'Gosnell' Writer Says Evidence in the Case Converted Her to Pro-Life



Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer chronicles the exposure of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who killed babies after they were delivered.


The film is produced in part by husband-and-wife pair Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. McElhinney told Life Site she wasn’t always on the pro-life side of the issue, but real-life exposure related to Gosnell’s story changed her mind:

“I never trusted or liked pro-life activists. I thought the shocking images they showed were manipulative. I was sure they had been photoshopped. If the anti-abortion position was so strong, pro-lifers should be able to argue without resorting to emotionally manipulating their audience with fraudulent horror pictures. Once you have this mentality, it’s very easy to completely dismiss pro-life activists.”

McElhinney noted the proliferation of young people who share her past views:

“The universities of the world are teeming with young people just like that young person I once was. This story was not orchestrated by the pro-life movement. This was a trial: a murder trial. What witnesses said and the pictures they showed changed me. I am not the same person I was.”

The road to Gosnell began by chance: McAleer had a day off in Philadelphia while working on a documentary, when he saw a newspaper item about the doctor’s trial. He visited the courtroom and was struck by the evidence he saw, and by the fact that hardly any press was present. When he returned to California, he had news for his wife and their partner:


“So I thought about journalism and I thought this is something that somebody somewhere doesn’t want published. People don’t want this story out – we need to get it out. So I came back to Los Angeles and said to Ann and Magda, our business partner, ‘This is our next story.’ And they said, ‘No. We’re not doing abortion.’ I showed them the transcripts of the trial; they read them and realized the story had to be told.”

McElhinney, who is Catholic, called the evidence in the case “brutal” and its nature “evil”:

“I had a profound sense of the presence of evil in the actions of Gosnell and his staff and their complete lack of conscience. I wept at my computer. I said the Our Father sitting at my desk. I am no holy roller – I hadn’t prayed in years – but at times when I was confronted with the worst of this story I didn’t know what else to do.”

Her greatest wish for the film is that some who think as she once did will have a change of heart on the issue of abortion:

“I am absolutely certain that the dead babies spoken of in court were unique people whom the world will never know. I hope the movie and book go some way to mark the fact that they lived, and in their short lives they made a difference. This story can change hearts and minds. It changed mine.”


The film opens Friday, starring Dean Cain and directed by actor Nick Searcy, co-written by the couple and conservative political commentator Andrew Klavan (based on McAleer and McElhinney’s book). Please find a lengthy interview with the pair on The Mark Steyn Show below.


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