ONE in four women in the United States has had an abortion.
Forgoing the “look to your left” cliché, suffice it to say that you closely know someone who has had an abortion.
Learn more about the procedure and its history with a free screening of the documentary “Reversing Roe.”
Presented by Planned Parenthood Southeast, the screening and conversation takes place Jan. 22 in a safe space to encourage discussion.
The impetus for more education about reproductive healthcare should be clear in our political climate.
“From a political standpoint, you see the cascade from our current president to our newest Supreme Court justice to our governor here in Georgia, and the threat has never been more real when it comes to women’s bodily autonomy and access to healthcare,” explains Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast.
“If anyone is kidding themselves about Governor Kemp or Justice Kavanaugh—they’re not moderates. They’re not going to moderate on these issues, and they won’t go quietly into the night about it.”
With these conservative leaders holding power, the passing of anti-abortion legislature seems imminent.
“It’s not that Roe will get overturned, it’s that the Supreme Court will uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban, and then every state across the country introduces similar legislature,” says Fox.
Part of the reason for those legislative decisions is the stigma that continues to color each and every abortion discussion.
“I think the reason we’re in the position we’re in when it comes to women’s access to healthcare is abortion stigma, and I think we’ve all been complicit, including those of us who provide healthcare,” admits Fox.
“When you look at [abortion] from a healthcare standpoint, it’s incredibly safe, and it’s healthcare. Abortion is healthcare. That’s really where this film comes in, is that we have been doing and will continue to do work to address abortion stigma.”
“Reversing Roe” is a 2018 documentary that traces the abortion debate in the United States.
“I think storytelling is the way you destigmatize any topic,” says Coco Papy, Planned Parenthood Southeast board member. “It’s the most important tool that I feel we have to be able to talk about for this necessity of equitable and dignified healthcare access.”
“It’s very unfortunate that a medical experience has been politicized to the level it has,” Papy says. “So for us at this moment in time, the only way you really take that shame and stigma you put upon the subject is that you have people tell their stories.”
One way Planned Parenthood Southeast plans to make that happen is by creating a Speakers Bureau in Savannah, part of a national effort by Planned Parenthood.
“It’s a group of people who have a little bit of training,” Papy explains. “We worked with Omkari Williams, sitting down and parsing through experiences and getting to the issue. It’s really a group of storytellers who are willing and able to talk about their experience with abortion.”
At the event, Planned Parenthood will show key clips from “Reversing Roe” and then have a conversation around what’s been shown.
“It’s one of the most in-depth looks at the contentious history of reproductive access and Roe v. Wade and where we’re at in this moment in time,” says Papy. “It’s a film that won’t please everyone, but what it does it take a real, clear-eyed look at how we came to this moment and how reproductive healthcare has become so stigmatized.”
Between the film and the discussion, Planned Parenthood Southeast seeks to clear up misinformation about abortion.
“There’s so much misinformation out there, everything from gross misinformation to provocative misinformation,” says Papy. “It’s scientifically accurate care.”
It’s scientifically accurate care that, Fox reminds, has statistically affected someone you know or care about.
“That’s a lot of women, and that’s a lot of people who love them,” says Fox. “You just never know who that one in four is.”