Abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell TV Movie Hits $2.1 Million Crowdfunding Goal

Gosnell Key Art - H 2014

Gosnell Key Art - H 2014

The filmmakers launched their effort on March 28 with the goal of raising more money at Indiegogo than any other entertainment project in that site's history.

A TV movie about convicted killer and abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell will be made, the people behind the project said Friday after surpassing their goal of raising $2.1 million through a crowdfunding campaign that broke records at Indiegogo.

The filmmakers, Phelim McAleer, Ann McElhinney and Magda Segieda, launched their effort on March 28 with the goal of raising more money at Indiegogo than any other entertainment project in that site's history.

Gosnell ran an abortion clinic for decades in Philadelphia but was convicted of multiple murders a few years ago. A grand jury determined that he severed the spines of born-alive babies, kept their body parts as souvenirs and mistreated his patients in various ways, including a bizarre practice of inflicting more pain on women who opted for a cheaper version of his services.

The gruesome report from the grand jury will provide much of the material for the TV movie, which is being made independently with the hopes the finished product will be licensed to a cable TV network.

The filmmakers claim that Hollywood has been reticent to tackle the Gosnell story because it shines a negative light on abortion, though they're confident they can find a home for their film once it is finished. It's a strategy the filmmakers previously used for FrackNation, another documentary made with money from a crowdfunding campaign, which sought to offer a counter-argument to the 2010 HBO anti-fracking documentary Gasland. The film eventually aired on Mark Cuban's AXS TV and is currently available on Netflix and other on-demand platforms.

The case of Gosnell was huge news in conservative and pro-life circles, with proponents claiming that the mainstream media paid little attention to it. Some reporters, in fact, regretted their decision to ignore or downplay Gosnell's trial.

McAleer also accused Kickstarter of a liberal bias when he first tried taking his crowdfunding effort there. After several delays and requests for changes to the text of his campaign, he moved to Indiegogo.

McAleer calls Gosnell "America's most successful serial killer" and figures that, when push comes to shove, he'll find a network interested in showing the movie, just as there were many who were eager for TV movies about Jody Arias, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Jon Wayne Gacy.

The crowdfunding campaign has so far attracted 23,000 donors and, while the goal has been met and the movie will be made, the filmmakers say, donations are still being accepted through May 12.

"We want 25,000 people to donate to the project," McAleer said. "We want to send a message to the networks and cable channels that there is an audience out there."

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com