The documentary “After Tiller” is a “brief” for third-trimester abortions

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. This post appeared previously in NRL News Today. It is a reminder of what dogmatic abortion extremism can do to people. 

“After Tiller” is a documentary by two young female filmmakers which, judging by the uniformly laudatory reviews from the usual sources, succeeds at “humanizing” the “four public, clinic-based providers of third-trimester abortions remaining in the United States.”

To quote the Village Voice, “Martha Shane and Lana Wilson‘s wrenching, humane film is as convincing a brief as I can imagine in favor of that most controversial of all pregnancy-terminating procedures: third-trimester abortions, which today are performed by only four American doctors.”

The documentary is getting more recent publicity, given that it is opening in New York (and elsewhere) September 20. Since I am not going to see “After Tiller,” here are a few thoughts based on what I’ve read about the documentary.

One school of pro-abortion thought lauds Shane and Wilson because “It breaks a major film taboo, over and over again. Mainstream movies almost never contain abortion scenes, pushing an experience one in three women have into the shadows,” writes Sarah Seltzer. “The patients in ‘After Tiller’ are always shadowed from behind, but this film depicts abortions, numerous ones.” 

Seltzer adds, “Furthermore, there are several scenes in the medical areas of the clinics, with patients in stirrups. It cannot be overstated how these scenes and images have the power to help normalize the procedure in a world where images of abortion are taboo.”

And if the documentary did nothing else—“help normalize the procedure” — the hardest of the hard-core pro-abortionists would be eternally grateful. 

But there’s more, much more to “celebrate,” from their viewpoint.

Seltzer tells her readers, “Beyond that, Shane and Wilson have woven together several real story lines that have narrative drive, such as Dr. Carhart’s search for a new clinic after regulations in Nebraska disabled him from performing later procedures.”

Those “regulations” were the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, first passed in Nebraska. Carhart took his “later procedures” business to Maryland. A few months ago a 29-year-old kindergarten teacher died after having an abortion at Carhart’s Germantown, Maryland clinic.

One other thought. I obviously don’t know the four abortionists whose specialty is third-trimester abortion, or their hearts, or what motivates them. But for all the praise the reviewers are giving them for frankly facing what they doing, their ability to shroud from themselves what they are doing is remarkable. Writing on Slate.com, the ubiquitous pro-abortion apologist Amanda Marcotte tells us

“As Dr. Shelley Sella of Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, New Mexico, explains, these very late abortions really are much more like delivering a stillborn baby than performing an abortion. For the doctors and the patients, the experience is much more like having to take a dying family member off life support than it is a failsafe for when the contraception didn’t work.”

What could you possibly add to that?