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After Tiller: A powerful doc about late-term abortions and those who perform them

Dr. Susan Robinson at the Albuquerque, New Mexico clinic where she practicses, from the documentary After Tiller.

2.5 out of 4 stars

Written by
Greg O'Toole, Martha Shane, Lana Wilson
Directed by
Martha Shane, Lana Wilson

George Tiller had been providing abortions for more than three decades when he was assassinated in Kansas in 2009. His death left only four doctors in the United States who perform the most controversial of pregnancy-terminating procedures: third-trimester abortions.

Directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson explore the issue through the perspective of the doctors in this eye-opening documentary about what is one of the most polarizing political subjects south of the border. It's humanizing and heartbreaking.

We meet patients (we only see their knees, feet and the back of their heads) ranging from a college student impregnated by rape to a couple who have been told their baby would live a short, brutally painful life because of a genetic abnormality. They are wrenched by the decision they face, and the doctors often are as well.

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Hounded by protesters and threatened in multiple ways, including having their clinics shot at, and often facing conservative-backed legislation attempting to shut down their practices, the four doctors carry on their work because they see it as a duty. This film will make you see the subject in a new light, whatever your politics.

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More


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