Segments in this Video

Introduction: The Abortion Divide (02:09)


Mark Obenhaus returns to the Philadelphia community where he shot "Abortion Clinic" for "Frontline's" first season, ten years after Roe versus Wade. The 1983 film focuses on the Reproductive Health and Counseling Center and women deciding to terminate pregnancies.

Making the Choice (09:56)

Philadelphia Women's Center terminates 6,000 pregnancies annually; Doctors describe religious, race, and age diversity of women aborting. Patients Shaharra, Taryn, Christine and Micah, and Megan and Charles discuss their circumstances and decisions; they receive ultrasounds, confirming conditions.

Catholic Medical Association Director (02:50)

Doctor George Isajiw is a pro-life activist, counseling women to refuse abortion; footage from "Abortion Clinic" shows him sharing pictures of dismembered fetuses. He believes that life begins at conception. He was arrested and convicted of felony trespassing in 1986.

Philadelphia Women's Center (04:20)

Bullet proof glass shields employees from violent protestors; Operation Rescue website showcases abortion doctors. State law mandates clinics operate as ambulatory surgical facilities, increasing costs and reducing providers; they are required to read a script regarding risks and alternatives to patients 24 hours before procedures.

Pill Procedure (04:41)

Mifepristone and Misoprostol induce miscarriage, accounting for one third of Pennsylvania abortions; Taryn and Megan take the prescription and discuss their circumstances. Doctor Monique Ruberu believes the drugs necessitate daily protest; she and Isajiw prescribe Progesterone to reverse its effects.

Surgical Procedure (03:10)

Shaharra's ultrasound reveals a nine week pregnancy; she undergoes sedation and abortion. Doctor Elizabeth Liveright describes process steps; removed tissue is examined to confirm completion. Before ten weeks, the fetus is unrecognizable as human.

Spiritual Battle (10:24)

Pat Stanton's late father organized the weekly protest outside Philadelphia Women's Center; participants are largely white males. Crisis Pregnancy Centers provide free anti-abortion counseling, pregnancy tests, and baby supplies; they actively deter women from termination and sexual activity based on religious belief.

Providing Alternatives (10:03)

Doctor Isajiw founded Mother's Home after years of affording pregnant women with temporary housing; they promote chastity. Residents are often morally opposed to abortion, but do not practice abstinence. Rosie, Jacie, and Brittany share their struggles with drug addiction and motherhood.

Accepting the Choice (03:07)

Philadelphia Women's Center doctors discuss the nuances of termination and life, complicating decisions their patients deserve to make for themselves. Religious protestors do not compromise for any argument for abortion, remaining committed to ending the practice.

Credits: The Abortion Divide (00:60)

Credits: The Abortion Divide

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The Abortion Divide

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Inside the fight over abortion through the stories of women struggling with unplanned pregnancies. Drawing on a landmark FRONTLINE film from the 1980s, a look at both sides of the divide in a community still embroiled in the conflict.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: FMK188603

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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