Doctors risk their lives to provide abortions in After Tiller | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Doctors risk their lives to provide abortions in After Tiller

click to enlarge Dr. Susan Robinson - YES AND NO PRODUCTIONS
Yes and No Productions
Dr. Susan Robinson

There’s no better way to understand the importance of reproductive rights than by hearing from abortion providers and people who receive them, which is relevant as ever with new laws introduced in Alabama, Georgia, and other states. 

After Tiller, a documentary about doctors in America who perform third-trimester abortions, came out in 2013, but it’s an essential piece of media for understanding the issue. 

There are only a handful of doctors in the U.S. that perform third-trimester abortions (four at the time of the documentary). The film is named for third-trimester abortion provider George Tiller, who was assassinated in 2009. The doctors carrying on the legacy of his work, many of whom trained with him for years, do so with the constant threat of violence against them, their clinics, and their families.

The doctors always stress that the patients are the reasons for risking their lives to do this work. Anonymous patients provide intimate, detailed stories about their experiences – some are getting a third-trimester abortion because of the discovery of a rare and fatal fetal anomaly, others because the pregnancy was the result of rape. And some are there because they just don’t want a baby, and that’s enough.

As Dr. Susan Robinson, one of the providers in the documentary, says, “What I believe is that women are able to struggle with complex ethical issues and arrive at the right decision for them and their families. They are the world’s expert on their own lives.”

After Tiller is streaming on Amazon Prime and Kanopy.

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