Los Angeles, Calif., Apr 4, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA).- Three filmmakers are crowd funding a multi-million dollar movie about Kermit Gosnell and his late-term abortion clinic, stressing the need to bring attention to the morally and politically charged case.
“The media have basically ignored his crime and his trial,” Phelim McAleer, one of the filmmakers, said in the project’s introductory video.
“He ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia where he delivered live, viable babies and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors,” McAleer continued.
In May 2013 Gosnell was convicted of three first degree murder charges for killing babies who had been born alive. Testimony had indicated that Gosnell and his staff snipped the necks of over 100 infants who survived abortion.
McAleer, his wife Ann McElhinney, and fellow filmmaker Magdalena Segienda are seeking thousands of donors to contribute at least $2.1 million by May 12 to help make a made-for-TV movie about Gosnell.
The fund raising campaign began March 28 here. By the afternoon of April 3, the prospective movie had raised over $318,000 from more than 4,100 people.
During Gosnell's trial, one Philadelphia-area reporter took photos of the courtroom showing that the courtroom benches reserved from the press were empty.
National media covered the case only after pro-life advocates launched a social media campaign to raise awareness about the case.
Gosnell's clinic had not been subject to oversight by the state of Pennsylvania since 1993. A federal drug raid in 2010 uncovered blood-stained rooms and filthy equipment.
The clinic stored aborted fetuses in a basement freezer in plastic food containers and bags next to staff lunches. Gosnell kept severed feet of unborn babies preserved in specimen jars, allegedly for future identification or DNA samples.
Staff allegedly sent women to give birth into toilets, a doctor allegedly spread sexually transmitted infections to women through poor sanitary standards, and a 15-year-old staffer administered anesthesia to patients. The clinic allegedly gave better treatment to white patients.
In addition to the counts of first degree murder, the abortion doctor was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient who died of an overdose in 2009.
Prosecutors had sought a third-degree murder charge in her case, saying Gosnell let his untrained and unlicensed staff give the 41-year-old Bhutanese immigrant woman a fatal combination of drugs.
Several of Gosnell’s former employees have pleaded guilty to murder and other charges. Gosnell himself is now serving several life sentences.