The taxpayer-supported network that’s home to “Sesame Street” and noted for highlighting the fine arts will sink to a new low on Monday when it shows “After Tiller,” a love letter to late-term abortion.
The propaganda film highlights the grisly business of third-trimester abortion and the four abortionists who openly commit it in the United States, a rogue’s gallery if ever there was one.
Just weeks after the film opened to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013, one of its “stars,” George Tiller protégé LeRoy Cahart, killed baby Madison Leigh during her 33rd week of gestation. Days later, her mother, Jennifer Morbelli, also died. Carhart was in another state, perhaps on his way to kill other babies, when Jennifer was dying. This is the same abortionist who was caught on an undercover video comparing a baby he has killed in the womb to “meat in a crockpot.”
The film also profiles Susan Robinson, who admitted during one interview that killing a child at 37 weeks, instead of the 34 weeks she had expected, “was quite a moment.” She suggests that parents of the fully formed babies she kills take pictures and footprints, and create a memory box for the child they decided was not worthy of a live birth.
In 2008, Operation Rescue filed a police report about Shelley Sella, another of the four, after an employee at Tiller’s Wichita clinic said she had seen Sella stab to death a baby born alive at 35 weeks. Nothing ever came of that, which should surprise no one.
And finally, meet Warren Hern. His abortion how-to textbook described the procedure used to kill a late-term baby using the D&E (dilation and evacuation) method: “The procedure changes significantly at 21 weeks because the fetal tissues become much more cohesive and difficult to dismember. This problem is accentuated by the fact that the fetal pelvis may be as much as 5cm in width. The calvaria [head] is no longer the principal problem; it can be collapsed. Other structures, such as the pelvis, present more difficulty….A long curved Mayo scissors may be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus.”
These are the “stars” PBS is choosing to highlight as a holiday honoring working people in America draws to a close.
Viewers will hear the terrible circumstances – and they are often terrible, tragic and unbearably sad – that brought these parents to consider such a brutal and barbaric end to their child’s life. But there are many truths that viewers will not hear and see, including what Dr. John Bruchalski told me about later-term abortion for my book, “Recall Abortion.”
“When you kill another human life up close and personal,” he said, “it’s viciously brutal. The baby fights back a little bit. When they get real big, they don’t want to be killed.”
It is no doubt true that many of these mothers and fathers were convinced to abort by doctors who were afraid of malpractice or “wrongful life” lawsuits. We know that a doctor told Jennifer Morbelli her much-wanted daughter would have a seizure disorder. Women with Down syndrome babies in their womb are routinely pushed toward abortion. On my Radio Maria show this coming Tuesday, high school teacher Chad Judice will talk about the day he and his wife were told their second child would be born with spina bifida, and then given literature indicating that 80 percent of such babies are aborted. His son Eli, the subject of two books and now a happy kindergartener in Louisiana, owes his life to his parent’s conviction that every life is precious.
Many babies with fetal anomalies will never make it to kindergarten and will die shortly after birth. It’s these circumstances that are highlighted in “After Tiller.” I haven’t seen the film yet but I am certain there is no mention of perinatal hospice, a humane and loving alternative that parents can make for their critically ill babies. I also wrote about this option in “Recall Abortion,” and you can learn much more about it there. Committing to perinatal hospice requires mothers to continue to nurture in their womb babies they know will die. This can’t be easy, but there is solace, and love, and dignity, in giving birth to these children and holding them in the close embrace of their families for however much time they have. Mothers and fathers can create memory boxes with mementos of their living child. That’s real choice.
Whether you decide to watch “After Tiller” or not, let PBS know how you feel about the kind of programming they are spending your tax dollars to highlight. Click here to leave a comment for the PBS ombudsman. And tell them you expect to see the Gosnell movie on their station lineup once that film is released.