“The Right To Regret”

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 1 2013 @ 1:40pm

In today’s video from filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, they explain how the doctors of After Tiller screen and counsel women who are considering late-term abortions:

After Tiller is a new documentary looking at the lives of the only four remaining doctors in the country who have provided third-trimester abortions following the assassination of George Tiller. (That event led to one of the most compelling reader threads we have ever aired on the Dish: the “It’s So Personal” series, a collection of first-hand accounts of women facing the extremely difficult decision of whether or not to have a late-term abortion, mostly due to the sudden appearance of severe fetal abnormalities.) The film is now playing in New York, and on Friday it will open in Los Angeles and Toronto, followed by many more cities. Trailer here. Martha and Lana’s previous videos are here. A reader responds to the one we posted yesterday:

The video reveals a simple fact: a non-trivial number of late-term abortions are committed for the personal convenience of the mother. Copping to our inability to know what a mother is actually thinking is a diversion. Speculating on the mother’s sex education, whether she was coerced, whether the in-laws would make good parents – these are distractions from the central question: Is abortion ever immoral?

And the answer, of course, is yes; sometimes it is. Abortion’s morality may be complex, there may be shades of gray, but shades of gray don’t necessarily preclude black and white. The sooner pro-choice advocates acknowledge this, the sooner we can start having more honest discussions and hopefully more humane (and sane) public health policies.