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Gosnell play: The truth about abortion versus abortion “comedy” 

by | May 31, 2022

By Patty Knap 

A dramatic play shined light once again on the horrifying details of the 2013 trial of Kermit Gosnell in response to a so-called “abortion comedy” playing in Manhattan. 

The title of the play, Oh Gosnell: The Truth About Abortion, plays off the title of the abortion play, Oh God, A Show About Abortion

The abortion play’s plot centers on a woman pregnant from a one-night stand who decides to abort her preborn child. The one-woman Off-Broadway production is currently scheduled to run through June 30.

Oh Gosnell ran May 5-15 and featured verbatim testimony from the case of the notorious Philadelphia late-term abortionist. 

Gosnell is in prison for life for first-degree murder of three born-alive infants and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell was also convicted on illegal late-term abortion, violation of Pennsylvania’s 24-hour informed consent law, and federal drug charges. 

 “They laugh about it,” the producers of Oh Gosnell explain on the play’s website, “we tell the truth about it. Gosnell was a serial killer abortion doctor who was convicted of killing babies and women patients.”

Playwright and producer Phelim McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney are well versed in the gory details of Gosnell’s business, having covered the trial and written a bestselling book on it, Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer. They also produced the film, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.

McAleer said that using the court documents to comprise the play’s dialogue is the perfect way to tell this true story. 

“In court you are not allowed to have slogans – you are not allowed to make political speeches – you are under pain of perjury, and everything has to be backed up with evidence,” he said. “The audience knows that and doesn’t want to miss a word. So, it’s the perfect venue for dramatic truth telling. That’s why Verbatim theater is so powerful.”

The play was originally set to run at New York City’s Theatre Row, scheduled to coincide with the start of the abortion play, but it was abruptly pulled by the theater under claims of “inappropriate content.” 

McAleer found that ironic, sharing with Fox News that the theater has already hosted another play with disturbing content.  

Theatre Row is “very happy sexualizing girls, but they’re not happy having an honest, artistic exploration about the issues around abortion,” McAleer said. 

“This is just a ridiculous attempt to silence pro-life conservative voices in art and culture,” the filmmaker said. “Despite paying for the production, (Theatre Row) decided to pull the plug on the production by sending us a threatening and factually inaccurate legal letter. They claim that the play is inappropriate for young audience.”

“What this all boils down to as artistic censorship,” they added. “(Theatre Row) doesn’t want the truth about abortion to be told to their audience. This is a huge setback, but the show will go on at a new venue.”

The producers found another theater willing to host the performance, the Chain Studio Theatre.

“I do want people to go and see both [plays] and to come to their own conclusions, which is something that Theatre Row wants to rob the people of – this ability to hear all the facts,” McAleer said in a Fox News interview. “What are they scared of?” 

The showings for Oh Gosnell were well attended, despite no mainstream advertising or promotion. The only media mentions have been from pro-life group Live Action, pro-life outlet LifeNews, and Fox News

I attended Oh Gosnell, and entering the theatre, I noted serious faces and voices; this was not to be an evening of entertainment. Several in the audience said they’d heard of the performance from a pro-life group or that one of the pro-life articles had been forwarded to them, and with the abortion issue front and center nationally they were grateful the details of the nightmarish abortion case were being brought to light. 

The dramatic readings from the play tell the stories of actual people – patients, victims, co-workers, and investigators – whose lives were intertwined with the terrible crimes that sent Gosnell to prison for life. While I’d read and heard much of the story at the time, this didn’t compare to hearing the actual court testimony. 

Varied themes surrounding abortion, such as government responsibility, prescription drug abuse, politics, race, and class are exposed in the play. The story was at once riveting and revolting, absent any media downplaying or distortion. The often-disgusting conditions and cavalier attitude toward young pregnant women in vulnerable situations at our nation’s abortion centers are at the forefront of the production.

While Oh Gosnell has now closed, it provided an important reminder about the abortion industry as we await the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision

Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and reposted with permission.

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