This Academy Award-nominated film features compelling first person accounts which reveal the physical, legal, and emotional consequences during the era when abortion was a criminal act. Remembrances include those of women who experienced illegal abortions, doctors who risked imprisonment and loss of their licenses for providing illegal abortions, and individuals who broke the law by helping women find safe abortions.
From DANGER to DIGNITY: The Fight for Safe Abortion weaves together two parallel stories: the evolution of underground networks that helped women find safe abortions outside the law, and the intensive efforts by activists and lawmakers to decriminalize abortion through legislative and judicial channels.
The FRAGILE PROMISE of CHOICE traces the current erosion of access to safe abortions, cutbacks in funding, and sieges of harassment and violence. Each of these attacks on women's reproductive rights affects the lives of abortion providers, and the women who seek their services. Clinics which provide abortion services, usually also provide reproductive health care.
CHOICE at RISK: From the Back-Alleys to the Supreme Court & Beyond traces the history of abortion access in the US from the era of illegal abortions through Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion. We then meet an abortion provider whose clinic was firebombed, and we see, vividly, the challenges faced by those who provide abortion services today.
When Abortion Was Illegal Medical professionals recall when abortion was illegal as they describe the tragedies they remember.
The first bill for abortion repeal became law in 1970, carried by riveting speeches and hot debate.
Anti–abortion arson at her clinic only deepened this provider's commitment to serve women's health needs.
When safe legal abortions were not an option, a woman who became unintentionally pregnant often suffered extreme hardships. We hear first person stories about five of these women, some told by the women themselves.
A Filmmaker who survived a life-threatening backalley abortion tells her story.
Lana risked death if she gave birth. To save her life, she had a backalley abortion.
Rosalie avoided abortion and gave birth in a shelter for unwed mothers when she was a teenager.
Sherri chose an abortion because her fetus was exposed to thalidomide.
When Lola learned she carried a severely deformed fetus, she aborted herself and bled to death.
Before Roe V Wade, many people - doctors, nurses, religious leaders, teachers and activists - broke the law and risked arrest in order to help women find safe abortions. People describe why they risked the consequences of breaking the law.
Russ, when a professor, risked arrest to find an illegal abortion for a student.
Pro-choice clergy joined together to find safe illegal abortions for desperate women.
Women offered illegal abortion counseling under the code name "Jane".
Abortion first became illegal in the US in the mid-1800's. Abortion was then prohibited until the Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade in 1973.Contraception was illegal for unmarried women until 1972. This mini doc traces the legal history of reproductive rights.
Abortion became illegal in the mid-1800's, and remained illegal until 1973.
Birth control for unmarried adults became legal in 1972.
Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion in a 1973 US Supreme Court decision.
The current anti-choice climate makes providing safe abortions extremely difficult. Ongoing challenges include legislative restrictions, the shortage of trained doctors, angry protestors, and violence aimed at clinics. We hear from physicians, clinic workers and loved ones who describe the difficulties they face every day.
Anti-abortion protestors get comically locked together in a tangle of their own creation.
An abortion doctor describes daily death threats and the pain of living in danger.
Traumatized by anti-abortion protests, this student resorted to a fatal self-induced abortion.
An abortion clinic director, who worked with doctors killed by extremists and continues despite the danger.
Even though Roe V Wade technically made abortion legal under most circumstances, medical professionals who provide the service are challenged daily. Here we meet doctors and clinic workers who courageously speak out for a women's right to choose.
When abortion was illegal, Dr. Boyd risked arrest to save women's lives.
The ACLU fought to get abortion funds for a girl carrying a fetus with no brain tissue.
Pro-choice medical students demand abortion training as part of their education.
More than 1,000 bills which limit reproductive rights, will heavily impact minors.
Some religions denounce abortion. Brave individuals, who are themselves deeply religious, speak out to reclaim the moral right of a woman to seek an abortion. We hear the testimony of three Hispanic women's rights activists: Dolores Huerta, a United Methodist minister and a Clinic Director who was excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
Dolores Huerta, mother of eleven, feels that every woman should have the freedom to plan her own family.
Rev. Castuera was raised in Mexico where he saw women die from Illegal abortions. He believes whether or not to bear a child is a woman's decision.
Rachel Vargas, was excommunicated by the Catholic church for offering medical care, including abortions to women.