One-sided propaganda films celebrating abortion doctors are always an easy demonstration of how liberal the nation's leading newspapers are. All their film critics are celebrating a new documentary called Trapped, which was also promoted in a recent John Oliver pro-abortion rant on his HBO "comedy" show.
On Friday, Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday was in her usual happy place whenever doctors are "compassionately" terminating the unborn babies. Hornaday began:
Trapped, Dawn Porter’s sobering, gracefully constructed documentary about the tide of laws restricting abortion that have swept the country, couldn’t arrive at a more timely moment. Just this week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a potentially historic case involving a dramatically proscriptive statute passed in Texas...
For viewers interested in the legal and ethical principles at play, Trapped provides an intimate, deeply felt primer. The title of the film derives from so-called TRAP laws (for “targeted regulation of abortion providers”), hundreds of which have been passed over the past six years, especially in the South. Following clinics in Mississippi, Alabama and Texas, where abortion providers are required to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and where clinics must provide ambulatory surgical services, the film looks behind the curbside protests and legislative fights to examine the effect of these laws on the daily lives of medical professionals and their patients.
The resulting portrait is one of beleaguered but steely determination and occasional confusion, as clinic administrators try to parse arcane and contradictory legal language.
In these movies and movie reviews, the abortionists are always stuffed full of wisdom, compassion and "steely determination." The women seeking abortions are always tremendously sympathetic and needy in an "intimate" setting. And the babies? Nobody cares. They are literally invisible. The critics can't imagine that a title like Trapped also describes what the vulnerable "fetus" is inside an abortion clinic, and inside the womb of a woman who wants him (or her) dead.
Hornaday admits there's no time for a pro-life point of view (outside the required screaming protesters):
Trapped makes no pretense of balance. This is an abortion-rights advocacy film, whose thesis echoes the argument offered this week at the Supreme Court: that laws like the ones in Alabama and Texas — several other states have adopted similar measures — impose an undue burden on clinics, thereby vitiating the right to a safe, legal abortion
The protagonists of Trapped are the clinic directors and doctors who have come to see reproductive health less as a profession than a calling. The most fascinating figure is physician Willie Parker, whose practice is animated by his Christian ethics and who can be seen moving his practice from Illinois in order to attend underserved patients in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
Like After Tiller a few years ago, Trapped is lucid and illuminating about the issue of abortion as a constitutional right. But in addition to being instructive, it brims with compassion, leaving viewers with haunting images of women we never even got to see in the first place....
Hornaday also loved After Tiller -- which she bizarrely saw as utterly lacking in "partisan fury" -- but this whole "abortionist with the Christian ethics" baloney is beyond the pale. George Tiller was also church-going, and in between Sundays he took apart viable babies, limb by limb.
Other newspapers ran shorter reviews. Andy Webster at The New York Times summed up the action this way:
We are reminded of Roe v. Wade’s hard-won decision, and glimpse the 11-hour filibuster by State Senator Wendy Davis of Texas, a Democrat, against restrictive abortion legislation in 2013. And we meet other abortion rights advocates, like June Ayers, owner of Reproductive Health Services in Montgomery, Ala., who blends graciousness and fortitude while contending with protesters outside her office. Amy Hagstrom Miller, the chief executive of the clinic chain Whole Woman’s Health, which is the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, cites the plummeting number of Texas clinics after the 2013 law was passed and the long distances many patients must now travel for treatment. Gloria Gray of the West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa invokes a familiar refrain: “Closing the clinics is not going to stop abortions. Women are going to have abortions; it’s just that they are not going to be safe and legal.”
Dr. Willie J. Parker, a churchgoing obstetrician and gynecologist who provides abortions, is heckled by an anti-abortion campaigner en route to his job. Doctors, he says, “have been killed doing this work,” but, he adds, “when you have a sense of duty about what you do, it allows you to ignore the naysayers.”
Trapped is not a balanced analysis of the abortion debate; it makes its sympathies clear. But it is a powerful and persuasive rendering of a corner of women’s health care under siege.
Webster doesn't seem to contemplate that a handful of doctors have been killed, but the number of babies that have been killed during "this work" is in the tens of millions. The idea that "health care" is "under siege" in an abortion certainly demonstrates you've taken a strange side.
Webster began by noting this movie was "the winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking and an urgent, vital examination of Southern abortion clinics." Just like liberal newspaper critics, the Sundance Film Festival honors an overwhelming liberal tilt as the highest form of compassion and professionalism. It's a self-perpetuating honor not unlike Pulitzer Prizes for crusading liberal journalism.
Finally, Katie Walsh at the Los Angeles Times was in full op-ed mode as a movie critic:
Trapped, a galvanizing and lucid documentary by Dawn Porter, is an essential primer on the ways in which increasing regulations affect the day-to-day realities of abortion providers in the United States. Taking its name from the TRAP laws — targeted regulation of abortion providers — the film takes on the tactics that anti-abortion lawmakers use to chip away at abortion rights piece by piece.
The film is filled with distressing statistics about the consequences of these laws on women's health — one worrying statistic states that 240,000 women in Texas alone have attempted home abortions. The most touching moments demonstrate the power of humane and respectful care.
Porter focuses her film on a few abortion providers in Louisiana and one clinic in Texas that are either overloaded — because so many other clinics have closed — or hamstrung by the regulations. These providers embody a remarkable mix of tenacity and tenderness as they comfort patients and attempt to discern and comply with labyrinthine regulations.
Despite what the anti-abortion protesters shout outside their doors, they are deeply caring people, who put everything — personal lives, careers, mortgages — on the line to help women. They pray and celebrate together, cry when they have to turn away a young rape victim because of red tape. The issue is urgent: A lawyer for the Center for Reproductive Rights predicts the Supreme Court will have to decide on abortion rights sooner rather than later. While the situation seems at times dire, Trapped contains a distinct hopeful streak that is at once defiant and singularly human.
Ben Kenigsberg in Variety perfectly exemplified the moral blind spot of all these liberal critics. They want to insist that abortion foes don't understand there are "tangible consequences" in an abortion. Is there a more patronizing and ridiculous sentiment? "Unapologetically one-sided, Trapped is not a movie that is going to change anybody’s mind about abortion. Rather, the emphasis is on illustrating how abstract political debates lead to tangible consequences in the lives of both patients and healthcare professionals."
Kenigsberg also pointed out how left-wing propaganda films go from liberal film festivals on to...liberal PBS. The taxpayer-funded network of TV stations air a show called Independent Lens that champions "progressive" filmmakers. Trapped will air on PBS stations on June 20.