Now, you can “meet” them in an upcoming documentary titled “After Tiller.”
Only four doctors in the U.S. offer third-trimester abortions, knowing they risk their own lives every day to carry out such controversial procedures.
If you recall, Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider, was assassinated in ’09.
Although late-term procedures make up just one per cent of all abortions in the United States, they are the most controversial, facing particularly virulent protests by abortion opponents.
Aside from death threats, such doctors face ‘institutional barriers,’ Dr Susan Robinson, a former colleague of Tiller who still performs such procedures, told AFP following a screening of the documentary at Sundance.
Docs who perform this procedure face interesting professional obstacles.
‘If you do abortions, it is very hard to get the privilege to work in a hospital, because they don’t like abortion providers.
‘They are almost all done in outpatient clinics, free-standing clinics, in this country,’ she says.
‘Being an abortion provider is very stigmatized. Other doctors look down on you and think of you as like the lowest of the low.’
So, what was Tiller like?
‘We learned at his knee. Kindness, courtesy, justice, love and respect are the hallmarks of a good doctor-patient relationship.
‘People tell me every single day, “Dr Robinson, you’ve given me my life back”. For these women it is life or death. Many women try to self-abort. The less available it is, the poor will have the hardest time.’
As for their clientele:
‘This woman has struggled with this decision, herself. She’s not coming because she saw the clinic while she was on her way to the grocery store.
‘Underlying all of what I do is the belief that women are capable of having ethical struggles, working on ethical questions and arriving at the best decisions for themselves.’
Abortion has, and probably always will be, a controversial topic and late abortions are particularly controversial and sensitive.