After three and half years, the makers of 3801 Lancaster (see link below) are ready to release the follow-up documentary, 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy. The address in the title refers to the facility where abortionist Kermit Gosnell killed children who survived attempted abortions. He was also found guilty of manslaughter in the death of patient Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell is in prison for his crimes.
Those crimes are at risk of being forgotten or mischaracterized. Director David Altrogge of 3801 Lancaster doesn’t want that to happen. The new film is available for pre-order on iTunes.
Here’s the trailer:
And here is the original 3801 Lancaster, 21 minutes long. Disturbing material, but must-see viewing for anyone concerned about public health in general and women’s health in particular.
[Update, September 2015: part two, a full-length documentary, is scheduled for release in November 2015 . Watch the 3801lancaster web site for news.]
I saw the short documentary 3801 Lancaster last year and recommended it. The team of filmmakers who created that damning account of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s business are almost ready to unveil Part II.
You can watch part I online [link broken, September 2015]. You’ll hear from injured women who survived being in Gosnell’s “clinic” in Philadelphia at 3801 Lancaster Avenue. You’ll hear about Karnamaya Mongar, who did not make it out alive. You’ll hear the facts about how the state of Pennsylvania did not inspect abortion facilities because a (Republican) governor decided that abortion regulations were a “barrier” to women. Complaints piled up without being investigated. That’s what freedom of “choice” meant for the women who went to Gosnell.
Part II is coming out in May, on the anniversary of Gosnell’s conviction for first-degree murder. Here’s what the filmmakers have to say about their work, from the 3801 Lancaster web site:
The 3801 Lancaster Film Project is an ongoing documentary series about Kermit Gosnell, the Women’s Medical Society, and the cover-up by state and local oversight agencies. As we continue to follow the story, there are three goals:
First, to make the public aware of what happened at the Women’s Medical Society.
Second, to give Gosnell’s victims an outlet to tell their stories.
Third, to help find and shut down clinics that continue to operate in the same manner as the Women’s Medical Society.
Gosnell sits in jail, unrepentant. He’s learned nothing. I’ve heard abortion advocates – most recently the executive director of a New Hampshire abortion facility – say publicly that pro-lifers are to blame for Gosnell. Those abortion advocates haven’t learned anything, either. Thankfully, there are people like the makers of 3801 Lancaster who work to keep the truth in the sunshine where it belongs.
I first saw 3801 Lancaster at last year’s CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference). It was screened in a small room some distance from the main stage. Fewer than fifty people came to see it, amid a conference attended by close to 10,000 people. Understandable, perhaps; it’s a vivid and disturbing documentary. That wasn’t the main reason for the low attendance, though. The fact is that even in a politically “conservative” environment, a lot of people don’t want to hear about abortion. It’s one of those social issues. It’s not a political “winner,” as consultants might say.
So fire the consultants. Anyone who watches 3801 Lancaster will know what a war on women looks like.
Two important and unsettling short videos about abortion in America are available now. Inhumanwas released today, and 3801 Lancastercame out earlier this year. Could they move someone on the fence over the pro-life side?
Inhuman, from Lila Rose and Live Action, is an actual recording of a conversation between a woman who is 6 months’ pregnant, pretending to seek an abortion, and a counselor who is describing the procedure. Everything is straightforward until the pregnant woman uses the word “kill.” The counselor gently but swiftly corrects her; the proper term is “termination.” 3801 Lancaster is about Kermit Gosnell’s practice, the sickening details of which are being reported by some (not all) news agencies as he is tried for murder. That video, along with the Gosnell grand jury report, leave one with a sense of revulsion, or at least uneasiness. Neither video is fiction, and both are filled with horrifying facts. Still, abortion is legal and largely unregulated.
Are revulsion and horror enough to stop abortion? Not really.
Look at NARAL’s response to Gosnell. I have no doubt NARAL would have ignored him without the recent social media blitz that embarrassed abortion advocates and lazy news agencies into taking note. NARAL blames the pro-life movement for all the ugliness at Gosnell’s facility. Revulsion over the bloody mess there did not move anyone at NARAL or PP to reconsider abortion. Instead, anger was misdirected at people opposing abortion.
Is uneasiness enough? No. Uneasiness is the posture of people who call themselves “pro-choice” but are not comfortable with abortion. Look no further than New Hampshire. A poll conducted by New England College for Right On Strategies a few months ago found that 60% of respondents called themselves pro-choice and 32% called themselves pro-life, but 41% of respondents thought that abortion should not be performed after the unborn child can feel pain. There’s tension there, but it hasn’t translated yet into a solid 41% of New Hampshire voters filling the halls of the State House demanding a ban on late-term abortions. I’m not referring to the usual activists, who would plunge into a debate on that legislation with gusto. Rank-and-file voters, whatever their unease with late-term abortion, are not yet fully engaged.
Any consistent, persistent defense of life and opposition to abortion comes from recognition that both mother and child are human, with innate worth and dignity. Revulsion and uneasiness can precede that, but decisive action waits until one feels the “click” that comes when one’s heart & brain & gut all support the mother as well as the child. That click can’t be forced or formulated.
Inhuman and 3801 Lancaster are important, because they tell the truth about how people are treated every day in places most of us don’t see. Truth can be searing, though. People don’t like to be seared. That’s why posters of aborted babies haven’t persuaded a majority of legislators and judges to stop the slaughter.
So what will move a person off the fence? If I had a simple answer for that, I could claim my Peace Prize and go home. Surely, though, a relationship with someone who values life is important. A living example is more influential than any video, for good or ill. A rank-and-file voter who has never had a friend with a crisis pregnancy is unlikely to see the life issues as anything other than a political football. Someone who is part of a church community that supports respect for life will likely have a more personal & less academic view of abortion. A woman who learns her preborn child has a genetic disorder can be powerfully encouraged – or discouraged – by the reaction of her extended family and her health care providers.
Even so, these videos deserve and need wide circulation. They won’t fix everything, but they’ll go a long way toward challenging the policymakers on whose watch these late-term abortions are happening with full legal protection. For someone, that just might be enough to trigger the click.
“Gosnell trial should sound alarm.” Yes, it should. But consider the source of that headline: today’s Blog for Choice entry by NARAL Pro-Choice America, which has an affiliate in New Hampshire.
Late to the event, abortion advocates are making up for lost time on the Gosnell case by fabricating a narrative that “anti-choice” forces (that’s Newspeak for “pro-life”) are to blame for Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s work in Philadelphia. NARAL’s entire blog post is available for your edification and astonishment at the link in the previous paragraph. A few choice extracts:
“We may never know why Gosnell preyed on women and put their lives at risk. But what we do know is why women would turn to someone like him instead of a reputable provider elsewhere: anti-choice politics have put safe, affordable, legal abortion care out of reach for many women.”
“One woman said she turned to Gosnell because the anti-choice protesters outside Planned Parenthood were too intimidating.”
“The horrific conditions in Gosnell’s clinic are an example of what happens to women and our basic dignity when abortion isn’t available through safe and legal providers. It is why we fight every day.”
Here is what NARAL did NOT mention about Gosnell in today’s press release/blog post:
He is on trial for killing a woman named Karnamaya Mongar. NARAL did not mention her name or the fact that Gosnell is on trial for her murder.
He is on trial for the murders of seven children who survived abortion.
He is on trial, period.
About “safe and legal providers”:
NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire has sent a lobbyist to every hearing in New Hampshire in recent years on bills to require reporting of abortion statistics, establish genuine informed consent, and require increased scrutiny of abortion providers. We are supposed to accept providers’ claims of “safe” at face value.
Gosnell’s facility had protesters outside, when it was operating, so NARAL’s report about “anti-choice protesters” serving to discourage women doesn’t hold water. (Source: 3801lancaster.com)
In New Hampshire, the abortion providers who send lobbyists to Concord claim that their facilities do not do late-term abortions (Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Concord Feminist Health Center, Lovering Health Center). For the abortions they do provide, the cost goes up as pregnancy becomes more advanced and abortion becomes more complicated. It makes gruesome sense that Gosnell would charge more, since he did late-term abortions. That’s the market the abortion industry itself has developed. For late-term work, “affordable” would have to mean “cut-rate.”
Gosnell WAS “reputable”, as far as the state of Pennsylvania was concerned. Also, as far as the state was concerned, he was operating “legally.” Women going to him for abortions weren’t likely to know he was a butcher. A woman named Semika Shaw died at his facility in 2002, but that wasn’t enough to prompt a state investigation, nor did it draw attention from abortion lobbyists.
Abortion advocates in New Hampshire, and possibly in Gosnell’s Pennsylvania as well, have fought to keep the names of abortion providers anonymous. It will be nearly impossible to hold an abortionist accountable for killing or injuring a woman if she or he is operating under that kind of cloak.
Remember, Gosnell’s butchery was only discovered by law enforcement by accident. Resistance to abortion regulation is what kept his business humming along. NARAL is an integral part of that resistance.
“It is why we fight every day,” as NARAL’s blogger writes. Tell that to the family of Karnamaya Mongar, whose dignity and life were lost at the hands of workers at a facility that was “safe and legal” in the eyes of Pennsylvania lawmakers and health care regulators.