“This isn’t about abortion” characters repeatedly intone throughout this fact-based drama, but … come on. It’s not so much that it’s about Philadelphia abortion provider Dr. Kermit Gosnell (Earl Billings)—charged with murder in cases involving both female patients and their infants—told mostly through the eyes of the arresting officer (Dean Cain) and prosecutor (Sarah Jane Morris). Indeed, director Nick Searcy—a veteran actor who also plays Gosnell’s defense attorney—initially goes out of his way to paint Gosnell as uniquely disturbed, through creepy bits like eating Chinese take-out while wearing bloody surgical gloves, or playing piano while police raid his filthy home. But as the story trudges through its Law & Order-esque procedural paces, Searcy and company tip their hand. Gosnell’s attorney cross-examines a doctor with “how is ‘typical’ abortion less murderous than what my client did” questions; a POV shot puts us in the place of a delivered baby just before Gosnell snips its spine and the screen goes black. It’s a more professional production than many faith-based dramas, but by the time a closing title card invites you to visit the website to see a picture of a murdered infant, “this isn’t about abortion” feels more than slightly disingenuous.
Director: Nick Searcy
Producer: Phelim McAleer, Ann McElhinney, Magdalena Segieda, John Sullivan and Geno Taylor
Cast: Dean Cain, Sarah Jane Morris, Earl Billings, Michael Beach, Nick Searcy, Cyrina Fiallo, Dominique Deon, Darryl Cox and Damon Carney