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After Tiller

By Abby Johnson

The following is adapted from a Sept. 1 blog post by Abby Johnson about the 2013 documentary “After Tiller.” The film, made in response to the 2009 murder of abortionist Dr. George Tiller, follows four U.S. doctors that openly perform late-term abortions. It premiered on PBS Sept. 1, 2014.

I have seen “After Tiller.” It is very well done. The producers did a great job of drawing you in quickly. It is, of course, sympathetic to the abortion movement. But honestly, if you aren’t careful, you could totally forget about that part and find yourself struggling with misguided sympathy. So that’s my first word of advice.

If you watch this documentary, guard yourself. I don’t discourage anyone from watching it at all. I always think it’s a good idea to listen to what our opposition is telling the public … and more importantly, what they are telling themselves. Researching and understanding the mindset of the pro-choice side is a very important part of being a prolife activist.

The producers do a great job of turning these late term abortion providers into sympathetic heroes—heroes that risk their lives to perform these “life-saving medical procedures.” They are threatened, hunted down, harassed … all because they perform a legal medical procedure. And there’s the message that they want you to hear.

You may read this and say, “Well, that’s not going to happen to me.”

We are usually moved to changes in our thinking by small messages that we hear over and over again. I was raised pro-life but was slowly changed into a pro-choice person because of those small messages I heard. The messages were untrue, just like they are untrue in this documentary. But a lie can easily be disguised as truth. Remember that these physicians abort babies. They are not heroes.

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And on that note, here’s my second word of advice. The reason this documentary was even able to be made was because of the pro-life movement. Yes, you read that correctly. You see, we give them the material. We do it when we, as pro-lifers, call abortion providers “baby killers” and “murderers.” We do it when we use crazy, inflammatory language like “death chamber” and “slaughterhouse” when referring to abortion facilities.

We would do well to ask ourselves: “How are we perceived by our opposition?” Are we someone that an abortion-minded woman or an abortion worker would trust to help them? I am thankful every day that I had rational, kind pro-lifers to turn to in my crisis of conscience.
It’s important to ask ourselves: Are we pro-life because it makes us feel good? Are we pro-life because it’s a box we can check off? Are we pro-life because we are all about being right and winning an argument?

I hope not. I hope we are pro-life because we genuinely care about women, men, families and babies. I hope we are pro-life because we believe that women deserve better than abortion. Being pro-life is not about being right. It’s not about winning an argument. Win an argument, lose a soul.

Remember that these abortionists are … sinners, just like you and me. And they are also redeemable. Let this be a reminder to pray for their conversion with increased fervor. If you don’t believe that the abortionists featured in “After Tiller” can experience a conversion, then you don’t know the same God I do. The God I serve is in the business of miracles.


Pro-life advocate Abby Johnson, a former employee of Planned Parenthood, is a national speaker and author of the best-selling book Unplanned. Visit www.abbyjohnson.org.


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