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safe abortions and reproductive rights for all women worldwide

filmstil_2_sister_frances_with_patient.jpg

I am a filmmaker and author from Berlin, Germany.

I just made the documentary film Abortion Democracy: Poland/South Africa
and I want to use the film worldwide to raise awareness about the hypocrisy about reproductive rights.
I showed the film already in the German parliament and it got great responses.
I want to use the film as a tool to focus on the life reality of women and women's perspectives that are silenced because of an one-sided moralized focus on potential life by international groups of so called prolifers, ignoring the fact that social and economic pressures don't leave women a real choice and that according WHO 60.000 up to 80.000 women die every year because of unsafe abortion.

This documentary feature explores and contrasts changes in Poland and South Africa regarding abortion laws and their impact on the lives of women.

In the 90's, Poland banned abortion due to the increasing influence of the Catholic Church after the fall of communism; around the same time South Africa legalized it, reforming the health system after the fall of apartheid.

The film reveals how the legal status of women is a direct result of the silencing or empowering of women's voices. In the Polish society and media, women's perspectives were made invisible; in South Africa, on the other hand, they were invited to give public hearings in the parliament about problems in the realm of reproduction.

The film aims to emphasize the need for safe abortions and liberal abortion laws. It also, however, illustrates the paradox that the implementation of such laws may have little effect on the accessibility of abortion services. In Poland, for example, illegal abortions are quite available and relatively safe; in South Africa, where the law is very liberal, women have a harder time getting information and services in public hospitals due to judgemental behavior of the health staff. Only a change in the fundamental social and cultural attitudes towards abortion, contraception, and reproductive health can ensure a woman's right to choose in a world where about 80.000 women die every year from unsafe abortions.

Abortion Democracy lets its subjects speak for themselves. Interviews include personal stories from activists, researchers, health staff, patients and other men and women who live with the problems every day. It is a thought provoking and challenging film for any audience interested in the international struggle for human rights.

Interviewees

Poland

Wanda Nowicka - Federation for Women and Family Planning, Warsaw
Michal Placzek - Pro-Choice Alliance, Warsaw
Anna Lipowska-Teutsch - TIK (Towarzystwo Interwencji Kryszysowej, Crisis Intervention Center, Krakow)
Alicja Tysiac - Sued the Polish government in landmark EU court case because of a denied abortion and her resulting visual impairment, Warsaw
Beata Zaduminska - Centrum Praw Kobiet, Krakow
Anna Zawadzka - Editor, Gazetta Wyborcha, Instigated the failed Polish "I had an abortion" Campaign, Warsaw
Ewa Waszkiewicz - Economist, University of Wroclaw

South Africa

Richard Burzelmann - Coordinator of Abortion Services in Western Cape Province
Marijke Alblas - Doctor, Cape Town
Nurrudin Farrah - Somali Author, lives in Cape Town
Sister Ida Frawces - Nurse, Public Health Care Center, Atlantis
Liz - Young pregnant homeless woman, Cape Town
Jane Harries - Women Health Research Unit, Medical School, Cape Town
Sister M. - Nurse, Public Health Care Center, Atlantis
Noluthando Ntlokwana - Woman Legal Center, Cape Town
Awino Okeck - Mother Tongue Theater, Cape Town
Marion Stevens - Reproductive Right Alliance (RRA), Cape Town
Marieta de Vos - Mosaic Health Care Center for Women, Cape Town

If you are interested in showing the film please contact me
sarah.diehl@yahoo.de
www.abortion-democracy.de

Downloads

Comments

jadefrank's picture

Abortion Democracy

Hi Sarah,

Your documentary sounds interesting and powerful. What a striking comparison you've created in juxtaposing Poland and South Africa in their social and political attitudes towards abortion. I am so eager to see your film and learn more on this subject!

It looks like your Bold Idea has already begun, but you need assistance in getting your documentary out there so that your message is heard across the world. I support you in your goal and wish you all the best. You are bold indeed.

Warm regards,
Jade

sarah diehl's picture

Thank you Jade, if you want

Thank you Jade,
if you want to help me organize screenings and get the word out about the film, let me know.
I will be in the US in the late summer probably touring with my film and another one by Angie Young (www.thecoathangerproject.com) about abortion in the US.
We are still looking for venues...
Best wishes from sarah

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