Monday, June 20, 2016

A Conversation With Award-Winning "Trapped" Filmmaker Dawn Porter

Rewire (June 15, 2016): TRAP Laws and the Abortion ‘Crisis’: A Conversation With Award-Winning Filmmaker Dawn Porter, by Tina Vasquez 

Rewire talks with award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter about her new documentary feature, TRAPPED, which highlights the popular and pervasive TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) across the United States.  Between 2010 and 2105, 288 laws regulating abortion services have passed.  Porter's documentary illustrates the toll it takes on women in states like Alabama and Texas. Porter is candid about her thoughts about the impending SCOTUS decision, safety concerns when filming, and her reasoning for focusing on TRAP laws specifically: 

People often discuss abortion in terms of morality, but that’s not what we should be talking about. The reason why these laws have been so effective is  because they successfully harm the least powerful of the group they’re targeting. Who’s getting picked on, who’s suffering the most? Women of color,  people who are low-income, people who don’t have health insurance. There’s something so unjust about how these laws are disproportionately affecting these populations, and that really bothered me. I’m certainly interested in abortion as a topic, but I’m also interested in politics and power  and how those things take shape to hurt the most vulnerable.

TRAPPED airs on PBS’ Independent Lens on Monday, June 20th at 10:00pm

June 20, 2016 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Film, In the Media | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Planned Parenthood Fights NBC's Refusal to Air "Obvious Child" Trailer

The Wrap: Planned Parenthood Jumps Into ‘Obvious Child’ and NBC Abortion Flap, by Eric Czuleger:

Planned Parenthood is lashing out at NBC for refusing to air the trailer for Jenny Slate's new film,”Obvious Child.” The organization has launched an online petition to pressure the network into reversing its decision. . . .

June 24, 2014 in Abortion, Culture, Film, In the Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

More Reviews of "Abortion Rom-Com" Obvious Child

NPR: 'Obvious Child' Tells An Abortion Story With Rom-Com Heart:

Obvious Child's story goes like this: Boy dumps girl; girl is sad; girl rebounds with nice guy she meets at a bar, and then things get complicated. Comedian Jenny Slate plays Donna, the main character:

"Donna's in her late 20s. She's a comedian in Brooklyn. ... It's going pretty well for her at the start of the film. [But then] she ends up getting dumped and fired and then pregnant all in time for Valentine's Day. ... It all really starts to circle the drain a little bit."

Slate and director Gillian Robespierre join NPR's Rachel Martin to talk about the challenges of making a romantic comedy about abortion.

Listen to the story here.  See also:

TIME:  The Obvious Question About Obvious Child: How Do You Make a Rom-Com With an Abortion?, by Lily Rothman

The Huffington Post:  'Obvious Child' Is An Abortion Rom-Com -- And The Year's Most Revolutionary Film, by Emma Gray

June 8, 2014 in Abortion, Culture, Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Obvious Child a Rare Movie that Doesn't Avoid or Demonize Abortion

Slate - DoubleX blog: No More Shmashmortion, by Amanda Hess:

Obvious Child is the most honest abortion movie I’ve ever seen. It’s about time.

In the new movie Obvious Child, twentysomething stand-up comic Donna gets pregnant after a drunken one-night stand, loses her job, attempts to schedule an abortion at her local Planned Parenthood clinic, and—cherry on top—discovers that the only available appointment is on Feb. 14. Turns out, it’s the perfect day: This is a romantic comedy where the girl gets an abortion and gets the guy. Along the way, she doesn’t even have a change of heart, contract a nasty infection, or succumb to a tragic death. That makes Obvious Child a run-of-the-mill story for a woman in America but an exceedingly rare tale for a woman on film. . . .

June 5, 2014 in Abortion, Culture, Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ninth Circuit Case Addresses Constitutionality of Requiring Porn Actors to Wear Condoms

The National Law Journal: A Condom Conundrum: Can Los Angeles demand that porn actors wear them?, by Amanda Bronstad:

At first blush, a case now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit appears downright raunchy, brought by a Los Angeles studio whose films have titles like "Bedside Brat," and "Sex in Dangerous Places."

But the appeal, by Vivid Entertain­ment LLC, raises an intriguing constitutional issue: How far does the First Amendment go in protecting the free-speech rights of actors who have sex with each other in movies? . . .

March 30, 2014 in Film, In the Courts, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

New Documentary Addresses Lack of Abortion Access on a South Dakota Reservation

Feministing: New Documentary Young Lakota About Lack of Abortion Access on a Reservation, by Juliana Brittos:

In 2006, Cecilia Fire Thunder, Tribal Leader of the Ogala Sioux, threatened to build a women’s health clinic on tribal land in response to a proposed South Dakota no-exceptions abortion ban. This ban meant that the 1 in 3 Native American women who would or had been raped in the state would have to carry any ensuing pregnancies to term. “Young Lakota” follows the story of three young people living on a reservation in South Dakota in the political aftermath of Fire Thunder’s action. Ms. Magazine described the film as, “a story of self-discovery in the midst of political and personal upheaval.” . . .

November 10, 2013 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Film, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Review of Documentary "After Tiller"

SFGate: After Tiller' review: nuanced look at abortion, by David Lewis:

Documentary. Directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson. (Rated PG-13. 88 minutes.)

"After Tiller" doesn't take long to enter incendiary territory, as we see Dr. George Tiller's wrapped body being removed from a Wichita, Kan., church, where he was shot and killed in 2009 for performing third-trimester abortions at his clinic.

That could have easily been a documentary in itself, but filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson take the story in a more interesting - and thought-provoking - direction: profiling the only four doctors in the country who still openly offer the controversial third-trimester procedures (opposed by many on both sides of the abortion debate). . . .

October 20, 2013 in Abortion, Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Announcing "Female Condoms Are_________" Film Contest

Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), PATH, the Universal Access to Condoms (UAFC) Joint Programme and the National Female Condom Coalition (NFCC): International Film Contest - Female Condoms Are ________________: Image1

Female condoms may be one of the most promising health technologies that people don’t know or hear much about. But together we can change this.

SHARE YOUR STORY: Why does the world need female condoms? How can female condoms enhance your life? Filmmakers of all levels of experience are encouraged to enter.

WIN CASH PRIZES: Winning entries will be screened at the Women Deliver 2013 Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—the largest global meeting of the decade to focus on the health and well-being of girls and women.

HOW TO ENTER: Visit contest website for complete contest details, including eligibility requirements, Official Contest Rules, submission instructions, and more. This contest runs from November 28, 2012–March 1, 2013. 

Questions? Contact [email protected] or visit

December 4, 2012 in Contraception, Film, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexuality Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Supposedly Progressive Hollywood’s Not So Progressive Portrayal of Abortion Why is Hollywood still terrified of abortion?, by Mary Elizabeth Williams: Image1

Forty years after Roe, abortion's so traumatic in films that it leads to suicide -- and teens deliver half-vampires

Of course Bella would keep Edward’s baby. Dammit, she loves her sparkly vampire husband. She doesn’t care about the concerns of her family and friends, their pleas that she consider the risks of carrying a hellspawn to term. Like Julia Roberts’ saintly, ill-fated Shelby in “Steel Magnolias,” who pursues a pregnancy because she “would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special” (and subsequently dies for it), Bella knows it’s her body, her choice. And a “Twilight” franchise dreamed up by a nice Mormon lady isn’t going to include a scene of newlywed, saved-herself-for-the-wedding night Bella trotting down to Planned Parenthood for a quickie D&C. No, her devotion to life is so great that it extends to life that isn’t even quite human.

Authentic to its characters as it may be, the gruesomely traditional blockbuster “Breaking Dawn” illustrates an unavoidable reality of contemporary cinema — that whether you’re in the mysterious realm of vampires or the corridors of power, normal, untraumatic abortion barely exists. . . .

December 5, 2011 in Abortion, Culture, Film, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Makers of Anti-Abortion Film “Bloodmoney” Seek to Influence Youth

The Washington Independent: Low-budget anti-abortion rights film director aims to influence more policy, get message to youth, by Sofia Resnick:

Despite its minuscule marketing budget and no national distributor, the anti-abortion rights film “Bloodmoney” has already influenced public policy. “Bloodmoney” filmmakers are hoping that as more people, particularly high school and university students, see the film, the impact on the abortion debate will go even further.

“Bloodmoney” was produced by Maryland-based TAH LLC and tells the story of legalized abortion in America from the perspective of some of the most powerful anti-abortion rights activists in the country. The film’s director, David K. Kyle, recently told The American Independent he sells copies of “Bloodmoney’ regularly, though it has not been screened in any U.S. movie theater.

The film’s various narratives tread familiar ground: that abortion intentionally targets African-Americans (narrator Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, says that abortion has caused more damage to the black community than slavery); that abortion directly leads to suicide and psychological damage; and that abortion providers are money-hungry and negligent. . . .

August 21, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Culture, Film, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

HBO To Air Documentary on Gloria Steinem

CBS News: Gloria Steinem reflects on her Playboy bunny days: Image1 

Gloria Steinem has been described as a feminist, journalist, and social political activist, and recognized around the world as the articulate, outspoken leader of what's known as the women's liberation movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. Monday night, she will be the subject of a documentary on HBO called "Gloria: In Her Own Words.". . .

August 11, 2011 in Film, Reproductive Health & Safety, Television, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Documentary Seeks to Boost Understanding of Abortions Performed in Later Stages of Pregnancy

Huffington Post: Late-Term Abortion: Filmmakers Seek to Boost Understanding, by Catherine Epstein:

On afternoon in late October, filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson sat at Shane's kitchen table, creating dozens of homemade buttons that read "Trust Women," the working title of their documentary. The film tells the story of two doctors who perform late-term abortions, and the buttons are gifts for contributors. Only a third of the way through shooting, Shane and Wilson say they need all the financial help they can get. . . .

November 28, 2010 in Abortion, Culture, Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Abortion Documentary "12th and Delaware" Debuts on HBO Tonight

LA Times: Television review: '12th and Delaware', by Mary McNamara:

For many Americans, abortion is a political issue. Though many of us may participate in marches, make donations, vote for candidates based solely on their stands on abortion, it remains mostly a theoretical issue.

But for some people, abortion, and the conflict surrounding it, defines their daily life. "12th and Delaware," a documentary by Oscar nominees Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady ("Jesus Camp"), offers a glimpse into the literal intersection of those who support legal abortion and those who do not. On one side of the street in Fort Pierce, Fla., A Woman's World provides abortions. On the other, the Pregnancy Care Center tries to persuade women to carry their pregnancies to term. (In neither place, during the documentary footage anyway, is adoption mentioned as an alternative, which is strange and troubling.) . . .

See also: Wall St. Journal: Speakeasy blog: ‘12th and Delaware’ Filmmaker Heidi Ewing On Documenting the Abortion Rights Battle

Huffington Post: "12th & Delaware" Joins the HBO Summer Documentary Series, by Marcia Yerman

August 2, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Film, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Anti-Abortion Film, "South Dakota: A Woman's Right to Choose," Is Shown to High School Girls

LA Times: Creators of abortion film say they want honest debate, by Robin Acarian:

Movie But some who have seen 'South Dakota' say it leans more toward the anti-abortion side.

It was an unusual field trip for the nearly 1,000 high school girls who spilled from yellow school buses in front of a Westwood theater one recent October morning. They came from all over the county: the tony enclaves of San Marino, Pasadena and Beverly Hills and the grittier reaches of Boyle Heights and South L.A.

The movie they had come to see, " South Dakota: A Woman's Right to Choose," had already been vetted by a handful of their administrators, who were satisfied with the film's depiction of teen pregnancy and abortion.

. . . Isacson said his movie's purpose is to edify, inform and not take sides, but some may view "South Dakota," intentionally or not, as subtly weighted against abortion. The film's emotional highlight, after all, is the rescue of 14-year-old Barb by her boyfriend from an abortion clinic exam room and its grossly insensitive nurses. As for Chris, even the staunchest abortion foes usually concede that abortion is acceptable in the case of rape.

December 5, 2009 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Film, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Documentary Spotlights George Tiller

Broadsheet ( New documentary spotlights Tiller, by Judy Berman:

"We've been picketed since 1975," says Dr. George Tiller. "My office has been blown up. We have had 4,000 people arrested outside my office in 1991. In 1993 I survived an assassination attempt. From August of 1994 until March of 1997 I was under daily U.S. Federal Marshal protection."

Dr. Tiller's interview is part of the new film "What's the Matter With Kansas?" which puts a human face on Thomas Frank's bestselling investigation into conservatism's rise in the formerly liberal state.

The post includes a clip from the documentary.

June 4, 2009 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)