When Abortion was Illegal: Untold Stories
(28 minutes) USA
Director/Producer: Dorothy Fadiman
The era of illegal abortion, roughly the period between the turn of the century and the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, has been a sealed chapter in women's history. The profound aura of shame and fear surrounding unwanted pregnancies and abortions before Roe v. Wade kept most women from ever admitting that they had had illegal abortions. Women suffering complications from back alley or self-induced abortions risked arrest if they admitted what they had done, as did their husbands and doctors if they acknowledged compliance and aid. When Abortion was Illegal illuminates this largely undocumented era and reveals the physical, emotional and legal consequences of having an abortion when it was a criminal act.
Dorothy Fadiman left her hometown, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and crossed the country on a Greyhound bus in 1961 in order to study Speech Pathology at Stanford University. In 1978, Dorothy released her first film, Radiance: The Experience of Light, conceived on a mind shattering, heart-opening LSD experience. In her next production, Celebration, male and female forces unite within one woman and give birth to a new, integrated sense of Self. World Peace is a Local Issue, her first documentary, follows a City Council meeting, illustrating the impact anti-nuclear citizens had in turning around their local government's position on a Nuclear Freeze. Her film on alternative education, Why Do These Kids Love School?, a PBS special, documents healthy, nurturing communities within school environments. Fix-It Shops: An Endangered Species addresses the ecology of repairing small appliances. Recently, she completed Woman by Woman about family planning for women in the remote villages of India. She recently released Step by Step, about a woman with a severe spinal cord injury who, with the support of her community, is learning to walk again. She has also just returned from Ethiopia, where she filmed Seeds of Hope: Meeting the Challenges of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. Film awards include a GOLD MEDAL from CPB; for Best Short Documentary, an Oscar Nomination; an EMMY, a Gold Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival, a Blue Ribbon from the American Film Festival, several Golden CINEs, several Gold Apples plus honors from more than fifty other national and international organizations and festivals.
John Hoskyns-Abrahall, President
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547
Phone: (610) 779-8226
Fax: (610) 370-1978