After Tiller

after-tiller-titleFor the past few days, I have been getting message after message asking me to weigh in on PBS airing the abortion supporting documentary “After Tiller.” I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to say anything about it, because I honestly don’t want to give it any more attention. But it turns out that I do have a few things to say. 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 prochoice side is a very important part of being a prolife activist. However, remember what you are watching. The producers do a great job of turning these late term abortion providers into sympathetic heroes. Heroes that risk their lives to perform these “lifesaving medical procedures.” I mean, look what happened to Dr. George Tiller! Gunned down in his own church by a crazed prolifer. They are risking their lives for women. 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. And that’s the message that you will hear if you don’t guard yourself. 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 prolife, but was slowly changed into a prochoice 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. Be careful. Remember that these physicians abort babies. They are not heroes. 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 prolife movement. Yes, you read that correctly. You see, we give them the material. A self-proclaimed prolifer killed Dr. Tiller. Self-proclaimed prolifers bomb abortion facilities. Self-proclaimed prolifers celebrated the deaths of abortionists. Self-proclaimed prolifers protested Dr. Tiller’s funeral with signs that said “Tiller rot in hell” and “Thank God Tiller’s dead.” I remember. I saw them with my own eyes. We do it when we, as prolifers, call abortion providers “baby killers” and “murderers.” We do it when we use crazy, inflammatory language like “death chamber” and “slaughter house” when referring to abortion facilities. We make ourselves look weird. We become unrelatable. We fit the stereotype that prochoicers are SO desperate to stick on all of us. We make it so easy for them to say, “Look. They are ALL like that.” In my mind, those who promote violence against abortion providers are NOT prolife people. But my opinion doesn’t really matter. It’s all about perception. 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? Or have we become so verbally aggressive that they wouldn’t come near us? I am thankful every day that I had rational, kind prolifers to turn to in my crisis of conscience.

I realize that this can be a touchy subject for some. Some prolifers just have to hold on to that inflammatory language created by prolifers in order to somehow disrespect prochoicers. But here’s the truth. Calling an abortion facility escort a “deathscort” is hilarious to them. Calling an abortion facility an “abortuary” cracks them up. I remember when we were in meetings about the abortion facility we were constructing in Houston. My boss used to laugh and say, “Now remember, this will be the largest abortuary in the Western Hemisphere.” We would all laugh. We have made ourselves look like fools to them because we insist on using this dramatic language.

Maybe some people are okay with that. I am not. I want conversion for these people. That is my goal. I want them to have conversions on the issue of life and eventually have conversions to Christ. In order to do that, they have to take me seriously when I talk to them. They have to understand that I genuinely care about them…that I don’t mock them.

Please understand that this doesn’t mean that I EVER water down the truth. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that is true. But I believe that when we speak truth, we must do so with love, charity and compassion. Otherwise, we become a clanging gong. I think it’s important to ask ourselves, “Who are we doing this for?” Are we prolife because it makes us feel good? Are we prolife because it’s a box we can check off? Are we prolife because we like running prochoicers into the ground and mocking them? Are we prolife because we are all about being right and winning an argument? I hope not. I hope we are prolife because we genuinely care about women, men, families and babies. I hope we are prolife because we believe that women deserve better than abortion. Being prolife is not about being right. It’s not about winning an argument. Win an argument, lose a soul.

You can call someone a “baby killer” all day long. It will only turn them away from you. It certainly won’t bring about a fruitful conversation. I didn’t think I was killing babies when I worked at Planned Parenthood. I didn’t think those terms related to me at all. I was blind. I didn’t see the truth that you see. It was far more effective to reach out to me with genuine care over name calling.

I admit that I’ve only been a prolifer for four and a half years. But I have been a student of this debate for 12 and half years. I’m no expert on all things prolife. But I know what worked for me…a person who was ENTRENCHED in the abortion lifestyle. And I also know what has worked for the 122 former abortion facility workers who have come through our ministry, And Then There Were None. None of them left because someone called them names. Not one of them left because people yelled at them and told them that they were going to hell. I remember that someone was attempting to criticizing me one time and they said, “Good grief, Abby, it’s like you think that if we love these baby killers enough, they will convert.” Um, yeah…that’s kind of exactly what I believe.

Now, before I close, I want to make sure that you don’t fall for the misguided sympathy that these producers are trying to push on you. I will, once again, describe a third trimester abortion below.

Since the ban on Partial Birth Abortion, abortionists have come up with a different method...believe it or not, a more dangerous method.

When a woman comes in for a late term abortion, her cervix is dilated through the administration of one of two medications called misoprostol (cytotec) and pitocin and/or laminaria/lamicel insertion. Laminaria are made of sterilized seaweed and look like tiny tampons. Lamicel are similar, but made of a synthetic material. The misoprotol is taken orally prior to surgery and may take several hours to work. Misoprostol is a medication administered to relax the cervix muscle so that the surgeon can dilate it easily. Pitocin is also used sometimes to help with this process and is administered through an I.V.

If laminaria or lamicel is necessary to complete dilation, they must be inserted into the patient’s cervix by the physician prior to the abortion procedure. The laminaria/lamicel act like sponges by absorbing the moisture in the patient’s vagina and expanding to gently open the cervix.

Laminaria/lamicel and misoprostol will be administered on day one. Also, on day one, the physician will also administer a medication called digoxin. This medication will be injected into the amniotic fluid. The fetus will then drink in the digoxin and will overdose in the womb. It can take up to 48 hours for death to occur. During this time, the mother may feel her child struggling to die in her womb.

On day two or three, the physician will perform the surgical abortion after dilation of the cervix is complete—this may take several hours or overnight. The doctor will remove the laminaria (if applicable) insert a speculum into the vagina, and remove the unborn child using vacuum aspiration (suction), forceps and curettes. The surgical procedure takes approximately 10 – 25 minutes. After surgery, the mother is taken into the recovery room, where nurses will monitor her for approximately 45 minutes.

Now that you have read that, remember that these abortionists are misguided. They are sinners, just like you and me. And they are also REDEEMABLE. They are not our enemy. Our enemy is the sin of abortion. These misguided souls are our brothers and sisters in Christ, whether you like it or not. Let this be a reminder to pray for their conversion with increased fervor. If you don’t believe that these 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.

Action item: Since PBS is paid for with our tax dollars and they are showing this on their “Point of View” program, then it only makes sense that they would show the opposing point of view related to “After Tiller.” We are asking that they show the awesome prolife film “40” as part of their programming. After all, PBS certainly doesn’t want to appear that they are being biased, right? Here’s what you do. Go to this link and sign the petition. I also encourage you to go to PBS’s website and let them know what you think of this decision. Make your voice heard.