‘Gosnell’ film convinces ‘abortion agnostic’ to recognize ‘murder’ of the pre-born
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KANSAS CITY, Missouri, November 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer has made a deep impression with audiences nationwide, and now the true story of America’s most infamous abortionist has inspired yet another testimonial about the film converting a viewer on abortion.
Gosnell depicts 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 film highlights the shocking details of the original trial, such as Gosnell cutting the spinal cords of hundreds of newborns; witnesses describing infants who survived initial abortion attempts as “swimming” in toilets “to get out”; the feet of aborted babies stored in a freezer; and the mainstream media’s initial avoidance of the story.
On Wednesday, The Federalist published an op-ed in which Missouri attorney Adam Mill explains how Gosnell impacted him, someone who “avoided the abortion issue because I lacked the moral courage to really think about it and form my own opinion.”
As shocking as the crimes for which Gosnell was convicted were, Mill contends the real takeaway was how Gosnell defended them.
“Gosnell’s defense at trial was to point to the arbitrary legal line between what he did and what the law sanctioned,” Mill writes. “His attorney argued that even if he had followed proper procedures in a sterile clinic using the most advanced medical equipment to terminate pregnancies, the fundamental moral character of what he was doing wouldn’t change.”
“You might now be tempted to stop reading this as you retreat into a pre-formed position on abortion. Don’t,” he continued. “This is the moral no-man’s land that hasn’t been rationally discussed since the political screaming started in the early 1970s, during the oral arguments for Roe v. Wade [...] Is it really murder outside the womb, but legal when a doctor completes the procedure inside?”
Gosnell’s defense is the same argument many pro-lifers have made since his original trial, that while his abortions were less sanitary, deadlier to women, and crossed more legal lines than the average Planned Parenthood facility, what he did to babies was fundamentally indistinguishable from other late-term abortions.
“After seeing Gosnell sneer at the line” between abortion and legal murder, Mill explains, “I see the urgency of public participation in the question. If it is left up to the advocates for unfettered abortion rights, would there be any line at all?”
“‘Gosnell’ shattered my sheltered agnosticism over abortion. When the sounds of [a] crying baby can be heard in an abortion clinic, I am forced to admit that abortion stalks the edges of the definition of murder,” Mill declares. “Where will the line between abortion and murder be drawn if we leave it to bumper stickers and profit-seeking doctors like Gosnell to draw that line?”
Both the real Gosnell case and the film adaptation have single-handedly changed the minds of multiple people, including the movie’s co-producer Ann McElhinney, student activist Kathy Zhu, and writer Patrick Courrielche. Gosnell has also inspired people who were already pro-life to get more involved in the cause.
“Yesterday, I was pro-choice. I believed that women should have a say & the [government] shouldn’t be interfering w/ our lives,” Zhu wrote. “Today, I'm pro-life. After watching #Gosnell & doing in-depth research, I finally understand the horrors of loopholes in late term abortions.”
McElhinney has said she could spend “all day reading the most beautiful letters from people who have changed their mind about abortion from watching the movie,” and the producers have also written that “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 film’s producers and supporters say fear of such reports is exactly why major Hollywood distributors refused to back it, Facebook has rejected numerous ads for it, and scores of theaters have dropped it without explanation.
Gosnell has received rave reviews from pro-life and conservative voices, and enjoys a 98 percent Rotten Tomatoes score based on more than 1,400 user reviews. Readers can find theaters screening Gosnell on its official website.