PBS to Air Documentary ‘Humanizing’ Late-Term Abortion Doctors
Kelsey Harkness /
Taxpayer-funded broadcast station PBS is airing a documentary this Labor Day weekend highlighting the lives of the last four remaining late-term abortion doctors in America.
PBS 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 assassination of Dr. George Tiller.
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 years old, he was shot in the head in Wichita, Kans., by abortion opponent Scott Roeder, who was eventually convicted of first-degree murder.
“After Tiller” focuses on the “intense protest” from pro-life supporters that the four remaining doctors who abort babies after the 24-month mark face.
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The film’s producers, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, openly admit the feature 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 10p.m on PBS’s “Point of View” series. POV is television’s longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films and is funded by PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In 2013, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting received $445 million in federal appropriations, with PBS receiving about $300 million of that.
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Sarah Torre, a policy analyst in Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, is concerned about themes inside the PBS-endorsed documentary.
“Large majorities of Americans generally oppose abortions in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy — and for good reason,” she said. “Gruesome late-term abortions endanger the health and safety of women and brutally take the lives of children capable of feeling pain.”
Torre also addressed another one of the filmmakers’ goals: Helping audiences to understand the “desperate” situation that leads to women choosing a late-term abortion. Torre refuted the notion that they’re left with no other choice, stating:
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.