On Monday, the PBS series "POV" will air "After Tiller." The show's web page promoting the film describes it as "a deeply humanizing and probing portrait of the only four doctors in the United States still openly performing third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas." Who knew that these murderers of late-term pre-born babies — Dr. LeRoy Carhart, Dr. Warren Hern, Dr. Susan Robinson and Dr. Shelley Sella — could be such great people?
Many of the usual suspects are involved in developing, promoting and underwriting the film. Taxpayers are by definition partially on the hook, given that $445 million for fiscal 2014 was allocated to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in October of last year. Other choice nuggets about the film follow the jump.
The film's full synopsis, as presented at Media Impact Partners (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas in May 2009, there are only four American doctors who openly provide third-trimester abortions. After Tiller paints a complex, compassionate portrait of these physicians, who have become the new number-one targets of the anti-abortion movement, yet continue to risk their lives every day to do work that many believe is murder, but which they believe is profoundly important for their patients’ lives. The film weaves together in-depth interviews with the doctors with intimate vérité scenes from their lives and inside their clinics, where they counsel and care for their anxious, vulnerable patients at an important crossroads in their lives. By sharing the moving stories of several of these patients, After Tiller illuminates the experiences of women who seek late abortions.
The film’s campaign has shifted coverage of third-trimester abortion from abstract debate to a concrete focus on the rationale of doctors and patients. More medical students are engaging their universities in discussions about abortion care training, and the clinics featured in the film and their allies have received letters of support. The film was used to rally volunteers to fight an Albuquerque ballot measure, which would have severely decreased access to third-trimester abortions if it passed.
The film's primary funder has been The Fledgling Fund, whose "about" page describes it as "driven by the passionate belief that film can inspire a better world." So enabling late-term abortions is not just some kind of unfortunate necessity to help downtrodden women. It's a positive thing which brings us "a better world." Wow.
One of the film's stated objectives is to "Change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety." Leftists in support of someone's "right to work." Imagine that.
Its theater gross, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, was $72,125. This film would have virtually no visibility without its promoters leveraging others' money.
In an email I received this morning, the American Life League objected to PBS's airing of the movie:
American Life League Demands PBS Cancel ‘After Tiller’
Late-Term Abortion Propaganda to Air on Labor Day
Washington, DC — American Life League, the nation's largest, grassroots Catholic pro-life education organization, is demanding that the taxpayer-funded PBS cancel its Labor Day showing of “After Tiller.”
“’After Tiller’ is nothing short of pure propaganda intended to demonize the entire pro-life movement and drum up support for late-term abortion,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “Why are pro-life tax dollars being used to paint a sympathetic picture of abortionists who stab babies in the base of their skulls just moments before they are born? Where is the sympathy for the babies, whose brains are being sucked out by vacuum machines by these abortionists?”
“After Tiller” was funded in large part by pro-abortion groups and lists Planned Parenthood and NARAL as primary outreach partners. According to Media Impact Partners, the film’s production team’s goals include changing the view of Americans in favor of late-term abortion providers and against legislation that bans late-term abortions. The filmmakers also hope that medical students will request abortion training be made available in their curricula.
“Would PBS ever run a puff piece that was funded by the KKK in order to sanitize and normalize racism?” asked Brown. “Shame on PBS! This has no business airing on a publicly funded network.”
What are the chances that PBS will ever air a sympathetic documentary on the genuinely heroic pro-life movement and its dedicated pregnancy counselors? Basically, zero.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.