These Are the Last Four Doctors Who Perform Third-Trimester Abortions

Thursday, January 17, 2013

From the documentary, "After Tiller." (Courtesy Lana Wilson)

There are nine states that currently allow third trimester abortions without restriction. Third trimester abortions make up fewer than one percent of all abortions in the United States. And — after the murder of Doctor George Tiller in 2009 — only four doctors in the country perform them.

Dr. Susan Robinson, one of the four doctors profiled in "After Tiller," said of the emotional toll that patients experience: "I think the emotional toll is huge. I see that because I see that women struggle desperately with this decision. They wrestle with very complex ethical issues. They come for abortions often feeling a huge conflict between what they know is right for their family and what they've been told they ought to do, by people who, incidentally, know nothing about them."

The new film, "After Tiller," centers on these doctors, their work, and what they face on a day-to-day basis.

One of the patients profiled in the documentary said: "The most loving thing I could do is to let him go now. We just didn't want to have to make the choice later. Because I don't know if I could say to not ventilate him, or to not do something to save him. It was really important that he had somewhat of a dignified birth… That we had the option to spend some time with him afterwards was really important."

Lana Wilson is the film’s co-director, along with Martha Shane. Dr. Susan Robinson is one of the four doctors profiled in "After Tiller."

"After Tiller" will premiere at Sundance on Friday, January 18.

Dr. Leroy Carhart.
Dr. Shelley Sella.
Dr. Susan Robinson.
Dr. Warren Hern.


Dr. Susan Robinson and Lana Wilson

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [7]

Malessa from Brisbane

How about Kermit Gosnell? (Google him) He was routinely delivering third trimester babies after Tiller and was convicted in 2013 of murder for killing them after he birthed them alive (only convicted for three but his staff claimed it was routine).

Feb. 19 2015 05:27 AM
danielle barksdale from

'm a 38 yr old mother of 6 beautiful children that i cherish and these storys are heart wrenching.I can't believe anyone could have the heart to kill live babies and perform 3rd trimester abortions can people be so evil?its so sad to know that this continues to go on.staff members who don't even have the training to help perform these abortions.if a baby is deformed or not healthy enoug to live than that's understandable in some cases.but to kill perfectly healthy babys is awful.if women wanna abot their babies why wait until they are full term fetuses??why wait so long through out your pregnacy to dceide u don't want the baby and instead of killing it why not just give birth,give them a chance to. Live and allow someone who loves babies and who would love to adopt it.that's awful.eoveryone has their own opion onthis subject so this is mine.People who have or perform 3rd trimesterabortions are evil.the doctors and the mothers.I feel no pity for the mothers who died duing the abortion.and I hop they burn in hell.because those innocent little angels went through hell when they were being aborted.God rest t tiny so

Apr. 21 2013 11:38 AM
Ann from Md

Keep your wombs off my wallet! If what goes on in someone's bedroom is none of my business, then don't make me pay for their supplies or consequences!

Jan. 22 2013 12:25 PM
danielle d from Canada

If you actually read up on third trimester abortions, you would have discovered that the vast majority are performed on women who discover their 'unborn child' has a severe birth defect that, in many cases, almost certainly result in immediate death of the fetus once it is born. One example being anencephaly, a condition that results in the partial or non formation of the baby's head and brain. They never survive past birth. Why make a mother go through with the pain of carrying a baby that will die?

Jan. 18 2013 12:41 PM
Ed from Larchmont

All abortions are the killing of a human being, we know that. But third trimester abortions are infanticide, nothing less. And with no anaesthesia, imagine the pain. According to Roe v. Wade the states can restrict abortion in the third trimester and they should, it's entirely unnecessary, and there are many childless couples who wish to adopt.

Roe v. Wade even says that the law can tell citizens what to do with their bodies, "and it has", and it gives examples. My example would be sending a soldier into war.

These four doctors are so deluded that they regard themselves as heroes or doing good. How evil fogs our visions. They are doing evil, directly killing a defenseless human being. Let's hope they will repent.

Jan. 18 2013 05:51 AM
John A

Defense of Abortion arguments currently center on the personhood of the fetus, or that it feels no pain, or that it's life depends on the mother. All of these arguments fail for the third trimester. There are neonatal units that are set-up for attempting to promote viability for these beings and they increasingly succeed at it.

Jan. 17 2013 06:20 PM
Nathan Miller Foster from Boston, MA

Her body, her choice.
If a woman is simply a birthing machine to you,
you have no business being around one,
that is, if you're a 'male'.
See, male, female, whomever or whatever you feel
yourself to be,
have the necessary dignity to enter in to this
as if there were no religion, that which separates you
from real life and reality as it is, so you should know,
and furthermore, have the compassion to see the real
difficulty this decision is, but how it is one that ought
and demands to be met with compassion and kindness.

Perhaps if our societies were more equal, and educated,
this medical procedure would become less and less
necessary, as safer sex, and in my hopes, more intimate
and caring and equal and fun (natch) sex,
would be had... all those who spend so much time
denying themselves life... if only they spent more time
reveling in it. But again, if you enjoy life,
you'll have more respect for it,
and in turn, respect for those who have feelings
facing these hard times which they have the right
to endure, should they need or want to.

If you don't like abortions, don't get one.

Jan. 17 2013 12:00 PM

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