On Hostile Ground

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A documentary chronicling the day-to-day lives of three abortion providers, On Hostile Ground looks intimately at the trials of their duty and how it endangers their lives. Using the 1998 murder of Buffalo doctor Barnett Slepian as an example of their endangered lives, the film depicts its subjects in the wake of Slepian's brutal death. Morris Wortman, a doctor in nearby Rochester, NY, takes to carrying a gun with him. An aging colleague, Richard Stuntz, lives In Baltimore, but travels roughly 500 miles to Alabama three days a week to treat patients, claiming that it is safer not to work where he lives. The third abortion provider presented, Susan Cahill, is a physician's assistant in Montana, who begins to wonder if her job affects the well-being of her husband and children. Wortman is evicted from his clinic, while Cahill, whose office was firebombed in 1994, is noted in a bill in the Montana State Legislature that would prohibit PAs from performing abortions (which would be dismissed by the state supreme court). On Hostile Ground was directed by Liz Mermin and Jenny Raskin.


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