Film Detailing Abortion Doctor's Crimes Restricted - Offends Kickstarter "Community Guidelines"

MARCH 28, 2014—LOS ANGELES, CA – At the last minute before the launch of the biggest ever Kickstarter campaign funding a TV movie about the crimes of notorious abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell – filmmakers Phelim McAleer, his wife Ann McElhinney and Magdalena Segieda have been told by Kickstarter that they could not give the public the details of his crimes.

The filmmakers have said the Kickstarter restrictions which also mentioned their apparent political "convictions" were an attempt to censor their film and to further cover up Gosnell's crimes.

Gosnell, America's biggest serial killer, killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of babies during a 30-year killing spree at a gruesome abortion clinic in Philadelphia. He is currently serving several life sentences in prison. GOSNELL - the movie will portray the unprecedented investigation and trial that led to his conviction last year. In his clinic Gosnell would induce labor in his women patients. After they gave birth he would use a pair of scissors to snap the spinal cord of the often crying babies. Neonatologists who testified in the case said the babies were viable infants who would have felt excruciating pain during the process.

The story was broken in today's Hollywood Reporter.

The filmmakers had planned to raise funds for the film with the largest ever ask for a Kickstarter movie campaign. However, Kickstarter’s attempts to restrict the detailing of Gosnell's crimes forced the filmmakers to make a last minute switch of their crowdfunding campaign to Indiegogo– an alternative site which does not censor filmmakers. The previous crowdfunding record for a movie was for the teen detective drama Veronica Mars - which stunned the film world by asking for $2m and eventually collected $5.7m.

The filmmakers are looking for $2.1m which represents the largest ever ask for a crowdfunded movie. The GOSNELL crowdfunding page can be found on

According to McAleer, GOSNELL will be a TV film featuring America’s most prolific serial killer examining his crimes, his victims, the investigation and conviction. He said Americans have a huge appetite for films about serial killers.

"There have been four movies about Ted Bundy, five about the Zodiac killer, three about John Wayne Gacy and the Lifetime network has already made and broadcast a film about Jodie Arias - who killed one person. Kermit Gosnell killed more that them all put together,” he added.

“Hollywood and the mainstream media have been very reluctant to cover this serial killer but we think it's time Gosnell's story was told," said McElhinney.

The Gosnell case attracted an enormous amount of controversy because despite his gruesome crimes against babies it received almost no media coverage until a social media backlash from conservatives forced the mainstream press to cover the case. The filmmakers said that it is ironic that a movie that intends to expose censorship faced censorship from Kickstarter.

"This is unacceptable to us and it should be unacceptable to any filmmaker particularly on a platform such as Kickstarter which claims to be all about artistic freedom. But Kickstarter’s actions are particularly odious and alarming because they are an attempt to censor factual descriptions of a serial killer’s actions. In justifying their censorship Kickstarter told us they "understand your convictions" but that they "encourage and enforce a culture of respect and consideration" and therefore they could not approve our project until we removed factual descriptions of Kermit Gosnell stabbing babies and "similar language"," said McAleer.

The filmmakers feel Kickstarter is discriminating against the Gosnell film because they had no issue with gruesome words, descriptions and photographs in other projects.

"They asked us to remove the descriptions of a serial killer committing his crimes but in the Belle Gunness project they allowed a picture of a dead body on the project page. In addition Kickstarter has hosted and promoted 16 projects about stabbing. Kickstarter has also hosted 5 projects about incest, one project with the "C" word in the project description, 44 projects about rape and 28 projects with the word F**k or F**king in the title. Some of these projects were based on true stories, some were works of fiction, but all were allowed onto Kickstarter,"

At the last minute Kickstarter said the project could go ahead with the descriptions but warned the film makers that if "objectional" material was added in updates they reserved the right to "remove projects altogether." McAleer described this as a threat. "It means that as we detail Kermit Gosnell’s crimes they could remove the project. This would be devastating to us and would be a huge smack in the face to Kickstarter contributors who want this story told.

Magdalena Segieda said they would be presenting facts not opinion in GOSNELL.

"GOSNELL will be based on trial transcripts - it will be based on what happened and how America's most prolific serial killer was allowed to go undetected for over 30 years," said Segieda.

GOSNELL is the filmmakers second crowdfunding movie project. Their previous documentary FrackNation, a controversial "pro-fracking" documentary, raised $212,000 through Kickstarter making it one of the most successful documentaries ever to use crowdfunding.

McAleer and McElhinney, who are married to each other, were journalists before turning to filmmaking. McAleer covered the Northern Ireland troubles and worked for the UK Sunday Time, the Financial Times and The Economist.

They have worked on six documentaries.

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