Pro-life leaders are blasting the tax-funded television Network PBS for airing a documentary September 1 that glorified murdered late-term abortionist George Tiller while portraying as heroes the small handful of abortionists who continue the practice of killing pre-born babies during the third trimester of pregnancy.
PBS, which aired After Tiller on its weekly series POV, called the documentary “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 — and in the face of intense protest from abortion opponents.”
It is also, insisted the government-subsidized network, “an examination of the desperate reasons women seek late abortions. Rather than offering solutions, After Tiller presents the complexities of these women's difficult decisions and the compassion and ethical dilemmas of the doctors and staff who fear for their own lives as they treat their patients.”
Such a description is no surprise from a video that is being shown around the country and beyond in partnership with, according to Media Impact Funders, abortion giant Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), Medical Students for Choice, Nursing Students for Choice, and the National Organization for Women, among other pro-abortion groups.
In its own materials, Media Impact Funders frames the unashamedly pro-abortion film as a “complex, compassionate portrait” of the abortionists who choose to kill viable late-term babies, calling them the “new number-one targets of the anti-abortion movement,” who nonetheless “continue to risk their lives every day to do work that ... they believe is profoundly important for their patients’ lives.”
But Judie Brown of American Life League, the pro-life group which led an unsuccessful attempt to pressure PBS to cancel the showing, framed the movie in a different light. “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 Brown. “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?”
While promoters intimate that the film offers an objective and penetrating look at the complexities behind the issue of late-term abortion and the “dilemmas” faced by those who both perform and receive them, the objectives of the film's producers and “outreach partners” are blatantly tilted toward normalizing the killing of pre-born babies in the last three months of a woman's pregnancy.
According to Media Impact Funders, among the goals of the film's production team are to:
• Educate Americans, particularly in states where legislation banning abortions after twenty weeks has passed or has been introduced, about the reasons why women seek this procedure.
• 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.
• Encourage dialogue about this complicated issue among audience members with varying political and personal beliefs.
Among the target audience the producers wish to reach with the film are, according to Media Impact Funders, “medical students, pro-choice individuals who do not support late abortion rights, people in states where 20-week bans have passed or are in danger of passing, and Americans under 30 (the demographic in which support for abortion rights is dropping the fastest.)”
The group recalled that After Tiller “was used to rally volunteers to fight an Albuquerque ballot measure, which would have severely decreased access to third-trimester abortions if it passed.”
But American Life League's Judie Brown called After Tiller nothing more than a “puff piece” for the late-term killing of pre-born babies, and wondered if PBS might similarly run a show “funded by the KKK” with the purpose of normalizing racism. “Shame on PBS!” said Brown. “This has no business airing on a publicly funded network.”
LifeSiteNews.com reported that the producers of the PBS series POV defended their decision to air the pro-abortion film, telling the pro-life news site they believed After Tiller “adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely.”
What the documentary does not make clear, noted the pro-life group Live Action in a commentary on After Tiller, is that many (if not most) late-term abortions are performed “mere weeks before babies are due to be born. And many of these babies could quite easily survive outside their mothers’ wombs on their own, given the chance.”
Live Action challenged that if PBS “truly desires to show different points of view, it ought to show the other side of abortion. Not just the stories of parents who abort their nearly full-term infants. Not just the stories of the doctors who kill these very alive human beings. But the stories of ... little human beings who are subjected to great pain. The babies who attempt to kick and flee from the instruments of death.... The babies who are born alive, and then killed by drowning, by the slicing of their spinal cords, or by beheadings.”