Emily Letts is a woman who decided to film herself getting an abortion. I think what she did is amazing. The dominant image of an abortion in North America is of something emotionally upsetting and physically painful.
It is important that this image is challenged and the truth of abortion is shown. Many women have written and talked about their own experiences about abortion, but a video is a first.
I think a video is an especially good way to debunk abortion myths. By seeing a video you can see exactly what happens without any bias’ being placed on the experience.
For people who are thinking about getting an abortion this is very helpful. By seeing the procedure themselves before hand they may feel more reassured in their choice, and feel less nervous about the procedure.
Here is the video:
The Pro-Voice Project: A Documentary is “a film about the human stories and shades of gray hidden in our black and white abortion debate”. I believe this is an important project. It is a way to get out of the politics and controversy of abortion debates and just tell it as it is, without any interference. It is important for women to tell their stories. Story telling has always been an important way of healing and communication in women’s issues and movements throughout history. One of the best ways you can learn about something and truly understand it is when you hear true personal stories.
These women are very brave; not everyone would want to talk about abortion, especially not in a documentary. I think they are doing an amazing thing by creating this film. This film will be very helpful, and teach a lot of people the real facts about women who get an abortion.
But, the film is not done being made. Although parts of the it have been filmed already, there is still more that needs to be done. They plain on going to Texas and New Jersey and will need funding to get there. The funding will be used to afford filming, among other things. Making movies isn’t cheap and this is an important movie that needs to be made.
If you would like to help please check out there Kickstarter page. There is also a lot more information and a great video about the film on the page, if you just want more information on it.
I really hope they reach there goal and the film can be made:
Feminist and comedian Tina Fey gives us some insight on the current fight for reproductive rights in the USA, at a Reproductive Rights Gala in 2012. She pokes fun at the myths and misconceptions many male politicians have about rape and pregnancy.
This provides some insight into many of the problems feminists face when trying to gain reproductive rights. Just as these male American politicians are misinformed many other men (and women) around the world are misinformed about reproductive rights. There are many misconceptions and myths about reproduction and reproductive rights that can only be stopped by the sharing of actual information. Hopefully Fey’s speech will be helpful in shinning a light on the problem of lack of information on reproductive rights and open up a dialogue and find a way to share information to fix all these misconceptions.
There are many forms of backlash that the people fighting for reproductive rights faced. The most common would be protesting and harassing women as they try to enter abortion clinics, but assaults and threats also happened.
Two Attempted Murders on Dr. Garson Romalis’ Life
Dr. Garson Romalis is a friend of Dr. Morgentaler and started performing abortions in 1972. His life was threatened many times, and he was shot on November 8th, 1994. This is Dr. Romalis’ description of what happened to him in a speech he gave at the University of Toronto Law School Symposium to mark the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Supreme Court decision in R v Morgentaler:
I had a very severe gunshot wound to my left thigh. My thigh bone was fractured, large blood vessels severed, and a large amount of my thigh muscles destroyed. I almost died several times from blood loss and multiple other complications. After about two years of physical and emotional rehabilitation, with a great deal of support from my family and the medical community, I was able to resume work on a part-time basis. I was no longer able to deliver babies or perform major gynecological surgery. I had to take security measures, but I continued to work as a gynecologist, including providing abortion services. My life had changed, but my views on choice remained unchanged, and I was continuing to enjoy practicing medicine. I told people that I was shot in the thigh, not in my sense of humor. (Romalis)
He was also stabbed by a young man in July 2000. He said his life was forever changed by the event but he felt that he was helping women and saving lives by performing abortions, and continued to perform them even after these two attempts on his life.
Attempts on Dr. Morgentaler’s Life
There have been attempts on Dr. Morgentaler life and this CBC news coverage from 1983 shows a man’s attempt at attacking Dr. Morgentaler with garden sheers. Author and activist Judy Rebick actually blocks the man from Dr. Morgentaler.
Dr. Morgentaler video – CBC News Toronto–
“New” Abortion Caravan
This is modern form of backlash. It is a group of anti-choice people who call themselves the New Abortion Caravan. Their main tactic is to show pictures of aborted fetus as a way to scare women out of having abortions. I find this group repulsive. I think that women who do not support abortion should not get one, and not impose their “morals” onto other women.
Anti Choice Protesters Outside a Clinic
Here is a video of a man defending his wife’s abortion against women who stood outside the clinic and yelled at her. His wife needed an abortion to prevent her from delivery a still-born baby. He makes some valid points that hese protesters should learn. He says they should be helping children; I agree if they believe unwanted children should be born then they should be spending their time helping under privilaged children or volunteering at an orphange.
This video from CBC The National in 1988 provides information on the abortion law being struck down from the point of view of the time. Getting to see news coverage from the actual time can provide new insight rather than learning about it second-hand.
The video: The National 1988 News Coverage
Here is a CBC video aired in 1967 of Dr. Morgentaler talking about why he supports abortion. It is always useful to hear the actual people we read about in textbooks talk about what they believe in. First hand interviews can provide a new perspective: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/health/reproductive-issues/dr-henry-morgentaler-fighting-canadas-abortion-laws/morgentaler-enters-the-abortion-debate.html
What I liked about this video best was when he said the slogan “every child a wanted child, every mother a willing mother” this really stuck with me. I think it makes a lot of sense, and is one of the best arguments I have heard in the support for abortion. It just makes sense. Why would anyone be against the idea that every child born should be wanted? Everyone wants to be wanted and everyone thinks children should be wanted and loved by their parents. If women have access to reproductive technologies than every child born to these women will be wanted and cared for.