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Thursday, June 8, 2023


Abortion film balances life, choices


On Tuesday, the Women’s Resource Center screened the documentary “After Tiller” to bring information about the controversy of abortion to light. | Jessica Sunny/The Daily Cougar

Students were able to uncover a different side to abortion by watching a documentary presented by the Women’s Resource Center.

WRC screened the documentary “After Tiller” on Tuesday at the New UC Theater. The film was based on the lives of four doctors who were trained to perform third trimester abortions by Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder in May 2009. The film depicts the risks that the doctors and their families go through because of anti-abortion activists and show their daily work environment.

WRC director Beverly McPhail said that although abortion is a controversial topic, the film showed a different aspect of the subject.

“This film did a great job showing the complexity and the humanness of the doctors and the women involved, and we just wanted to share that to the campus community,” McPhail said.

While it is against the law to perform an abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy, these doctors are the only ones in the country trained to perform abortions after the cut-off date. Most of the abortions done during the film were because the fetus threatened the mother’s life, was stillborn or might be born with life-threatening disabilities.

Political science freshman Darcy Caballero is a pro-choice activist and said that it’s nice to see the dedication and struggles of both the women and doctors.

“It was very moving to see this film,” Caballero said. “The doctors have a very important job to do in promoting the rights of women and allowing these women to make their decisions for their own bodies.”

The film also showed anti-abortion activists standing outside of the doctors’ clinics praying and trying to talk women out of their decisions.

Social work graduate Chinyere Eigege said that everyone is entitled to his or her own decision when it comes the choice they decided to go with.

“The choice to have an abortion is a difficult one,” Eigege said. “I think when a women has come to the decision to make this choice, she has the right to have that choice, and it’s important that women are given these choices and rights.”

The film showed a different aspect of the lives and struggles the doctors had to go through. McPhail said she hoped the audience was moved by it and in some way educated by it.

“I feel like the film gave everyone a new awareness and information to base their own decision on,” McPhail said. “We weren’t trying to change people’s decision but just to give people information, so they could make their own decision and see where they stand on the issue.”

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