Q: Did the Roe v. Wade decision ensure the right to abortion in America?
A: It was intended to, but is now under formidable assault. Since 2011, politicians have passed more than 280 abortion restrictions at the state level.
Next week the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon’s Marion-Polk Leadership & Advocacy Team will present the film, TRAPPED, 2016, an examination of the struggles to keep American abortion clinics safe, legal and open under this assault. It won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking at Sundance this year.
“From 2011 to 2013,” says director Dawn Porter, “hundreds of regulations were passed restricting access to abortion in America. Reproductive rights advocates refer to these as “TRAP” laws, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.”
The film makes the case that the new laws, justified by politicians as protecting women’s health, are in fact created specifically to limit abortion access.
Southern clinics have been hit hardest and are now, Porter says, “in a fight for survival.” In the state of Alabama, just three clinics struggle to keep their doors open. In Mississippi, only one abortion clinic remains.
The film could not be timelier. In Texas, less than half of the clinics open in 2013 are still functioning. Texas is the center of the biggest U.S. Supreme Court abortion case in decades, which will be decided this month. The case challenges a Texas law that, under the guise of addressing other benign-seeming issues, has forced more than half of the state’s 41 abortion providers to close.
As a direct result of this law, researchers say, up to 240,000 Texas women have already tried to end a pregnancy on their own without medical assistance.
Jimmy Radosta, spokesman for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon which is sponsoring the film, says, “Honest portrayals of abortion in film and television are still extremely rare, and that’s part of a much bigger lack of honest depictions of women’s lives, health and sexuality. TRAPPED helps challenge stigma and change the conversation.”
TRAPPED looks at the work and personal stories of clinicians on the front lines who are determined to keep abortion safe and legal under highly hostile conditions. “In this… character driven film,” Porter says, “our main characters fight alongside a dedicated cadre of attorneys to preserve abortion rights in a country living with the mistaken belief that Roe v. Wade still protects a woman’s right to choose.”
A brief Q&A with the Marion-Polk Leadership & Advocacy Team will immediately follow the screening.
“Abortion providers are passionate, concerned, skilled people who believe in the health, well-being and dignity of women,” Radosta says. “They trust women and care for women every day. We’re thrilled that the filmmakers behind TRAPPED recognize this.”
2016, Dir. Dawn Porter
1 h 30 min.
Anderson Room, Salem Public Library
585 Liberty St. SE
Tuesday, June 28th
Suggested donation of $5, with no one turned away for lack of funds