Coming to theatres and to Netflix today, Thursday, September 13:
Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg
An exploration of the politicization of the abortion debate over time.
Coming at a sadly all-too-timely moment in American political history, Stern and Sundberg’s carefully composed and illuminating film puts into perspective abortion both before Roe v Wade, when the procedure was generally considered a personal matter between women (or couples) and their doctors, and after, when it quickly erupted into a deeply divisive political issue, spurred on by a highly mobilized evangelical Christian base. While the film covers somewhat familiar ground about TRAP laws already explored in other documentaries on the topic, this makes it no less urgent as it chronicles the coordinated campaigns by anti-choice forces to put ever-increasing restrictions on abortion providers, leading to widespread closures of clinics and reduced access to women in need of such services, with the ultimate goal of reversing Roe via a conservative, anti-choice US Supreme Court. Significantly, Stern and Sundberg don’t rely on preaching to only one choir here, instead giving space for both sides of the bitter debate to have their say, and offering hope that they might watch – though it’s hard to be optimistic that they’ll find any common ground.