After Tiller

Four doctors in the U.S. who still perform third-trimester abortions
LeRoy Carhart, Warren Hern, Robinson, Shelley Sella

LeRoy Carhart, Warren Hern, Susan Robinson, Shelley Sella

The following comes from a January 21 story in the London Daily Mail.

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.

These doctors are the subject of a documentary screened at the Sundance film festival last weekend, forty years after the legalization of abortion in the U.S. and four years after Dr Tiller.

Physician George Tiller was a prominent practitioner of late-term abortions shot dead by an extremist in 2009.

The documentary After Tiller is named for him and  focuses on the few remaining doctors who perform abortions in the third trimester of a pregnancy. The Supreme Court granted states the right to limit abortions in the final three months of a pregnancy.

It shows Drs Robinson and Sella in Albuquerque, Dr Warren Hern in Boulder, Colorado, and it shows Germantown, Maryland, where LeRoy Carhart recently set up a practice.

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.

‘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.’

Working out of a clinic in Albuquerque, Dr Robinson told ABC of her time working under Tiller: ‘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.’

New Mexico law grants doctors full discretion over whether to carry out abortions – most often requested in cases in which the fetus is severely malformed – but Robinson says she relies on the judgment of the women themselves.

‘If a woman comes to me, particularly if she struggles to get there, she’s come from Canada or California, Louisiana or France, because she feels so strongly that she needs an abortion,’ she said.

‘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.

Two years ago, Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell was arrested and accused of killing a woman with a lethal dose of Demerol.

After police searched his office, they found bags and bottles stuffed with aborted fetuses which had been delivered alive and then killed with scissors. They referred to it as a ‘house of horrors’.

Even supporters of abortion do not approve of third-trimester procedures.

A 2011 Gallup poll showed that making abortion illegal in the last trimester got strong support from both pro-choice 79 per cent and pro-life advocates 94 per cent.

In the U.S., 88 per cent of abortions are done in the first 12 weeks. Fewer than one per cent are in the third trimester.

Dr Robinson is 66-years-old now but does not see herself retiring because she knows no one else will do what she risks her life to do.

‘I’ve been doing OB/GYN for 30 years. I did a residency in OB and a fellowship in perinatology, high-risk obstetrics.’

After abortion provider David Gunn was shot and killed in Pensacola, Florida in 1993, and two receptionists in abortion clinics in Massachusettes were murdered, Robinson began to perform abortions full-time.

‘Women whose fetuses have terrible abnormalities are a lot easier for people to understand,’ she told ABC. ‘The husband and wife want to spare their baby whatever suffering that baby would have.

‘Then there’s the group of women who didn’t know they were pregnant,’ she said. ‘They were told they were not pregnant for one reason or another and they are just as desperate.’

Read more here.


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  1. JohnXes4eyes says:

    Jill Stanek remarks that in his definitive textbook on PBA, Dr. Warren Hern cooly discusses the baby continuing to be alive in the mother after the baby’s arm has been ripped off.

    • JohnXes4eyes says:

      Where would Dante consign them?

      • JohnXes4eyes,

        They should be consigned to one volcanic heat level notch right above those who were in a strong position to stop this evil but maintained their comfortable positions of neutrality.

        • Anonymous says:

          Xtreme Catholicism. Bold daredevils with not a concern for themselves, they love the sport of living dangerously. They know that Christ said “For with the judgement you pronounce, you will be judged and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” Yet they are willing to risk all for a few moments of feeling superior. And reckless risktakers, Dante will not be your judge. It will be Jesus Christ (this is an article of faith that must be believed or one is a heretic). He told you exacly how he is going to judge you.

      • To the millstone facility.

  2. Abeca Christian says:

    Shot dead by an extremist? Really? Why am I puzzled by the word extremist? What do you call murdering children on the third trimester? I’m sure we can think of a lot of names.

    I’m so disgusted by these 4 murderers. They are not doctors! As I recall the oath a doctor makes is to save life’s. Not end them!

    • JohnXes4eyes says:

      John Brown took that to an extreme at Harper’s Ferry. I wonder how many close friends he had among actual slaves.

  3. Abeca Christian says:

    What she risks her life to do? As if she was doing something honorable. Poor innocent babies….

    I don’t ever want to understand this mentality. Those that see nothing wrong with this do actually feel that they are doing a good service. I remember an elder tell me that she would prefer a child be aborted than allow it to live and suffer under the hands of parents who are druggies or abusers, I said that abortion is actually the biggest form of child abuse, so her thoughts are contradictory. She disagreed, then she went on to tell me “how would you feel paying welfare for them for years.” I told her, we already do, but it’s not for children, its for lazy people, they still have abortions and we still have a faulty welfare system.

    Abortions it not the solution. She kept telling me “so you are OK with a child who is born deformed and will die in less than a year after it’s born?’ I said “if God willed for that child to be born that way, no matter how long they live after they are born then it’s God’s timing not mine, I have no right to break God’s commandments and play God by ending a life etc.

    These folks really believe they are right, it is truly sick!

  4. The Book of Psalms 10

    10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

    10:5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.

    10:6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.

    10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.

    10:8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.

    10:9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.

  5. If a woman wants an abortion, why does she wait until the third trimester? Even if it’s a matter of her health, with proper medical care, she could wait until the baby is viable. Instead of having an abortion, at, say eight or nine months, have the physician induce labor safely, in a hospital, and give birth to the child. She could then give the baby up for adoption.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      I agree Sarah, with the babying moving and feeling it grow inside you, what woman would be so evil to kill her unborn. It just does not make sense, a real mum would not even consider this kind of option.

      It’s hard to comprehend these kind of evils…God have mercy on us and that we never fall our of His divine graces!

  6. Dr Robinson is 66-years-old now but does not see herself retiring because she knows no one else will do what she risks her life to do.

    Your risking your soul, Dr. May God have mercy.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Sandra if only she would see the whole picture… what she risks here on earth, her fleshly rewards will carry on in the after life but unfortunate those rewards may not be what she expects them to be… she may lose her salvation. Our precious Lord has already judged these actions, for all the lives she has helped end, there is no turning back… she has not the power to undue what she has done.

      I read from the saints that the suffering in purgatory is great and since there is no time, in our human understanding, it can be ages and ages one can spend there in agony… but hell is also there for the unrepentant and wicked.

      God help us… hard to understand what makes people reject His graces.

      I don’t think these people fear the Lord at all, not even for a glimpse or a speck because if they had a speck of conscience, even that can probably save them. We can not understand evil or comprehend it because we have good hearts and God’s graces protect us. Those of us who cling on to God’s graces… we beg for His graces daily, some people just don’t.

  7. The women who kill their late term babies should just have them and put them up for adoption. If the child is severely deformed then he will die after birth. In England and maybe even in the US babies are aborted because of cleft lips. This is a fixable issue and so are many others. One cannot imagine killing the baby yourself, so the pressure mounts to have someone do it before birth when it is legal. No guilt, except there is. Doctors who abort the unborn are legal assassins and must get some perverse satisfaction in knowing that they knocked off another child. It is blood money. The lie that they are coming to the aid of the woman is only a ruse to ease their minds.

  8. These doctors make me sick with the way they talk about what they do as if it is so noble and heroic. What they ARE are serial killer hit men/women! It takes a truley evil mind to justify the killing of these small human beings.

  9. OneoftheSheep says:

    It is good that the people of God can pray for the conversion and the enlightenment of these four “doctors” who have forsaken their Hippocratic oath to ‘do no harm’ to their patients. One wonders how such intelligent men and women can drift so far from their life-giving profession as to end up taking the lives of the innocent pre born child.

    Just knowing that we can pray, offer sacrifices, and seek grace from the Creator for any and all people who take money to destroy life is not enough. We must advocate for an end to such practices. Lord, release these abortionists from the blindness, the bondage, the sin that has captivated their lives. Set them free and allow them the chance to repent.

  10. Juergensen says:

    Four minions of Satan.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if one or more is “Catholic” and regularly receives and profanates the Holy Eucharist as it “pastoral” to allow it.

  11. Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

    How does a person become so evil? What does their mother think of them?

  12. Four killers of innocent unborns pure & simple, trying to convince us (and, in the process trying to assuage their own consciences, if they have any left) of the rightness of their “occupation,” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Shades of the Nazi holocaust enablers, these people should be hauled before a court and be tried for their CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY! But instead they’re feted with their own documentary, with the prestigious SUNDANCE LOGO. Has everyone gone absolutely bonkers? And yet THIS is the age we live in, its amoral excesses right out in front for ALL to see, if they will. The trouble is, too many won’t. Be afraid, be VERY afraid, somethin’s comin’, as the song from West Side Story says. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

  13. Something tells me this movie leaves out the actual “service” these “doctors” perform. Too bad because there could be no way of sugar-coating these evil scum of the earth for the killers they are. Amazing how they keep the lie going that these women come to have scissors rammed into their babies’ skulls under the farce of saying they want to relieve the child’s suffering. Selfish Narcissists is what they are when they do this, they don’t care about the child suffering, they only care about the hardship they fear they will face by having this imperfect child. I always wonder what the abortionist tells these women, because the “just a clump of cells or little blog of tissue” can’t possibly be effective.
    There is a reason doctors look down on these abortionists, because they are nothing more than murderers in white coats!

  14. These four so called “doctors” are murderers and liars, just like the enemy they follow.

  15. Late term abortions are usually a form of euthenasia. Women who have been joyfully decorating nursuries and buying baby booties discover a fatal or devastating condition in their unborn baby. What a horrifying discovery! Women of faith carry the baby to term and love the baby for the hours or maybe even years that the baby lives after birth. Some women fall for the temptation that they are preventing the baby’s suffering by having the abortion. Pray for them. Christians understand the redemptive value of suffering. I’ve never heard of a woman who let the baby live (and suffered the grief of loss after the birth of the baby) who regretted her desicion. Women who have late term abortions need a lot of support and sympathy because they too lost their baby. They have stolen something important from their baby and themselves by shortcutting the baby’s life. Life has a rhythm and a pattern and a flow and to get all out of life that is available you need to conform to that. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t give up on your baby. Please pray for them. These doctors who think they are a woman’s last hope are stealing something prescious from her. Doctors, if you read this, just because something can be done does not mean it should be. Help these women be strong. Change your practice to walking through the life and death of these babies and their mothers. Then you will truly have given them their life back.

  16. Two days ago, a 29 year old patient of Dr. Carhart died from complications from her third term abortion.

  17. Mark from PA says:

    That is telling that 79% of pro-choice people think that abortions should be illegal in the third trimester. Almost everyone recognizes a child in the third trimester as a baby. This horrible procedure should be outlawed. This article is so sad and tragic.

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