New Documentary Shows Ongoing Restrictions on Abortion in America: It’s the ‘Real-Life Handmaid’s Tale’ Jul 20, 2017 Birthright 0 Comment Reviews
“This film is the real-life Handmaid’s Tale.”
That’s how Civia Tamarkin and Luchina Fisher, the filmmakers behind Birthright: A War Story, characterize their new documentary about the rapid swell of abortion restrictions in the United States.
The documentary explores the numerous ways in which the pro-life movement has continuously worked to “roll back” access to abortion and routine health care for women over the past 40 years.
“You are talking about a physical embattlement here,” Tamarkin tells PEOPLE. “Women are under siege. It’s pretty clear that from the moment the Roe vs. Wade ruling came down, the anti-abortion movement declared war.”
Tamarkin and Fisher (both former PEOPLE writers) started work on the documentary following the 2014 Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case, which declared that the government cannot force for-profit corporations to provide contraceptive coverage for their female employees if their religion opposes such medication.
The case was an eye-opener for both Tamarkin and Fisher.
“It was really important for us to show all the ways that this right that women have taken for granted for so long has been chipped away at and the consequences of that long opposition,” says Fisher.
“We did not want to rehash the entire abortion issue, we wanted to show the fallout and the collateral damage that has become part of it, which very few people are aware of,” says Tamarkin.
Along with speaking to politicians and health care experts (along with pro-life advocates), Tamarkin and Fisher spoke to several women who were negatively impacted by the increasingly strict laws.
“We wanted to show all of the people who were swept up in this war,” says Fisher. “Any woman capable of carrying a pregnancy is subject to this battle.”
Tamarkin and Fisher say they hope the film inspires younger generations to take a stand and realize that access to legal abortion in the U.S. is no longer a guarantee.
“We ultimately want to educate and inspire,” says Tamarkin.
Birthright: A War Story is open now in select theaters in New York and starting July 28 in Los Angeles. The film will be released digitally in November.