DAUK Film Night: Trapped
was held on December 2, 2016 in London
Poignant, Compelling, Beautifully Produced
In collaboration with the DAUK Women’s Caucus
Commentary: John Oliver offers his succinct take on how TRAP laws are so at odds with most Americans’ views:
Issues at stake
Women’s Reproductive Rights and Health, Women’s Right to Choose, Resources on TRAP issues
More About The Film
The Film Night
The Film Committee in association with the Women’s Caucus collaborated in the screening of Dawn Porter’s Trapped, a powerful and riveting film about women’s right to choose. Trapped relates to how states’ legislation has attempted to restrict women’s access to abortion through the Trap laws, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. In the guise of health and safety regulation, these laws were put in place to limit access to abortion clinics. The film focuses on abortion providers and campaigners in three clinics in Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi, where these harsh regulations threaten to close them down.
When talking about the film in The Guardian, Dawn Porter says, “If you are pro-choice, you can’t be silent. You’re joining people who would disenfranchise people or sentence people to parenthood and take over their bodies.”
Winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking, this film’s production values are high and the narrative arc is engrossing. The quiet courage of the doctors and staff, who struggle to keep their clinics open in order to provide access for women in desperate need of their services, makes the film an uplifting one, despite the difficult subject matter.
Trapped was made made shortly before the Supreme Court’s favorable decision in June. It allows us to visit the background to the landmark decision and contemplate what might happen to it after the election. As Robert Reich commented on the BBC after the debate on 20 October, “Trump appealed to the Republican establishment to appoint Supreme Court justices of a ‘conservative’ bent, who would overturn a key ruling that made abortions legal in the U.S. …” Whereas Hillary Clinton said in the same debate, “The government has no business in the decisions that women make.” With stark differences between the candidates and the electorate, this issue will not go away.
Trapped demonstrates how abstract political debate can lead to negative consequences in the lives of both the patients and healthcare professionals. There is a point in the film where we’re told that a clinic is forced to turn away a 13- year- old rape victim who had to travel for four hours to get to her nearest clinic.
As Gloria Gray of the West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa, says in the film, “Closing the clinics is not going to stop abortions. Women are going to have abortions; it’s just that they are not going to be safe and legal.”
About The Film Night Speakers
Allison Gilbert is from Concord, New Hampshire, where she acted as the Community Organizer for NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire. She has a Master’s Degree in Political Communications and has written about feminism and the political unconscious in European and Central European countries.
Christa Bosch is a lawyer who, until moving to the UK last year, worked in the areas of immigration and human rights. She served one term each on the New York City Bar Association’s LGBT Rights and Sex and the Law Committees, where she worked on issues including marriage equality, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, comprehensive sex education and reproductive rights. Her earlier legal experience includes work at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and research on sexual violence in armed conflict and the laws of war. Christa started her career as sexual health educator and clinic worker for Planned Parenthood of Northeast Pennsylvania. She earned her BA in Government from Smith College and her JD from Suffolk University Law School.
Nick Beard is a doctoral candidate at the University of Sussex in law and sociology. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Nick was active with Planned Parenthood of Delaware. One of her fondest teenage memories was attending the 2004 March to Save Women’s Lives and feeling the shared passion of women to protect abortion rights. Nick later became involved in the Irish choice movement as an undergraduate at Trinity College Dublin. Nick is currently a phones and social media assistant for the Abortion Support Network, which helps women in Ireland and Northern Ireland travel to Britain to access abortion services.
About Dawn Porter
Excerpt from http://www.trappeddocumentary.com/dawn-porter
Dawn Porter is an award-winning filmmaker whose 2013 documentary, Gideon’s Army, won the Sundance Film Festival Editing Award, the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy. The film broadcast on HBO in July 2013 and has been used to engage local communities about indigent defense, the U.S. justice system and socioeconomic influences on crime.
Dawn’s other films include Spies of Mississippi (2014, PBS) and Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper, a documentary film chronicling President Obama’s program to help young men and boys of color succeed. Dawn interviewed President Obama for the film, which aired nationally on The Discovery Channel and The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in 2015.
Dawn is a Keppler Speaker. She has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and is a returning guest on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show. Prior to her work as a filmmaker, Dawn was director of standards and practices at ABC News and vice president of standard and practices at A&E Television Networks. She graduated from Swarthmore College and Georgetown Law Center and practiced law at the firm of Baker & Hostetler for five years.
Interviews with Dawn
Coffin, Lesley. Interview: Dawn Porter on Trapped, Her Documentary About Harmful Abortion Clinic Laws. The Mary Sue. March 4, 2016.
In this interview Dawn Porter points out that “… the right to an abortion is grounded in the right to privacy (14th Amendment) rather than equal protection. If we had passed the Equal Rights Amendment, the conversation would be completely different. It would be about a woman’s right to control her own future, instead of privacy.” She also stresses how the rise of the Tea Party and the 2010 midterm elections were very important in empowering anti-choice activists and legislation. In 2010 the Tea Party had as one of its first objectives the overturning of Roe v Wade “which is why there are hundreds of laws activism being passed over that 6 year period.”
Disclaimer: The screening of this film does not constitute an endorsement or promotion of the film, nor of any views expressed therein or any association with The Film Committee, DAUK, Democrats Abroad or the Democratic Party. Screenings are solely conceived as educational activities: offering an opportunity for members to discuss issues.
Links to other organizations or publications imply neither endorsement of their policies nor any association with the Democratic Party or Democrats Abroad – UK.