced turn of phrase has been made politically complicated.

“Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle,” is the way Alexander Solzhenitsyn – a man of some emotional clarity – referred to the “nuanced turn of phrase” to hide the slaughter of innocents. Yes, killing human beings en masse does result in, among other things, political complications.

The author of the Times article describes how the event’s organizers made sure that “visible security measures were in place, including police and armed sheriffs in green jumpsuits.” Because, as everyone knows, you can’t be too careful: one of those little old ladies with their rosaries might show up, and, well… things can get out of hand quickly. Or, given the framing of the entire story as being “After Tiller,” these measures could be part of the stagecraft of the film, as promoters are wont to do at Sundance and other such festivals.

“I feel like our generation has been really alienated from the abortion debate,” added Wilson. (Both filmmakers are 29.) “It’s just become a shouting match. We wanted to make something that would show the complexity and the gray area. The gray area over this issue is where real women are making real decisions about their lives.”

Actually, somewhere just below a third of Wilson’s generation has been permanently alienated from the abortion debate because they’re dead. They were killed in abortions. And is the debate back on now? Because the pro-abortion left keeps telling us that the debate over abortion, including the abortion of fully viable human beings, is over. If the debate is back on, this is a positive development: maybe we can get young filmmakers to make a documentary about last-trimester abortion, have them actually show the procedure, and start a conversation about whether this sort of thing should be legal.

Perhaps the filmmakers can take an “intimate and heartfelt look at” women who have had their third trimester child – translated “viable, living human being” – aborted. Maybe they can follow them through their next, wanted, pregnancy and capture their reaction to the ultrasound of their child at the point where their last one was aborted. Now that would be courageous storytelling.

Unfortunately, I don’t think these filmmakers consider this a relevant part of the conversation.

Even in the face of threats and the killing of [murdered late term abortionist George] Tiller, the doctors see their work as important and worth continuing. As to whether the protests against what he does ever gave him doubts regarding his work, Dr. LeRoy Carhart said, “I never even give it a second thought.”

Here again we see the “frame” alluded to in the title. Since these four doctors pursue their non-lifesaving work even “After [the murder of George] Tiller,” they must be courageous and selfless heroes. This framing is extremely offensive, and is not nearly as objective as the filmmakers and the writer of this article would have us believe.

Still, even in such bias there are insights to be gleaned. For Carhart, the protests don’t elicit a second thought. How about admonishments from the Maryland board of physicians? Or the horrifying ordeal and death of 19-year-old Christin Gilbert in 2005?



Human Life International is requesting a copy of the film, to see if these and several other narrative-complicating issues are treated in it. If they are not, then one is forced to conclude that this movie is not so much about “starting a conversation” (which is what EVERY SINGLE documentary filmmaker says is the goal of his or her project) as it is about covering over the fact that late term abortion is the violent destruction of a human beings – little babies who are often healthy and capable of living outside the womb.

Doctors do not avoid this particularly gruesome practice for fear of being killed, they avoid it because they have consciences and do not want to kill innocent, viable children. Yes, let’s have a conversation about late term abortion, but let’s look at the whole story.

LifeNews Note: Stephen Phelan is the communications manager at Human Life International. Reprinted with permission from Human Life International’s World Watch forum.