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Next on POV: After Tiller

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Watch the trailer: After Tiller premieres Monday, September 1, 2014, at 10 PM on PBS stations. (Check local listings.)

“Brings an emotional clarity to an issue in which every nuanced turn of phrase has been made politically complicated.” — Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s After Tiller is a deeply humanizing and probing portrait of the only four doctors in the United States still openly performing third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas—and in the face of intense protest from abortion opponents. It is also an examination of the desperate reasons women seek late abortions. Rather than offering solutions, After Tiller presents the complexities of these women’s difficult decisions and the compassion and ethical dilemmas of the doctors and staff who fear for their own lives as they treat their patients.

Visit the After Tiller companion site to watch the full film online for free for a limited time following the broadcast (starting September 1, 2014), explore the film’s issues, learn from the directors in an extended video interview, find out what’s happened since the cameras stopped rolling and download a discussion guide and other viewing resources.

Then, on Tuesday, September 1, from 1-2 PM ET (10-11 AM PT), ask After Tiller subject Dr. Susan Robinson, filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, and journalist Irin Carmon in a live chat about the complexities and ethics of third-trimester abortions. RSVP for the chat, submit your questions or listen in on the conversation on Google+.

Share your thoughts and ask questions by using the hashtag #aftertiller.

“The doctors in our film would be the first to acknowledge that people can disagree about this subject,” say Shane and Wilson in a filmmaker’s statement. ” But they are also absolutely dedicated to their work, and see it above all as something that helps women and alleviates suffering. In this way, their motivations are the same as those of any other doctors. What is different, of course, is that because of the nature of their jobs, these four doctors are more controversial and targeted than any others in the country. It is thanks to the courage and willingness of the doctors to be open and candid with us, and to allow us such extraordinary access to their patients and lives, that we were able to make a film that pulls back the curtain on a profession that is so often kept out of sight.”

After Tiller premieres Monday, September 1, 2014, at 10 PM on PBS stations. (Check local listings.)

For more updates from POV’s 2014 season, subscribe to POV’s documentary blog, like POV on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @povdocs.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • cheeriosinmypocket

    Shame on POV for this diabolical propaganda. How I wish people would wake up to the horrors these persons refer to as “deeply humanizing” and a “probing portrait” of what? — of a mass murderer who, too, was murdered. There are very few persons living (and absolutely ZERO persons who are waiting for their birth) that support this atrocity. Look at your very own words…”putting a human face on contemporary social issues.” These four murderers should NOT have one iota of concern or sympathy or free press. POV staff, you are shamefully promoting murder of many a human face…THAT is the contemporary social issue. Think…use your intellect, your reason. The lives these abortionists take are innocent babies. If only Rick Perry were here to stop your funding as he responsibly did in Texas. Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors is no different from these mass murderers. Stop this diabolical propaganda, for by it, you too have blood stained souls. I would promote the end of PBS before I would encourage one person to watch this abortion mill propaganda (just like the death camps of Germany, we have now lost over 55 million American lives through “legalized” abortion).

    • BG

      My opinion exactly. I enjoy many programs on PBS and feel I should contribute and then I see this I see programs like this and I recoil. You may be deceived by these charlatans but don’t expect to be praised or paid for promoting them.

    • anne

      It’s disappointing to see that you would post this screed days before the program actually aired. Obviously, you are just spouting propaganda with no knowledge of what the show actually portrayed. Also, your approval of the murder of Dr. Tiller (in church, thank you very much) is chilling. Also, it’s disgusting that you would appropriate the Holocaust to promote your point of view.


    How can you do this? How can you defend the brutality of this procedure against a helpless, defenseless child? I wouldn’t want to be you on judgment, and there will be a judgment day. You will never receive another dime of my money. I feel sick.

  • Sophia

    How can PBS air a show in which so-called doctors poison innocent children and dismember them to pieces for profit – and call them ‘compassionate’?!!
    These children can survive outside the womb and sometimes survive the abortion procedure only to be MURDERED by severing of the spinal cord.
    How do you call murder compassionate??

  • Jen McCarthy

    So sad that you are contributing to this societal horror. We have a Creator. These children are alive and viable! Not too late to turn around on this one.

  • Heidi

    Absolutely horrifying. PBS you have lost all my support if this airs. No one should be murdered in the womb Ever! You call this compassion? Mere manipulation.

  • Lexa

    This is heartbreaking! This is MURDER of a child!! How could anyone support this!? PBS please do not support such a thing or I simply cannot support you!

  • Joan Marie

    Excellent film. The blind selfishness of the anti abortion people is very disturbing. They are well beyond the reach of reason and empathy.
    Thank you to PBS and the courageous doctors and patients. You most certainly have my support.

    • cheeriosinmypocket

      No Joan Marie. You are quite mistaken. Blind selfishness is someone who places themselves above others. These doctors are murderers and need to be sent to jail for LIFE since that is what they take away from the most innocent. Please, begin to think with the intellect and reason you have been freely given and not diabolically as those who promote heinous acts of cold blooded murder. I would never agree with the cold-blooded murder of such barbarians; rather, they should be tried for the crime they commit each time they perform child dismemberment; skull injection to shrivel another human life’s brain; snip that baby’s spinal chord as it is about to be born; the baby survived all we have done? Oh, then stick that baby in the corner and let it die on its own. I see, Joan Marie, they didn’t give you the real story from the perspective of the baby. Perhaps you need to do some research vs. jumping on the bandwagon of cold blooded killers of innocent babies.

      • Joan Marie

        “Blind selfishness is someone who places themselves above others.”

        Your post is a perfect example of this. Abortion is legal and safe in this country. Fetal rights do not trump the women’s right to choose to end a pregnancy.
        Your post has nothing to do with reality. The description of an abortion is uneducated and meant only to manipulate other’s thoughts and feelings. That is where the selfish part come in. You have placed yourself above the women and the doctor. You have placed yourself into a medical decision which is none of your business. You have placed yourself above all those who feel the right to a legal abortion and medical privacy is of utmost importance.

        By your own definition that is blind selfishness.

  • Charlene

    POV: point of view…..mmm what does this mean. Unless you have been an woman who has been the victim of rape, or told your child has an irreversible, fatal birth defect rendering them unable to lead a viable conscious life, we have no right to judge.These women do not come to this decision lightly. Being a medical professional I am well aware of the countless children in our communities who are unwanted, abused, neglected ….this is not the case here. I suggest that you volunteer to work and care for these poor unfortunate children left in hospitals to live on machines or nursing homes on ventilators and tube feeds. Jesus would never condone murdering these people who aid these desperate women by aiding and assisting in these merciful acts.

  • Peg

    Not very balanced ….they are portraying these doctors as heroes. No discussion of how lucrative this practice is for these physicians. The closest they came is a discussion of the horse farm one owned with 40 horses! Sorry, this is not just a case of doctors wanting to help their patients.

    • anne

      Did you happen to pick up on the fact that they could also be killed at any time? They are heroes whether you choose to acknowledge the fact or not.

  • Joan Marie

    I fail to understand what any of this has to do with the dilemma these people find themselves in. The choice is theirs not yours to dictate to them. A tiny group of very good, smart, thoughtful people have come to the decision to abort in the third trimester. Their reasons are private between doctor and patient. I fail to see how your religious beliefs should matter to them or anyone else one iota.
    The belief that they should is the selfishness I speak of.

    • cheeriosinmypocket

      They never posted my response to you. sorry.

  • anne

    Did you even watch the documentary? Why do you insist that infants with severe abnormalities be born into short, miserable pain-filled lives? Why is it so important to you that they be put through such suffering? If someone can explain this to me, I would really like to know. Do you think that their souls won’t be saved unless they are born even into terrible pain and suffering? It seems like a very cruel perspective.

  • cheeriosinmypocket

    Dear Moderator,
    I have not copied my original comments on this blog. Since you have chosen to edit and delete some, would you please send a copy of all of my original comments to me? They are on your computer somewhere, I am sure. I must say that I have never been so censured. Thanks so much.

  • Jessica Garza

    I’m so happy PBS is running this. Not everyone believes what some of you name calling people do. Your just as bad as the terrorists overseas, thinking that they should follow a book in its literal tense. Come on people, it’s not your body, it’s not like welfare is paying for abortions. But your tax dollars will go to food stamps to feed all these women that have too many kids and can’t afford to feed them.

  • ;-)

    Connecting abortion and some unpopular people while occasionally throwing in some unconnected atrocities doesn’t make an argument.
    Anyway, lets play this game:
    You know what is Propaganda? To lure in addicts, tell them that there is only one way to get sober, which is a 12-step program and then along the way they find out that god is part of that program. Also i want to say (not that it would make any sense at this point): Did you know countless bombings were commited by christians in ireland?Children were killed [this comment has been edited by the moderator]. Also some adults (But don’t get distracted from those poor children because I really want to pull on those heartstrings). If the mothers of those terrorists would have aborted them so many lives could have been saved. [This comment has been edited by the moderator due to an attack on another poster]

    So my point actually is: Don’t trust words!
    Most people are either too stupid to use them correctly or they are smart enough and use them to screw you over. And you can never be sure which one you are.

    [This comment has been edited for being off topic]