Dear Supreme Court of Brazil, Use Your Power to Protect Women

Video by Eliza Capai (11:34 minutes)
Text by Joanna Erdman
Sep 26, 2023

Ms. Capai is a Brazilian filmmaker. This short film is adapted from her feature-length documentary “Incompatible With Life.” Ms. Erdman is a professor of health law and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, state anti-abortion laws came into immediate effect, clinics closed the same day, and people desperately searched for care against the clock of pregnancy. That is to say, there is an urgency to injustice, much as the time for justice is always now.

These lessons are being tested in Brazil. Last week Brazil’s Supreme Court opened voting in a case to decriminalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This would be a sea change in the country, as explored in the film above. Today Brazil prohibits abortion, with only narrow exceptions in cases of rape, risk to life and a fatal fetal condition known as anencephaly.


USA – Bye bye baby? The rise of abortion playlists

Abortion is generally understood as something sad or shameful, but a new trend of feel-good playlists rejects the stigma around the procedure entirely

7 September 2023
Halima Jibril

Abortion is not funny. That’s the view held by many people on the topic, anyway. In 2012, Sarah Silverman was made to apologise for talking too “casually about abortion” on social media. The comedian posted a picture of her inflated stomach after eating a burrito and joked that she “got a quickie aborsh in case R v W gets overturned”. When the film Obvious Child, dubbed the first “abortion rom-com,” premiered in 2014, one of its stars, Jenny Slate, told The Guardian that the “movie isn’t saying that abortions are funny. It’s saying that people are funny.” That same year, Mindy Kaling told Flare that her gynaecologist character in The Mindy Project would not perform an abortion, as it “would be demeaning to the topic to talk about it in a half-hour sitcom”. Most recently, And Just Like That, the puzzling sequel to Sex and the City, included an abortion storyline in their second season but refused to use the word “abortion”. Instead, they fearfully tiptoed around it as if saying it would leave them struck by lightning.


Australia – The moment I knew: I woke up from my abortion – and he was waiting with curry and rice

At first Madison Griffiths was reluctant to accept the support of the man with whom she shared her pregnancy. But his ‘abortion antidotes’ helped them imagine a future together

Madison Griffiths
Sat 12 Aug 2023

In August 2021, I sat in the quiet waiting room of a Melbourne abortion clinic, my eyes cast lazily on the television as it screened the morning news. A text message from Domenic*, the man I shared my pregnancy with, sat unanswered on my phone screen. He was checking in, insistent I let him support me through this. He knew I would be taking the first handful of abortion pills today, and the second tomorrow.

I was reluctant to respond. I didn’t know what to say. I had known Domenic for only a handful of months. We met via Tinder during a brief two-week reprieve from lockdowns, our budding relationship bookended by social isolation, job insecurity and now the stress of an unwanted pregnancy.


Examining how Hollywood portrays abortion access

A researcher from the University of California says that the majority of television characters who obtained abortions faced few barriers

Stephanie Herold, The Conversation
June 18, 2023

Two doctors sit, despondent, on the side of a busy road as they watch an EMT zip up the body of their patient into a body bag. The patient died as a direct result of a fatal ectopic pregnancy, which her OB-GYN refused to treat because of a new anti-abortion law in her home state.

Tears in her eyes, one of the doctors responds to questions from the EMT about the death. Then she shouts: “It’s the lawmakers, they should actually be made to come out here … look at the carnage they’ve caused. I mean, how are we supposed to be doctors? Women’s lives are on the line, and our hands that are trained to help them, our hands are tied.”


Film revives memories of girl’s death as Ireland reviews abortion rules

Death of Ann Lovett while giving birth in 1984 helped sparked movement that led to 2018 vote to lift abortion ban

Rory Carroll
Tue 9 May 2023

On the morning of 31 January 1984 Ann Lovett put a pair of scissors in her school bag and left her home in Granard, a small town in County Longford, Ireland.

It was cold and wet. The 15-year-old was in her uniform but did not go to school. She went to the deserted grotto of St Mary’s church, lay down on gravel, removed her underwear and gave birth in the rain.


Book Review: A French Feminist Struggles with Her Abortion Decision

Abortion: A Personal Story, a Political Choice by Pauline Harmange. Translated from the French by Caitlin O’Neil. Scribe, 85 pages, $16.

May 2, 2023
By Pat Reber

Does the world really need another personal abortion story? The answer is “yes,” Pauline Harmange argues.

French writer Pauline Harmange is a package of contradictions. She made a splash with her 2020 French publishing debut, I Hate Men, but at some point did marry one. And Harmange wrote this book, Abortion: A Personal Story, A Political Choice, during a second pregnancy which she hoped she could carry to term as she and her husband struggled to improve their economic circumstances.


Millie Odhiambo, Esther Passaris Team Up To Translate Kenyan Movie Into Law

By Richard Kamau  
Friday, 31 Mar 2023

Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris and Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo attended the premiere of ‘Prayer For The Departed’, a Kenyan film based on the true story of a 14-year-old school girl who was raped and died after a botched abortion.

The film, which premiered at Prestige Cinema last weekend, is based on the life and death of JMM who was raped, tried to obtain a backstreet abortion from a local quack, was denied lifesaving hospital care at government facilities, and eventually died of kidney failure.


Greece – An Abortion Hidden from Parental View in “Memoir of a Veering Storm”

In Sofia Georgovassili’s short film, drawn from life, a teen-ager and her friends go on a pivotal excursion in the course of a school day.

Film by Sofia Georgovassili
Text by Helena Ong
February 17, 2023
Film: 13:48 minutes

[From YouTube description]  It is a morning in September and a storm is coming. A mother takes her daughter to school in the morning, unaware that she will be a young woman when she comes back home in the evening. Fifteen-year-old Anna sneaks out of school and goes to a hospital. There, she is faced with an event that will close the door on her childhood forever.

What happens to a young woman’s psyche when she experiences an abortion while all surrounding social structures see her as a child? Greek director Sofia Georgovassili’s melancholy short film, which has screened at many festivals including the Berlinale Generation competition, reveals the world that the film’s protagonist is confronted with through minute details, touches, light pulsations, and mythology.

Film available at:

‘Plan C’ Review: Timely Documentary Examines Abortion Solutions in a Post-Roe America

Tracy Droz Tragos' no-frills film centers on the healthcare professionals and volunteers seeking to ensure easy access to abortion pills for pregnant people in restrictive U.S. states.

By Guy Lodge
Feb 16, 2023

Even before last year’s Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade, a recent international surge in films about abortion rights and the endangerment thereof — from period pieces like “Happening” to present-day portraits like “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” — almost seemed to anticipate such a devastating blow. In America in particular, where talk of abortion access has always been snarled up in extreme religious rhetoric and eternal red-blue division, it has never been a subject to be treated complacently. Urgent and unvarnished, Tracy Droz Tragos’ documentary “Plan C” is an early entry in what might be considered post-Roe cinema, focusing less on pro-choice ideology than on the practicalities of ensuring choice in a system increasingly stacked against the idea.


Abortion—The Real Irish Lessons

Road to Repeal: 50 Years of Struggle in Ireland for Contraception and Abortion (new book)

by Tomás Mac Sheoin
Feb 01, 2023

In August 2022, Fintan O’Toole, a journalist with the Irish Times, published an article in the New York Review of Books giving his interpretation of the lessons to be learned from the Irish experience with abortion. O’Toole first outlined the history: in 1981, right-wing groups, buttressed by American support—including financial support—formed the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign, which persuaded the Irish government to propose a referendum to include a ban on abortion in the Irish Constitution. The ban was passed in 1983, becoming the constitution’s eighth amendment.

O’Toole outlines three problems with legal bans on abortion. First, they simply do not stop abortions: in 1985, 3,888 women traveled from Ireland to England to terminate their pregnancies; in 2001, that number was 6,673.