There’s a new movie being filmed in Oklahoma! This time it’s a biopic about Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
In case the name doesn’t ring any bells, Kermit Gosnell was convicted in 2013 of first degree murder of three infants, involuntary manslaughter of one of his adult patients, 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. I won’t go into detail about the atrocities he committed. You can look those up on your own. His medical practice was a complete fraud. He preyed on vulnerable women who had no money and no options. Many of his patients were immigrants without access to legitimate care.
Here’s a description of the film by BAM at NewsOK.com:
“Gosnell” is based on the true story of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor in Philadelphia who was convicted of murder in 2013 based on his unlawful practices during abortion procedures which resulted in multiple deaths. Described by Terry Moran, co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline, as “America’s most successful serial killer,” Gosnell is suspected of killing hundreds, perhaps thousands, during his practice, which he ran for nearly 30 years. The film tells the story of the detectives and prosecutors who finally brought Gosnell to justice.
The film has already raised over $2 million dollars via Indiegogo, after being blocked by KickStarter for violating community guidelines. Reading the Indiegogo page makes it obvious that these filmmakers aren’t here to shed light on a story that didn’t receive enough media coverage. Much like us, they’re here with a political axe to grind!
So while this little project is currently filming in my state, I would like to ask a few questions about the movie:
1. Will they cover why these women sought abortions?
Six out of ten women who seek abortions already have one child. Three in ten already have more than one. Nearly 75% of women who seek abortions, do so because they fear they will not be able to provide for their dependents, including the children they already have. It’s not hard to see that these women were desperate and lacked other options. Gosnell preyed on these women. To say he was unorthodox is an understatement. He over drugged patients, or in some cases, he didn’t drug them at all. In some cases, the procedure was performed so poorly that women needed further medical care.
2. Will they talk about what made these women particularly vulnerable to Gosnell?
Surely word got around. There is evidence that many of these problems were reported. But the bureaucracy failed, and women kept utilizing Gosnell’s services. Even though some probably heard horror stories before going there, they felt they had no other option. He worked primarily with low-income women, which makes it all the more terrifying to know that he was able to do what he did, and the system allowed it to happen, presumably because no one cared.
3. How can you shoot a movie about Philadelphia in Oklahoma?
Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but it seems like they would have a tough time finding the right architecture and scenery to make it look like Philadelphia. You know, unless maybe OKC was designed to look like Philadelphia as a part of a recent MAPS project I don’t know about. Honestly, I’ve never been to Philadelphia, so I don’t know.
4. Is it kosher for the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program to give incentives to further the filmmakers’ political agenda?
And to be clear, this is about politics. The Facebook page for the movie likes the pages of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and LifeNews.com, an anti-choice news site. By aligning their project with these entities, it’s clear that this isn’t just filmmakers telling a story. It’s a way for them to further their own agenda.
So, if the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program made Oklahoma an attractive location to these filmmakers (as is stated in the NewsOK blog post), is the state not functionally funding their political agendas? Is that okay?
5. Isn’t it a lie to say you’re “pro-life” in the state of Oklahoma?
Before you take to the comments section to tell me I’m going straight to hell, consider a few things. Oklahoma is an incredibly conservative place that values anti-choice legislation. In fact, it’s hard to have a legislative session without some new unconstitutional ban on abortions, which are completely legal medical procedures. But these filmmakers are “pro-lifers,” and perhaps Oklahoma was a great location for them to film relatively undisturbed. However, it maybe should be brought to their attention that Oklahoma is terrible at actually valuing lives. That’s why we currently rank the fifth worst among states for the percentage of children under the age of 18 who are homeless. And it’s not like it’s going to get better for those homeless kids. We don’t really care about making our kids competitive or at least capable of pursuing a better life. With the current teacher shortage being called a crisis, it seems like children really aren’t a priority at the state level.
So yeah. Oklahoma really only cares about the child while it’s still undergoing gestation. The actual life of the child, it would appear, is deemed inconsequential.
I agree with one thing the filmmakers have said. This story and his trial should’ve been front page news all over the country. But it would appear the filmmakers believe that it didn’t make as many headlines because people don’t care about what Gosnell did. That’s not the case at all. People just didn’t care about these women.