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October 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer is a hit among pro-life and conservative media for many reasons, not the least of which are the testimonials of people who say the film has convinced them to abandon their former “pro-choice” stance.
Gosnell depicts notorious Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s arrest, trial, and conviction for the first-degree murder of three born-alive babies and the involuntary manslaughter of patient Karnamaya Mongar. It’s based “very heavily on actual court transcripts,” “dozens of hours of interviews” with Gosnell himself, and the grand jury report.
The shocking details of the original trial – like Gosnell cutting the spinal cords of hundreds of newborns; witnesses describing infants who survived initial abortion attempts as “swimming” in toilets “to get out”; and the feet of aborted babies stored in a freezer – changed the minds of co-producer Ann McElhinney, at least one reporter, and others, and there are signs the film is doing the same.
“Yesterday, I was pro-choice. I believed that women should have a say & the [government] shouldn’t be interfering w/ our lives,” Kathy Zhu, a University of Central Florida student who garnered national attention in 2016 when she abandoned Hillary Clinton for Donald Trump, tweeted Sunday. “Today, I'm pro-life. After watching #Gosnell & doing in-depth research, I finally understand the horrors of loopholes in late term abortions. [Please] go watch Gosnell.”
Yesterday, I was pro-choice. I believed that women should have a say & the gov shouldn’t be interfering w/ our lives
Today, I’m pro-life. After watching #Gosnell & doing in-depth research, I finally understand the horrors of loopholes in late term abortions. Pls go watch Gosnell pic.twitter.com/H7WPz8Dcoj
— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) October 22, 2018
Patrick Courrielche, a writer and cofounder of the marketing firm Inform Ventures, also says Gosnell “singlehandedly changed my mind on abortion.”
The Gosnell movie singlehandedly changed my mind on abortion.
— Patrick Courrielche ���� (@courrielche) October 24, 2018
Other Twitter users have attested to similar experiences:
Haven't seen the movie, but reading the #Gosnell book converted me from pro-choice to pro-life ❤ #chooseLIFE
— Marianne Shaddrix (@marianneshad) October 21, 2018
I am thrilled that I have changed the mind of my adult son, who was pro-choice, after telling him about this doctor, late term abortions, and Melissa Ohden. If you have a chance read her book, You Carried Me. After this movie and her book you will never be pro-choice again.
— Mare (@mare_hare) October 23, 2018
Last week, McElhinney told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins she could spend “all day reading the most beautiful letters from people who have changed their mind about abortion from watching the movie,” many of them explaining that they didn’t understand what was actually involved in abortion and were under the impression it was limited to much earlier in pregnancy.
“We showed a liberal friend an early cut of the film and he left the theater and started chain-smoking declaring: ‘I'll have to rethink everything,’” the producers added Wednesday.
The case intensified the resolve of people who already opposed abortion, as well.
“Gosnell shattered my pro-life passivity,” Emily Rolla writes at LifeTeen. “When a story like this breaks, it's easy to feel passionate and motivated to change things, but Twitter activism is lazy activism at best. Don't get me wrong, it's great to retweet or share the details in the digital world, especially in this case when the media has been so silent.”
“The problem is when we shy away from the topic of abortion once the news blows over. We feel as though we have done enough,” she argued. “This recent trial sheds light on the truth of abortion, and it is time to stop being passive in our convictions. We have to be active, especially in prayer, to end abortion. We need to be unafraid to speak for those who can't speak for themselves.”
Testimonials like these shed light on the intense resistance the film has received since it was announced.
Every major Hollywood distributor rejected Gosnell, forcing producers to rely on crowdfunding. Judge Jeffrey Minehart, the trial judge in the case, tried to block both the film and book with a defamation suit. NPR objected to advertising text that referred to Gosnell as an “abortionist.” Planned Parenthood successfully pressured at least one venue to cancel private screenings. Facebook has rejected numerous advertisements for the film.
Most recently, co-producer Phelim McAleer and marketing director John Sullivan have raised concerns about almost 200 theaters dropping the film without explanation, reports of theater staffers actively discouraging and preventing customers from buying tickets, and the New York Times refusing to review or run ads for the film.
Gosnell earned rave reviews and grossed $1,235,800 over its opening weekend, during which it was the most successful independent release and 12th overall at the box office. It currently enjoys a 98% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, based on more than 1,200 user ratings.
Directed by Hollywood veteran Nick Searcy from a script written by conservative novelist Andrew Klavan, Gosnell stars Searcy, Dean Cain, Earl Billings, Sarah Jane Morris, and more. Readers can find theaters screening the film on its official website.