“Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people… Propaganda works on the general public from the standpoint of an idea and makes them ripe for the victory of this idea.”
~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1926)
The use of propaganda to change a culture is nothing new, but the abortion industry has taken that role to new heights as pro-abortion films have begun to permeate the entertainment industry—many in cahoots with Planned Parenthood itself.
The latest is a film called Trapped, streaming on Netflix. Directed by Dawn Porter, the film’s title is a play on what the abortion industry calls TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws. These are laws that ensure patient safety in abortion procedures, such as having surgical facilities standards or physician admitting privileges at a local hospital in case something goes wrong. These are the very laws Porter and other filmmakers see as harmful.
Porter is the 2016 honoree at the Sexy Beast benefit, an annual event for Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles. Porter being hailed a hero by Planned Parenthood is hardly surprising, seeing as she champions their cause and amplifies their narrative.
In an interview with NBC, Porter discusses Trapped. NBC reports on the film’s development:
An abortion rights advocate and native New Yorker, Porter immersed herself in the world of health care providers in the Deep South as a rash of new laws passed by GOP-dominated legislatures — many of which emanated from the same influential anti-abortion organization, Americans United for Life — imposed restrictions that are meant to “protect the health of the mother.” But the restrictions, critics say, largely serve to make the abortion procedure seem scary and brutal.
One of the successes of the anti-choice movement is creating a climate of stigma and shame. Roughly one in three women has had an abortion, but people don’t even want to say “abortion.” Everyone has been influenced by anti-choice rhetoric.”
Porter adds that she wants her film to change how people talk about abortion. NBC reports:
The documentary shows the dedication of abortion care providers, and highlights the humanity of women who undergo the procedure for their own complicated reasons. Simply by letting real people tell their stories without a filter has provoked an intense response from viewers since the movie debuted in January at the Sundance Film Festival.
Porter’s film is one of many supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures, which exists to “[support] women non-fiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change.”
The company sponsored Reel Reproductive Justice, which is “a cohort of eight independent documentaries, each one a compelling story-driven exploration into the struggle for reproductive rights and access to care, across the U.S and around the world.” The films toured US medical schools in 2015. The objective of the tour was to help get abortion training integrated into medical school training.
The eight films are all pro-abortion focused films which serve as catalytic narrative changers, including: After Tiller, Young Lakota, Vessel, Beautiful Sin, A Quiet Inquisition, No Más Bebés, Infanity and Trapped. A discussion guide that accompanied the films to the medical school screenings includes summaries and leading questions to further define the narrative as pro-abortion. An example of a discussion question for the medical students is one for After Tiller, which highlights the late doctor George Tiller, who rose to infamy by aborting viable babies. The discussion guide questions are phrased in a way to lead students to be sympathetic and support the late Tiller’s cause:
There are only four doctors who openly perform late-term abortions, but they work with many nurses and counselors, and there are many other doctors who refer patients to these four doctors. Consider how these four doctors are connected to the larger medical community. What support do you think these physicians need from their colleagues and others in the healthcare community?
Of course Chicken & Egg Pictures knows a lot about abortion support, seeing as so much of its own financial support comes from the abortion industry. The company was founded in 2005 by Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger, and Judith Helfand, who say they began wanting to empower women to tell stories. But the focus became more narrow:
Still, by 2010, we were genuinely shocked by the onslaught of anti-abortion legislation sweeping the nation. As we witnessed history-making filibusters, massive protests from both sides of the choice paradigm, and widespread clinic closures due to targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws, Chicken & Egg Pictures’ started to see women filmmakers responding to this crisis as artists.
We began to hear from women filmmakers in the field, filmmakers working in countries where abortion was completely illegal or becoming criminalized and filmmakers in the US, where abortion is legal, but often inaccessible.
And so an abortion narrative was shaped and formed. And that narrative came with lots of dollars to support it, with expected ties to the abortion industry. Chicken & Eggs lists its supporters and several have abortion ties. A few include:
- Grant Me The Wisdom Foundation: The organization says its focus is “Empowering women and girls through education.” One of its featured resources is Planned Parenthood, which, seemingly, this women’s organization sees as a source of empowerment. There on its projects page, Grant Me The Wisdom has legitimate education sources such as Communities in Schools, but it also has Chicken & Egg Films, which spins a pro-abortion narrative more than educates a young lady.
- The Pershing Square Foundation: The Pershing Square Foundation exists to “[support] exceptional leaders and innovative organizations that tackle important social issues and deliver scalable and sustainable impact.” Its funding list has a myriad of organizations on it, one of which is Planned Parenthood.
- The Compton Foundation: The Compton Foundation’s tagline is “We ignite change.” The organization, which is helping to fund these pro-abortion films, has a mission similar to the filmmakers’: “The Compton Foundation supports work in climate change, peace and national security, and reproductive rights and justice. Within those core areas, the work we support must be a match with our transformative leadership and courageous storytelling approaches.” With its support and connections to Planned Parenthood, it’s no surprise it’s behind some of the funding for these pro-abortion endeavors.
- The Educational Foundation of America (EFA): EFA is an organization that says it “works to link its grantmaking values with its investments to promote greater social responsibility of corporations.” It has three areas of focus: Arts, the Environment, and Reproductive Health and Justice. Clearly, places that focus on abortion are focal points for EFA. Its 2015 annual report shows numerous grants to Planned Parenthood, as well as other pro-abortion agencies such as Physicians for Reproductive Health and the Trust Women Foundation (the organization run by Julie Burkhart, who was mentored by Dr. George Tiller, the late-term abortionist). EFA’s connection to funding these pro-abortion films is hardly a stretch, however. Sitting on the EFA board is Wendy Ettinger (along with four other Ettingers). If Ettinger is a familiar name, that’s because Wendy Ettinger is one of the co-founders of Chicken & Egg Pictures. In other words, her own organization’s work is funded partly by an organization on whose board she sits.
The pro-abortion documentary seems to be gaining life through advocating the death of babies for the sake of choice. And it’s receiving a great deal of funding from those behind its cause. Changing a narrative takes time, money, and an art form to display the rhetoric. Porter, the director of Trapped, says:
If you can force a person to have a pregnancy, you are basically controlling her life choices. The fervor with which women’s autonomy is being attacked may mean that we’re making real gains.
With connotations of a woman being held captive until she pops a baby out, Porter et al make pregnancy seem a prison sentence and abortion a key to personal freedom. As long as they continue their narrative of abortion propaganda there will be those who fund it. However, no matter which way a tale is spun, or who’s in collusion with whom, a life will always be a life, and abortion will always be murder.
Hitler’s narrative control in World War II had people killing innocent lives for the sake of a greater good. Later, the world would say there was no greater good, just a man with a puppet show of propaganda. The puppet show may have moved to the big screen, but a lie by any other name is still a lie.