Thursday, June 18, 2020

Films to watch as you wait for the June Medical decision

Waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision in June Medical v. Russo?  This is a great time to catch up on a number of outstanding films on reproductive rights and justice and engage in Q&A with filmmakers.  Here are some of our picks:

Reversing Roe (2018) lays out the history of abortion activism in the United States leading up to Roe and Casey.  The documentary examines the myriad challenges facing access to abortion  today and the political forces that shape our current environment -- information that’s crucial to understanding what is at stake in June Medical.  Watch the film on Netflix and on June 25 at 2:30 pm EDT, tune in to join a Facebook Live discussion with director Ricki Stern, Amanda Allen of the Lawyering Project and Farah Diaz-Tello of If/When/How.  

Court challenges are not the only way to secure abortion access. On June 19, The 8th will be premiering at the HRW film festival. The film follows Irish activists who successfully led the 2018 campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution that recognized the equal right to life of a pregnant person and an unborn fetus. The 8th is streaming online on June 19  at 5:20 PM ET, followed by a live Q&A with Irish activist Andrea Horan and filmmakers at 7 pm EDT. 

Closer to home, Personhood, provides an in depth look at how the push to recognize fetal personhood threatens the lives and well-being of pregnant people and their families.  Personhood is not currently available on public streaming services but has been screening for smaller audiences and at film festivals.  Bei Bei, currently streaming on Vimeo, tells the story of one woman who was tragically impacted by fetal personhood laws, Bei Shuai, who was prosecuted for murder and attempted feticide following a suicide attempt while pregnant.

Finally, the Belly of the Beast follows the fight to hold the California Department of Corrections accountable for the forced sterilization of individuals incarcerated in California’s women’s prison system and provides an important history of the use of forced sterilization and Eugenics in the United States.  Belly of the Beast premiered at the HRW film fest earlier this month and is available to stream until Saturday.

Have you watched these films and want to share your views? Do you have a favorite documentary on reproductive rights and justice topics?  Feel free to share in comments!

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