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tv   Frontline  PBS  August 27, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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>> narrator: three decades ago, fronine told the story of a pennsylvania community divided over abortion... >> and this is a life-size, model of aeg nant uterus... >> narrator: now we return to examine a conflict that has only escalad... >> we realize, if we're ever going to outlaw abortion that we have to be able to help women who feel that's their only alternative. >> narrator: and to hear from the women caught in the middle. >> because i'm a mother, i'm not supposed to be doing stuff like this right? it's not that simple though. >> narrator: as the battlein cos... >> there was the sense that, women simply can't make moral decisions on their own. the state has to intervene and tell them what to do. e >> a 24 hour waiting period... >> narrator: an intimate look at abortion.
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the people on both sides... >> this is literally a life-or-death decision. and to ask a mother to think about it for 24 hours is very reasonable. he >> narrator: and ttruggle over complex choices. >> some patients are like, "i don't want to be doing this, but it is the right only they know what they should do. >> narrator: tonight on frontline- "the abortion divide". >> frontline is made psible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the cporation for public broadcasting. major support is provided by tha john d. anerine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verda and peaceful world. more information at the ford foundation: working with visionaries on the frontlines of socialhange worldwide. at tional support is provided by the abrams foundation, committed to excellence in journalism. the pa foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical
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john and helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalismhat informs and inspires. and by the frontline journalism fund, with major support from jon and jo ann hagler. (bells ringing in distance) >> mark obenhaus: 36 years ago,n i spent weeks hester, pennsylvania, making ailm about abortion for "frontline's" first season. it was ten years after roe v. wade. >> tonight, on "frontline," for the rst time on american television: the experience of abortion. >> with this vacuum cleaner-type tube, the baby is literallypa
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pulled and ripped to pieces. >> this is the story of ther anguish of fmen: two who decide to have their babies, and two who choose to come here. ♪ "the abortion clinic." ♪ >> obenhaus: the film revolved around the reproductive health and counseling center. women who came to the abortion clinic oke about their decisions. >> can you tell me why you chose this option, as opposed to the other ones? do you know what they are? >> no. >> you don't know what your other options are? >> well, keeping it, adoption. >> mm-hmm. >> but i know if i went through the nine months, i would have kept it. >> mm-hmm. >> and then it wouldn't have had the life... a good life, because i can't support myselft. ye >> mm-hmm. >> and i wouldn't be able to handle being a single parent on my own. >> our father, who art in heaven... >> obenhaus: those in the community whsteadfastly opposed abortion and the clinic's existence marched
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outside. >> girls are coming here on saturday morning to have abortions. we pray for their babies and for them, and we also pray for the, for the abortionists. realize what they're d't >> give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive ose who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. ♪ >> obenhaus: last year, i returned to pennsylvania, once again to a communityhat is today even more bitterly divided over abortion than it was 36 years ago. ♪ the conflict may be decades-old, but one thing has not changed:
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women facing unplanned pregnancies still confront the same urgent and sometimes wrenching decision. (car horn honks) the origal clinic from the first film mergewith another clinic that now operat out of this unremarkable building ar horn honks)a. >> mercy! have a heart! >> obenhaus: there areo signs for the clinic, but there are always protesters on the streets outside. >> excuse me, ma'am? killed here?how many babies are ma'am? (whispers): can i give this to you? >> you'd like to make an appointment? >> obenhaus: the philadelphia women's center began providing abortions in 1973. as many as 6,000 pregnanci a year are terminated here. >> absolely nothing to eat, drink, or chew. and do you have any children? >> six. >> six? one, two, three, four... >> nine, ten. >> nine, ten. >> mm-hmm. >> obenhaus: dr. rebecca mercier has been an abortion ovider for 11 years.
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>> every kind of woman gets ung, women who are old, women of all races, women of all religions, womenho, it's their first pregnancy, women with lots of children, um, women who never thought that they would be seeking an abortion. >> obenhaus: the clinic operates five days a week. on some of the days we were there, there were as many as 60 patients. dr. lisa perriera has been an abortion provider since 2003. >> the patients are so thankful and appreciative that they can come somewhere and be treated with dignity and rpect, because they're making a choice that is theirs to make. >> do you have any children? >> yes, four. >> four, okay. any stillborns? >> no. >> any miscarriage >> no. >> have you ever had an abortion before? >> mm-hmm, one. >> okay. >> well, this my choice that
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i'm doing, because i don't want to bring another child into the world, and i'm not financially stable. i'm already struggling with the four that i have. so i not sure what my other option wld be. but if this wasn't an option, then i know i would be struggling. >> dominique... >> i'm just going to take you upstairs, okay? >> obenhaus: most of the women we approached to be in the fil declined. those who chose to speak, like shaharra and taryn, told us they wanted their stories to be heard. >> i'd had unprotected sex jus one time with somee that i had been seeing, and i thought, "well, you know, surely one time, you know, i would just get sort of a grace period on that." i had essentially talked myself t of the fact that i was pregnant. >> have you ever had a vaginal ultrasound? >> i don't think >> okay, a lbit of gel, a little bit of pressure, there's a camera on the tip,
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it gives me a ni, clean look inside the uterus. >> i already have two small children. i have a six-year-old and a four-year-old from a previous marriage, and i'm recently single. i have a corporate career. and so i decided that the best thing for me to do at this poinm life was going to be to terminate the pregnancy. >> so your ultrasound result i saw a multiple pregnancy, i saw twins. >> >> okay, i meaone at 5.4, soive weeks and four days. and twin b at 5.6. okay? >> okay. >> all right. so i going to do your blood pressure. w, does this change anything in your decision today? >> no. >> and it doesn't change anything on our end, as well. >> okay. >> so everything stays just the >> this is not a posthat i ever thought i would be in. my initial thought was, "i should tell no one about this, right, like, this should just
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be, you know, a secret that i, that i take to my, that i take to my grave, because it'll change how people you know, seef damentally, or, or people will judge me for this." (women speaking indistinctly) >> okay. >> and you can set your things down, anywhere you like.o all right, i'm goingve you lay back right where you are and just open your pants for me. >> okay. >> so the gel's going to feel a little cold on your stomach, okay? >> mm-hmm. >> (muttering) i'm seeing something that, uh, resembleanother sac. twins. >> oh, my god. (exhales)
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>> so i'm going to do some... >> what does that mean? so like, like, is the procedure any different? >> no, it's exactly the same, it's no different. >> why does it feel so different? >> why does it feel different? >> my god, yeah. >> when she said that there were twins, i wasn't prepared for that at all. i didn't even consider the possibility. (sniffles) i don't know. it's not a rational thing. it felt... m e things a little different. >> it's a hard decision. >> it comptely does. you guys, you're six weeks right now, which means you have plenty of time. do you feel like, if you guys went home and thought about it for, like, even, like, a few m days ae sure that this is
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what you want to do, like, thato d give you a little more time to think about it? like, i want you to be certain that this is what you want to . >> it was, it was a double punch. >> oh, yeah, for sure. >> it was, um... we're not taking this lighy at all. >> i want you guys to be confident, and you can always schedule and come back o tuesday, if you want. >> i appreciate that, and i, i... for, like... our son couldn't do it. he is on the spectrum, non-specific autism, more leaning towards asperger's.oe he d't like to interact with humans, he doesn't like children. at all. i thk that this has a lot to do with noble. a lot to do with my son. >> we've been married for five years, we have two children that
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were very planned, um. i've... one is four and starting preschool, the other is two, just turned two. and, um, we found ourselves unexpectedly pregnant. um...yo know, motherhood is a huge part of my identity, and, uh... it wasn't an easy decision to come here today, but it definitely was necessary. j t bought a house, we are recovering financially fromat and this was just not the time, not a good time. >> i greup catholic, and, um, you know, they, they kind of teh you very young-- and i went to catholic school, too-- like, you know, this... "abortion is wrong, shouldn't do it, um, it's a sin," all that, all that stuff. no one's going down to the corner store picking up an abortion like they're picking up a pack of cigarettes.'s
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it's not, ot that easy. >> you're going to have to lift your dress for me. the gel's going to feel cold. little pressure. okay, six weeks and one day, okay? >> (softly): okay. >> i'm going to wipe this off. you can sit up. >> what was that? >> six weeks and one day. (sniffling) k >> yw, i wanted to look at the screen, but i didn't want to
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look, and... i don't know, i feel like being a, a parent already has made it kind of an even more difficult thing and even more reason, youn , for some that i shouldn't ouldn't talk about it, >> why do yok that is? >> because i'm a mother. i'm not ppose to be doing stuff like this, right? um, you know, "what's one more?", right? it's not that simple, though,, u >> i'm a medicoctor, this is what your baby looks like.u i think ought to at least take it and look at it whileti you're sng there in the waiting room. >> obenhaus: dr. george isajiwa is the pennsylvarector of the catholic medical association. i first met dr. isajiw on the sidewalk outside the clinic where we shot the firstye "frontline" film 36 ars ago. >> and this is a life-size,de
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real-size moof a pregnantm uterus ten weeks fro conception. and as a matter of fact, you and i were once this se and even smaller. so that's the rst victim in abortion. my conviction is that life begins at nception. and every baby, by the time you even recognize that there's a pregnancy, is already an individual, unique human being that... uh, and then here's where the religion comes in, who is not only unique, but the soul will survive the death. and the reason i'm explainin this to you is because... >> obenhaus: dr. isajiw's activism has always been rooted in the counseling of young women to reject abortion. w whfirst met, he was counseling as many as six women a week. >> this is the result of an abortion at about 11 weeks with this vacuum cleaner-type tube. the baby is literally pulled apart and ripped to pieces and killed by that process. >> i don't see how anybody can do that.
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>> i know that when women find out what aboion really does, and what it's all about, there are very few who really want to do that to their baby, okay? here we have at 14 weeks. and now the main difference is, the baby is bigger, and the skin baby's no longer as transparent. >> and that's what he looks right, that's what he looks like-- or she. what were your feelings when you found out thatou were pregnant? >> oh, i could have hit the ceiling, really. i just wanted to forget about it, and i still do, in a way. >> right, so you obvious were not planning this pregnancy. >> no, it was not planned at all. >> sir, are you, are you the father of the baby, sir?if ou're the father of the baby, you have a stake in this. >> i need you to stand over there without harassing anyone, without botheryone. >> wait a minute, harassing is in the eyes of the beholder. ar i'm not pr to go to jail. i've been in jail over this, but, but... >> okay, do you want toai go back to >> i don't think this would stand up in court.
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>> would you like to go back to >> do you think this would stand up in court? >> would you like to test that theory? circumstances, i would. >> obenhaus: in 1986, dr. isajiw waf arrested and convicted o felony for trespassing inside the clinic where the first film was shot. >> at this particular time, i don't have the time to getpe arrested and that time in court. >> our father, who art in heavenhallowed be thy name. thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth... >> obenhaus: the first thing you encounter when entering thepr clinic is the bullf glass separating the public areas fro. the clinic its (door buzzing) recent years have seenn increase in intimidation of patients and threats against doctors, like dr. perriera, who was singled out online on a website run by the group operation rescue. >> i'm not afraid of being b threatenthem, but it is framed in reality, there are people that are violent toward
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abortion providers. yesterday was the annirsary of the murder of dr. george tiller, who was one of the idols in our community. and he was shot in his church while he was an usher on a sunday morning. at many of us think about sure, we think about tt. that can happen. >> obenhaus: the presence of protesters outside the clinic is a persistent reminder of the threat. >> do you want your baby to die, ma'am? >> they're outside most days that i'm here, they walk up andd down thealk, they hold their signs. >> you'll live with this the rest of your life. >> they ye things at the patients. i've never seen them become violent. but everyone who works in this community should be and is aware of the threat of ve. >> obenhaus: in 1982, when the first film was shot, security was light. the waiting room was relaxed and the staff wore street clothes. then, the procedure rooms were spare, with a minimum of
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equipment. (woman speaking on p.a.) the clinic today has the look of a hospital. anti-abortion groups inhe pennsylvania and 23 states have pressed for the passage oft lat mandate abortion clinics operate as "ambulatory surgical facilities." >> pennsylvania implementede regulations under bulatory surgical facilities act that governs everything from the width of hallways, to where sinks are located, to the hvac systems, to the job descriptions. abortion care providers have come into compliance with numerous regulations at great cost, at great financial cost to the women who need abortions, and also it's limited the mber of abortion providers in this state. e >>d to spend over $500,000 on improvements, um, that did nothing to improve the health of our patients.>>
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benhaus: anti-abortion activists see this as progress. >> ourost recent bill on abortion facilities, uh, restricted supply. it said if you want to operate an abortion facility, you have to meet certn requirements, the same as any other ambulatory surgical facility. he and several ofdid not. we went from 22 free-standing abortion facilities down to 14. (people talking in background) >> i'll get you all chked in. >> hello, my name is dr. mercier. pennsylvania requires thate give you the following information before we see you for an abortion procedure. >> obenhaus: like many other states, pennsylvania now requires that doctors read a script to inform women of alternatives to abortion and the potential risks of the procedure. >> infection, heavy bleeding, or clots in the uterus needing removal, problems with future pregnancie infertility, damage to the cervix, vagina, or uterus, or to her abdominal organs requiring hospitalization or additional surgery. for abortion, these risks are very low. >> obenhaus: pennsylnia was the first state to mandate the message be delivered 24 hours
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before a woman's abortion. >> this is literally a life-or-death decision. and we should be doing whatever we can to,ve mothers and children from abortion. to make women think about it. and we make no apologies for that. >> there is the sense that women simply can't make moral decisions on their own. the state has to intervene and, and tell them what to do. i think it's pure hypocrisy. >> okay. now, as far as getting you scheduled, with that information rsession, there is a 24-h waiting period. >> we're going to review your medical histor and we can get that appointment all set up. >> do you remember the first day of your last normal mensual... >> obenhaus: the clinic's call center is open seven days a week, and when we visited, there was a constant flow of incoming calls to schedule abortions. >> are you looking to do the medical abortion by pill or the surgical procedure? >> a medical abortion procedure is very similar to inducing aag miscar um, it is safe for women to do
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up to about ten weeks of their pregnancy. so do u have any questions before we get you started here? >> no. >> a great procedure for women who want to feel like they have control over the procedure, who wants to just have everything happen in the privacy of their own home.s: >> obenhhe drug mifepristone ru486 was approvedf by t in 2000. >> we'll have you do the first pill. >> "medical abortions" now account for roughly a third of all abortions in pennsylvania. >> this is the first pill you're ing to take. this is the one called the mifepristone. this is the stuff that makes the to unattach a little bit fromart the uterus. it gets the process started. >> >> so you swallow own like a regular pill. >> okay. >> 24 hours later, she takes anothepill called misoprostol that helps to induce the cramping and the bleeding that will actually help her body push the pregnancy tissue out of her uterus. >> this is the misoprostol medicine, gives you little bit of the miscarriage symptoms. >> okay. >> okay? upd do you have your follo appointment made? >> i do. >> okay, in a week or two? >> yes. >> okay. that's reallyim
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rtant, because... >> what i hope i feel is a sense of peace not only with myself and in the decision that i've made, but also a sense of peace with these two beings that i've osen not to bring into t world. "thank you for choosing me, and i'm honored to be given th gift of life, and also i, i can't do it right now. i can't accept that mantle in terms of the other lives thate i'm taking c and i'm responsible for." 'm >> i thinklways going to feel a little bit of guilt, but we have to feel comfortable with the decision we >> i know i'll dely be sad, um, because if things had just been a little bit hifferent, you know, maybe wouldn't have happened today. but, you know, i'm confident in the decision we made. >> his is the medication abortion pill, the mifepristone, i'm going to have you swallow this with a small p of water. or as much of a sip of water as
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you nt. okay. s so that's the one thrts the abortion process. >> holy mary, mother of god, ay for us sinners... >> obenhaus: dr. monique ruberu is an obstetrician-gynecologist who frequently protests on the streets outside the women's center. >> the destruction of any life is a definite affront to god. so when an abortion takes place, and an innocent life that has not done any harm to anybody is destroyed, i believe that that is one of the greatest sadnesses of god, but it pleases the devil. i'm an ob-gyn physician, sir.o she deservesve options. i know she feels boxed in, i know you guys feel like you have to do this.he
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we can hel it used to be that people tried to be present on the killing days, the days when the surgical abortions were known to happen in the abortion centers.l but ru486 as completely changed the landscape of abortion. and it really necessitates that e somebody is present outs these abortion centers every single day, every hour that they are open. >> sweetie, if you took the abortion pill,e can reverse it. you have 72 hours,oney. they don't want me to talk to you, but this is infortion that can help you. you deserve to know all of the options, okay? >> obenhaus: dr. ruberu is part of a network of doctors who cite anecdotal evidence to support the controversial practice of prescribing the hormone progestene to reverse the effects of ru486. he >> i think's only maybe three of us in this philadelphia area that volunteered for that hotline so far. so they callhe hotline, and then you get the, the woman's history, and you don't even have to see her.
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you call into their pharmacy, and you get them these high doses of progesterone, which are easily available. >> the babies that are saved from the ru486 do awome, and they don't have any problems following, as far we know. we can help you. if you took the abortion pill, we c reverse it. and we've been so blessed. in my office alone, we've had three reversals. eit's so nice to see at t of the road, those moms are so grateful and, um, happy that they chose to reverse. >> and would you like to know how far you are today? >> mm-hm >> okay. okay, i'm dating at nine weeks and one day. >> okay. >> i'm grateful that i'm getting this taken care of. if i wasn't, i would be at home, you know, ying to... stressed out trying to figure out what my next move is or, what my next i pl so it is, it is a relief,
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because i was ressed out before i walked in the door this morning. >> good morning. i'm dr. liveright, nice to meet you. >> you, too. >>utny questions, concerns a anything today? >> no. >> about three minutes start to fish, okay? >> mm-hmm. >> this is the last part of the consent form the nurse already reviewed with you. i just need your signature and date here on the top line. >> okay. >> obenhaus: shaharra chose to a to have a surgicalrtion under i.v. >> you might feel a le warm feeling going through your i.v. site, okay? it's normal, and it will go away. >> obenhaus: i.v. sedation was not an option for patients at the clinic where the first film was shot. >> easy does it. just breathe nice and slow. lots of >> obenhaus: patient were awake, and the procedure was uncomfortable, even painful. >> you're drifting off to sleep, okay? take some nice, big, deep breaths. >> obenhaus: most patien opt to have a surgical procedure.
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like shaharra, they want to leave the clinic with the abortion behind them. >> surgical abortion is incredibly safe. the woman is in stirrups. we do a bimanual exam to feel ruthe positioning of the u i place the speculum, clean off the cervix, and then place a small clip on the top of the cervix to stighten out the uterine canal. the second part of the procedure is dilating the cervix, which is using instruments to gently open the entry into the uterus, and then removing the pregnancy tissue using suction. (sucking, vacuum whirring) it takes somewhere between two and five minutes. complications are incredibly rare. (people talking indistinctly) >> one of the most importantco onents of safety with abortion procedures is making
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sure that all of the pregnancy tissue has been removed from the uterus. the tissue is taken to a special room within the clinic. it is rinsed off and it's looked at in a special dish with a little backlight on it that lets us confirm that we are seeing all the tissue that would be expected for the gestational age of the pregnancy. and that ls us know that there weren't any complications. >> obenhaus: the gestational age of this fetus was nine weeks and one day. >> up to nine to ten weeks, it's just a small little piece oft translucc tissue with nothing that loo recognizable as any kind of fetal parts. after that, you do see, um, recognizable as fetal tissue. >> forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven. ♪ bless us, oh, lord, hear our cry for justice ♪ bless us, oh, lord, our god give us this day our daily bread... >> obenhaus: dr. isajiw introduced me to pat stanton.
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pat comes from a family of pro-life activists. he the 1980s, his late fat organized the protests that take place every saturday outside the phadelphia women's change your mind, we're out it'sric to chop a baby up, put it in a little canister, take it out, and count the pieces. that's what they have to do. who's doing this? what kind of world have we hientered into where we doto our children? >> ♪ sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble ♪ >> predominantly, the protesters are older white males, and the patients are young women.ol >> obenhaus: lynner coordinates the volunteers who escort women into the clinic. >> i don't understand why older white men think it's appropriate for them to be, um, standing at
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a clinic where young women come for health care, be talking to them, interacting with them, sometimes touching them. >> please, don't do this. the baby's heart is already beating. >> what sometimes happens is, the women will get there and freeze. >> real help. >> and realize what it is thatey e walking into. the magnitude and the yelling can be very upsetting to them. >> mercy! i think it's a spiritual batt, myself. it's between us and satan. uh, and i think wh we, uh, do our best to follow our lord and the ten commandments, we wl conquer and, and bring others to our side in a loving mner. this is life, that's death. we're here to help >>aus: stanton often tries to speak to the men who accompany women to the clinic. >> pray for strength and prayr sdom. if there's any chance that this girl can come out of there, lord, let it happen, let it be a miracle. let this baby grow up to be a great man. i
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i ask thyour name, jesus, amen. >> my girl just said the only way she's walking out of there is if she says that they're twins, and i'm, like, "what's the difference between one and two?" >> yeah, that doesn't make anygi l sense. >> but, i mean, what the hell, like, i just can't. i don't want to make it seem like i'm controlling her, like... >> christian, sometimes all thef need is a wom you. they got to feel that the man's behind them 100%. >> how many kids you got? >> nine. >> nine? >> i'd go in there and give it one more shot, and bring a couple of other women out, brothe >> obenhaus: christian did go back into the clinic, but he told us later that his girlfriend went ahead with the abortion. >> so we know that we just have to stay the course. and 're going to be beaten u and, and have many, uh, many failures. but we have to continue. so i would say perseverance has been airtue that's instilled by our faith. you can't be a part-timed christian ght a full-time devil. >> obenhaus: the clearest symbol of today's anti-abortione movement is isis pregancy center.
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there were only a few op.ating in the early 1980s now there are thousands across the country. >> they're very well-connected, and they're very well-funded. their whole existence is to persuade women who go there not to have abortions. and, um, it,t ranges from gentle persuasion to fairly coercive persuasio >> obenhaus: there are as many as 150 in pennsylvania, many located near abortion but abortion clinics, they are not required to be licensed by the state. >> the crisis pregnancy center is a beautiful phase of the pro-life movement that offers real help and hope for women inn crisis pcies. uh, we realize, if we're ever going to outlaw abtion, that we have to be able to help women who, who feel that's their only ternative. and we've provided an answer, "no, that's not your only alternative." and it has literally saved thousands of lives every year in the philadelphia aa. >> obenhaus: amnion is a crisis
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pregnanccenter that caters to low-income women. >> the mission of amnion is really to serve, um, abody in an unplanned pregnancy. if someone is calling to scdule an abortion, i will abortions here, because i wantm to be truthful with them right up front. um, but i always say to them, "but you've called the right place," because i want that we do have servict away, them. >> obenhaus: amnion's approachof is tr counseling, parenting classes, clothing, diapers, and pregnancy testing-r all fo. >> thank you. you can have a seat. so have you already tested at home? to see if you were pregnant? >> yeah, i did last, um, friday. >> okay, what did you get? >> oh, it was a negative, but period is late, so i don't know. >> mm-hmm. weffer pregnancy testing, but we don't provide contraception here.
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we don't want people engaging in behavior that's risky to them emotionally, um, and physically. we want to encourage them to make better choices with their behavior. >> we realize that promiscuity drives abortion, so thereforeou part o our great cause is promoting the chastity message. contraception taay a natural barrier to promiscuity, and promiscuity is what drives abortion. >> all right, so this paper is just saying you were here today for a pregnancy test, and itas negati, okay? >> mm-hmm. >> so either that means you're not pregnant, or you are pregnant, but it's too early to tell. now, you would still be pretty early. so if you haven't gotten yourhe periodyou come back, we'll retest you. >> andriana, come on back. >> obenhaus: andriana is 22 with an eightonth-old daughter. >> your test is coming up positive, congratulations. tell me how you're feeling about >> i'm >> yeah? were you trying to get pregnant? >> no.
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>> okay. so it wasn't planned, but it's okay. >> no, it wasn't planned. >> your mom, what does she have to say about it? is she happy for you? >> she was not happy. w as not happy, okay. >> we use ultrasound as a tool, uh, for helping our clients, uh, choose life. >> so you're going to be able to look up here and see everything we're doing, okay? we set up a big screen up one ll, so that they can look up and see what's going on inside their uterus and how the baby's growing. >> so we want to see the baby inside your uterus. >> (fussing) >> and then we want to measure and see how far along you are, okay? (baby babbling) now, did i do your ultrasound with her? >> yeah. >> she's talking to us. she says, "that's my brother or sister." okay, we have eight weeks, oney, da plus or minus six here. andriana, this is your babyri t here, okay? this flickering here is the heart beating.
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you see that? >> that beating heart. it's hard then, you know, deny that there's, um, there's a baby. it's not, it's not just tissue the. it's not something that's easily, um, disposed of. >> and i'm going to measure the body length again here. e women who are happy th they're pregnant or on the fence, a lot of times they're just really surprised. you can see in their face that there is a, a joyful reaction.ay some women who are considering abortion are, are kind of, um... not thrilled. you know, they might be looking, and it might bring ua lot of complex feelings for them. i have offered to pray with women, and will do that if i feel like they're open to that. um, and most of the time, they've said yes. (chuckles) i have only had a couple of people who have said no. and here's your pictures. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> that's really where we have
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an opportunity to form ala onship with a client, to show them that we care about vels.on all those differentle "we care about you as a person, as a spiritual person, and as a person with an eternal soul, and we want to be able to really show you that you're loved here." >> (fussing) >> obeaus: the staff at amnion counsels against abortion, based on their christian faith. we met one woman who was unpersuaded and came to the philadelphia women's center. skye is 23 years old, and this is her first pregnancy. >> and i just need to confirm that you're here for abortion services today, obviously. >>m-hmm. >> you're confident in your decision to terminate your pregnancy? >> mm-hmm. >> no one is forcing you to terminate your pregnancy today? >> nope. >> i went to amnion pregnancy center. um, 's in upper darby. >> just breathe normally.s >> the servicethat they provide are free. the nurse did, though, s to me, like, "are you sure you don't want to just, you know,ti
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put it up for ad?" you know what i mean? like, she was kind of, like, les) "listen, you know you can come back with your boyfriend. we can talk about different options. d we canother ultrasound again, and then he can look at the baby, as well, maybe change his mind with that i'm just, like, "no, no, let me just g this over with. i'll, i'll deal with the depression or sadness later." >> there you go.>> thank you. >> you'rwelcome, and you can go ahead and swallow that. >> i'm going to be upset about it for a little bit.go i'g to pray, probably every single night now. i just felt like i was a horrible person for deciding to actually go through with an abortion, to kill a human being, even though it was only, like, an embryo. i got to go back to work., but >> obenhaus: skye earns less than $300 a week. like other women we met at the
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clinic, she struggles to support herself. these men no longer can. they are homeless. most collect somform of public assistance. they are living at mothers' home in upper darby, pennsylvania. it's a shelter for pregnant women that's housed in what wasc oncevent. >> hi, how're you doing today? okay, very good. >> obenhaus: it was founded in 1991 by a group led by dr. isajiw. >> being able to promise them a place to live was an extremely powerful too that gave them the courage to obenhaus: mothers' home can house up to 20 women. they can stay while pregnant and for six months after they deliver. >> the common circumstance that brings the majoritof our residents here is trauma. there's abuse. there's a lot of domestic violence. there's drug addiction.s um, therauma that's just
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overflowing from childhood, things that never heal, disconnected families. our goal is to support those t women who, in spite ir circumstances, still want to give birth tthese babies. when women come in for the interview, they've already made the decision that they want to keep their baby. j they at looking for a safe place. where are you living? >> um, some guy let me stay at his house, he said i had until today. >> today is your deadline? >> yes. >> all right. so do you have any interactionhe with tather of your child? >> no. >> okay. >> i just want to get my kids home. >> you want to get your kids home.te >> my oldest dauhas cerebral palsy. my youngest stays with my aunt in connecticut. >> okay. >> they're able to come home, i just don't have a home. >> okay. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. (shushing) >> once you have the baby, a lot
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of people forget about you. she can't raise that baby ifal she's not healthy me and physically. so there's no sense in ending it there. like, yes, everyone can say they're pro-life, but you have to, to put that into, like, motion. you have to help the woman after she has the baby. >> you're tired. >> often the criticism that is leveled is that we're onlyte sted in the, in the baby in the womb and only helping thy woman until the eft the womb, the baby was, uh, delivered, and after that, uh, uh, we, we weren't interested in helping women. but that is not thcase. >> how're you doing, pat? >> obenhaus: before he started mothers' home, dr. isajiw and his wife invited yng, pregnant women to live in their own homee >> anybodylse who'd like coffee? >> obeaus: this is the scene in 1982. >> we found in the counseling that women were saying"i don't really want an abortion. but if i don't have an abortion, my husband will, will leave me, or he'll kick meut, or my parents will kick me out."
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>> i went in to see isajiw tuesdayand i talked to him for, like, and i told him all about it. like, you know, that everything that was happening. about how my... if i, if i were have... if i were to have an aborti, how the abortion would be... (stutters): ...performed. it, like, a salt injection would be injected into my stomach, and, like, the baby would slowly die inside of me, like, skin would be burning away.ju so i said, "i' going to go ahead with the pregnancy, and, uh, i'll come live with you, so i can get the proper care and all." >> obenhaus: nancy decided to u put her bafor adoption. we feel... i feel, anyhat... we're not ready to have kids yet, because we're not financially sound. i wa to be... when i have my kids, i want to be financially sound. >> then we're going to start planning on having children the proper way. we don't want to bring unwanted
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children into the world and have e.em abused like other children we want to grow... we want to raise our children up right. >> not like our parents. we both me from broken homes, and i don't want my kids raised in, had... i don'tant to feel that i'm going to have my kids are going to split up. nancy i don't want to feel that way. >> 'cause me and larry, we're not going to split up. we're going to be together forever. i'm so glad i didn't get an abortion. okay, ready for grace? >> mm-hmm. bless us, oh lord, for these... >> ...thy gifts which we areto aboueceive from thy bounty, through christ our lord. amen. >> 38 men over a period of 15 years, high school students and college students. over time, we were getting a different kind of woman. you know, often we were getting, uh, somebody who was addicted. sometimes we were getting, uh, people who had h.i.v. and other tension in terms of tromore house them in private homes. and then the whole movement
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throughout the country to create maternity homes was very important. >> hey. (people talking in background) >> obenhaus: there are now 17 similar homes in the philadelphia area. many were founded by people like dr. isajiw, who oppose premarital sex. >> when i was a teenager, if yoi had sex a girl, if she got pregnant, you're, you're the father, you're responsible for not only the baby, but her, for the rest of your life, or you're going to have to marry her. i would think if we still had all the ns, and we still had the teaching the way it was, we'd have fewer girls needing hoing, because they wouldn be getting pregnant. >> obenhaus: it's not a view shared by the residents we met. what many do share with dr. isajiw is his view on abortion. they reject it. and for some, it is a choice they've now made over d over again. >> i was just kind of going crazy, like, "no, i don't want to be pregnant no more, no more babies." but i don't believe in
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abortion, so... i come from a big family. i think babies are a blessing. that's why i have all eight of and i guess that's just how my family is. don't none of my family believe in it, le, abortions. >> obenhaus: two of rosie's children live with her sister, five are in foster care. >> i need a big house; i have a lot of kids. (chuckles) say, "it's okay to be a singleo mother to multiple children." so it's very hard to blameer for it when she doesn't know any better. maybe her mother was that way. uh, the whole neighborhood was. that w this is what's happened to our society. >> h name is dominic jayceer he was premature, like, a high-risk thing. i have previously had a drug problem. i'm doing way better than i have. i did good before, but, uh, i've done, i've done worse. a shelter may not be the best
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thing in everybody's mind, but it helped us aot, so... i have four, four babies yep, two girls and two boys. they live in western pennsylvania. a t has them. so... so they're good. but they do call her mommy. so i was offended at first, but then i understood, like, they needed a mommy, and i was not proving capable of doing that at e time, so... now we're trying again. he's pretty special. and nobody taking this one. (chuckling) >> they may not have been able to get it right the rst time or the second time or the third or the fourth. but this is another chance. >> me and her dad, trinity's dad, we partied a lot together. and we were both sent prison, um, when i was, like,
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eight months pregnant with her. when i got out, i was homeless. i was literally homeless. i lived out of my car for, like, a week. >> there we go. aw. >> (trinity whimpering) >> i know, it's okay, it's just water. >> she has a rare,m, condition called septo-optic dysplasia. it aects the hormones in her body, and then her optic nerves are also affected. it's an abnormality in her brain. i didn't kw for four months. i was pregnant i was still on birth and i was drinking, i was smoking, like, living, like, the fast life. then lo and behold, there was a little heartbeat. and that's when they told me how far i was. um, i was going to go and... abort her, but i was literally in the chair, about to get it
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done, and, like, i had to leave. i got up, and i walked out, and i said, "i cannot killy baby." so i just accepted thatwh ever was meant to be would be. so just one day at a time, and m prepared for whatever can happen with her. >> the stigma that society says about single mothers whore poor, "they're a drain on the finances of the community, they've made mistakes, these children are mistakes, why do we have to take care of they should give their children to other people." they've been even advised to have an abortion, because there's nothing that they can give to a child. but every sing woman that comes through that door, that's their desire, to give theira child tter chance at life. ♪ >> obenhaus: mothers' home lacks the resources to follow residents after they leave.on the obvious quesf what
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happens to the women and their children goes unanswered. ♪ >> mercy on their face! >> hail mary, full of grace. >> mom, we can help you. o (woman talkip.a.) >> obenhaus: christine and micah made what was for them aery difficult decision. >> okay, i love you, thank you. >> obenhaus: they chose to go ahead with the abortion. ♪ y?>> how're you doing toda nervous? no, no, i'm not nervous >> some patients are, like, "iwa don' to be doing this, but it is the right choice for me." and it's okay to feel those emotions. try to just let them know it is okay. doesn't mean they shouldn't do it. only they know what they should do. >> nice, slow, dp breaths, a little >> obenhaus: "hey know what they should do." it's a statement i heard 36
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years ago and continue to hear repeated today. >> i'm almost done with e dilation. i respect people that say abortion is wrong, but people havebortions. people have babies. life is complicated. (equipment whirring) >> all right, we're all done. that's it. ♪ >> are you ready for me? >> i am. >> women are not vessels forg just carryegnancies. they are full human beings who deserve to have, um, control of their lives, and being able toou choose whethere going to continue with a pregnancy or not is a life-changing thing.
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>> love you. >> ♪ we are the light of the may our light shine before all ♪ >> obeaus: but the anti-abortion forces i met heres in pvania are unmoved by any argument for abortion.ze they are more orga more dedicated, and even more uncomproming than they were 36 years ago. they are committed to one goal: ending abortion, no matter how long it takes. >> it's going to be brutal and and we're only isecond or third round of this fight. this fight is going to be multigenerational, just as the fight against slavery was. and it'll be our successors that'll eventually win this fight. and easy victory, but quick will at some point win. >> obenhaus: the end of the battle over abortion, here i pennsylvania and everywhere
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else, seems a long way off. ♪ >> new tariffs announced by the trump administration on chinese exports. >> narrator: the u.s. - chinri valry... >> ...china is now punching back... >> the chinese used pocies inconsistent with free and fair trade. >> we're not in a trade war. arwe're in a techonomic >> narrator: frontline and npr investigate what's at stake. >> do you think americans should be worried? y , i think so. >> they've outsmarted us. we've got to fix our system to >> narrator: "trump's trade war". >> go to find out how access to ortion is changing around the country. >> tonight on frontline... >> and stream "abortion clinic," the 1983 film au by producer mark obe
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>> can you tell me why you chose this option, as opposed the other ones? do you know what they are? >> no. >> you don't know what your other options are? >> connect to the frontline community on facebook, and twitter, and watch frontline anytime on the pbs video app or >> frontline is made possible by coributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major support is provided by the john d. and catherine macafoundation, committed and peaceful world.just, verdant more information at the fordation: working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worlide. at by the abrams foundation,vided committed to excellence in journalism. the park foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. the john and helen glessnerly farust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and
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inspir. and by the frontline journalism fund, with major suppo from jon and jo ann hagler. captned by media access group at wgbh >> for more on this and other "frontline" programs, visit our website at ♪ to order "frontline's" "the abortion divide" on dvd visit shoppbs, or call 1-800-play-pbs. this program is also available on amazon prime video.
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