Kickstarter’s reach and reputation have made it “the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects” — and a desirable destination for two movies about abortion.
Phelim McAleer, producer of “Gosnell,” said Kickstarter has advantages as the industry leader in crowdfunded projects. Since its 2009 launch, the Kickstarter community has pledged more than $1 billion. In that time, 143,766 projects have launched on the site; 60,572 have been successfully funded.
“Gosnell” is a movie about Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortionist who was found guilty of murder last year and is suspected in the deaths of thousands of babies. “Gosnell” has raised $1.4 million with 15 days left to meet its $2.1 million goal.
McAleer said Kickstarter representatives told him the film’s description couldn’t include Gosnell’s crimes because it violated community guidelines — even though Gosnell’s actions are the exact reason for making the movie.
“This case is about a doctor who killed babies,” McAleer said.
Jason Vaughn, director of “Stolen Moments,” said his film will “display a series of vignettes illustrating numerous small moments in the lives of people and how those have been taken away via the termination of pregnancy.”
Kickstarter initially cited this reason for rejecting the project: “Unfortunately, this program does not meet our guidelines. Projects on Kickstarter cannot offer self-help. This isn’t a judgment on the quality of the project, just a reflection of our focus.”
Vaughn questioned the term “self-help,” and received this response: “The project you submitted did not meet our guidelines, and it can no longer be submitted to Kickstarter. We consider providing ‘resources and choices for those in crisis pregnancies’ self-help, safety and health advice which fall outside our scope unfortunately.”
That’s when the director of “Stolen Moments” decided to switch to Indiegogo. Still, he told The Federalist, “I love Kickstarter. I have supported over two dozen different projects through the site over the years. In fact, if they as a private company want to deny anyone access for any reason, I’m fine with that.”
Soon after, Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler wrote to Vaughn, apologizing for his company’s actions. “I took a look at the project,” Strickler wrote, “and think you’re right: we made a mistake. Your project is not in violation of our rules, and we would welcome it on the site.”
“Stolen Moments” has already surpassed its $1,500 goal on Indiegogo.
>>> WATCH: Learn more about Jason Vaughn’s “Stolen Moments” movie
UPDATE: Kickstarter contends the “Gosnell” movie wasn’t rejected; its producers decided to withdraw it from the site when Kickstarter objected to the description. The headline and story have been changed to reflect this point.