Taxpayer-funded broadcaster PBS is airing a documentary this Labor Day weekend highlighting the lives of the four remaining late-term abortion doctors in America.
The Public Broadcasting Service describes the film, “After Tiller,” as a “deeply humanizing and probing portrait” of late-term abortionists who remain “absolutely dedicated to their work” in the wake of the 2009 slaying of Dr. George Tiller.
At the time of his murder, Tiller was the nation’s pre-eminent abortion practitioner. He was known for his willingness to perform late-term abortions, doing so hundreds of times each year. At 67, he was shot in the head in Wichita, Kans., by abortion opponent Scott Roeder, who later was convicted of first-degree murder.
“After Tiller” focuses on the “intense protest” from pro-life supporters about the four known doctors who continue to abort babies after the 24-month mark face.
Sarah Torre, a policy analyst in Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, said Americans should be concerned about themes of the PBS-endorsed documentary. She said:
Large majorities of Americans generally oppose abortions in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy — and for good reason. Gruesome late-term abortions endanger the health and safety of women and brutally take the lives of children capable of feeling pain.
The film’s producers, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, openly admit the documentary is focused on the doctors’ experience, stating in a press release: “We decided to represent the anti-abortion movement as it is experienced by the doctors themselves.”
It is a given, of course, that mainstream news coverage related to abortion must allot equal time to both sides of the issue, but as independent filmmakers, we chose to limit the scope of our film primarily to the point-of-view of the doctors because it allowed us to tell much deeper and more intimate stories.
“After Tiller” will have its national broadcast premiere on Monday, Sept. 1, at 10 p.m on PBS’s “Point of View” series. “POV” bills itself as television’s longest-running showcase for independent, non-fiction films and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which directs taxpayer funds to PBS.
In 2013, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting received $445 million in federal appropriations; PBS received about $300 million of that.
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Torre also addressed another of the filmmakers’ stated goals: Helping audiences to understand the “desperate” situation that leads to women choosing a late-term abortion. Torre countered the notion that they’re left with no other choice, saying:
Women facing difficult situations should be given compassionate care and empowered with life-affirming options — the kind they can find at thousands of pregnancy centers across the nation. We should protect the lives and health of women. And we should not deny the most fundamental human right to life to the most vulnerable children in our society merely because they are small, dependent, disabled or simply inconvenient.
PBS could not be reached for comment.