Team Pick: Watch “After Tiller” Free on PBS Right Now

Do you have access to an internet connection and a web-enabled device of some sort? Yeah? Then you can watch the award-winning documentary, After Tiller right now, completely free. The documentary premiered on Monday of this week and will stream online on the PBS website until October 1, 2014.

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After Tiller is an honest look at late term abortion, the complex stories of people who seek late term abortions, and a humanizing portrait of the four doctors who continue to provide them. Dr. George Tiller was one of the very few doctors who perform late term abortions, due to social stigma and the intense and violent threats from anti-abortion extremists. Dr. Tiller was assassinated in 2009, while serving as an usher at his church. After Tiller honors the legacy of Dr. Tiller’s work by following and documenting the stories of his colleagues who continue to, quite literally, risk their lives to serve their patients with compassion.

Dr. Robinson, one of the doctors featured in After Tiller.

Dr. Robinson, one of the doctors featured in After Tiller.

After Tiller is directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson. You may have seen Shane’s 2008 feature documentary about bisexuality, Bi the Way.

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Martha Shane and Lana Wilson

I was working for Planned Parenthood at the time of Dr. Tiller’s murder. I remember the deep grief we felt in the reproductive health field, the chilling reminder that the threat of clinic violence is more than just rhetoric. You might remember the Tiller memorial and tribute project, I am Dr. Tiller, featuring anonymous stories of reproductive health workers. After Tiller really hit me in my soft spots, leaving me with a lingering sadness and a deep respect for all doctors and staff who provide abortion care.

Watch After Tiller on PBS and share your thoughts with us in the comments!

KaeLyn is a 35-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating carbs, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 209 articles for us.

11 Comments

  1. I loved this film. And was really struck by the notion of people calling from countries we think of as so progressive to try to get an appointment at one of these clinics. I also appreciated that it wasn’t an apology — yes, they showed the anguish involved when such a procedure is a medical necessity involving a planned and wanted pregnancy, but they didn’t restrict it to just that.

    I can’t even imagine the courage it takes, and unfortunately that’s seemingly even more true by the second and these folks won’t keep practicing forever. The “who will replace them” question looms large.

    • It is a huge question! Who will be the next generation of abortion providers?

      Few medical programs are teaching the procedure and today’s students, for the most part, were born after Roe v. Wade. They have no personal connection to unsafe, illegal abortion and haven’t had reason to think about why providing abortion care is important. On top of that, it is a dangerous field because of anti-abortion extremists who literally put a target on the backs of any doctor who openly performs abortion procedures. I worry…

  2. It was sooooo eye opening to realize that in countries that tout themselves as more progressive than the US, they’re having to seek abortions here. It’s also gross. Like, wtf France?
    I REALLY liked After Tiller. Shelley Sella, for one, is a badass. So is Susan Robinson. I really liked Sella’s take in particular on performing late term abortions–it was just really interesting to hear that particular honesty.
    Another great thing was that my little brother, who goes to a Christian university and is a bit more conservative than I am, was the one who told me that it was on Netflix. He had just finished watching it (and How to Die in Oregon), and it really affected his opinion on late term abortions and abortion in general. We had a really long conversation about it, and I was really surprised how much it affected him. So I think that’s fabulous.

    • I like that After Tiller focuses on the people, instead of the politics. My hope is that this kind of frank and earnest conversation about abortion can change people’s hearts and minds. I’m glad it inspired thought and maybe a little change of opinion in your little brother! That’s really cool.

  3. Thank you! Went and watched this, and just had my heart wide open for the young women, their families, and of course the doctors and health professionals who appear in this documentary. This is Very much needed here in my country too.

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