BAKERSFIELD, California October 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Most people who’ve seen Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer have attested to the film’s potential to change hearts and minds on abortion, and now comes word that the movie has inspired one group of viewers to help a pregnant California woman choose life.
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. Several people have attested to the film both converting them and inspiring them to do more for life.
On Friday, LifeZette published a piece in which Terri Palmquist of LifeSavers Ministries explains how the Bakersfield ministry rented out a theater for a screening on opening weekend, and how the subsequent audience discussion inspired four mothers to attend one of their weekly sidewalk counseling sessions outside of the local abortion facility.
The women spoke to an approximately 20-year-old student scheduled for an abortion that day, and Palmquist says the moms’ happiness with their small children helped convince the student to not go through with it.
“The girl was just touched,” Palmquist, a mother of eleven kids, explained. “The moms were letting the girl hold the babies. Without them there, I don’t think we would’ve been able to reach that mom, and the moms who came out were motivated by the movie.”
“She thought a baby would interfere with her life,” she continued. “She knew it was wrong, but she just needed a little more encouragement. And seeing the moms with their babies made her realize she could do it. Plus, we told her we could help her, so she made some new friends.”
The growing number of such testimonials further underscores the intense resistance the film continues to receive.
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 1,325 user ratings.
Readers can find theaters screening Gosnell on its official website. Pregnant women looking for assistance in the Bakersfield area can call LifeSavers Ministries toll-free at 866-949-2229.