In the final moments of “Always & Forever,” our Vol. 20 short film selection, we learn that its characters live in a state where abortion has been outlawed. What seemed like a dystopian nightmare not long ago is everyday reality in 17 states with near-total abortion bans.
That means abortion clinics now serve both their communities and patients from far-flung states who have lost access to basic health care.
That means abortion clinics are more important than ever.
And more than half of patients seeking abortions in the U.S. are served by independent clinics who are members of the Abortion Care Network, our organization of the month.
XO, Team rePROFilm
Always and Forever
Bailey, a precocious 12-(and a half)-year-old, is getting BTS tickets for her birthday — but she’d rather have a baby. Naturally, the tween visits an adoption service to make her demand: “If science says I’m old enough to have a baby, I should be able to adopt one, am I right?”
Not really, explains an amused Shana from behind the front desk of the Always & Forever agency. The minimum age for adoption in their state is 21, she notes. Surrogacy isn’t an option, either, even for a kid determined to become a “momfluencer.” When Bailey won’t take no for an answer, Shana lists more reasons. Parenthood involves an enormous amount of responsibility, she lectures, and teen pregnancy carries an enormous amount of risk.
The satirical film points out the hypocrisy of setting age-appropriate restrictions on children in nearly every context except when they become pregnant: “We wouldn’t allow a kid to adopt a kid. So why would we ever force a kid to have a kid?”
Ask an Expert: Reel Talk with Dr. Julia
“It takes less than three minutes to watch the brilliant short film “Always & Forever,” a devastating commentary on the consequences of forcing children to give birth. Though the film is fictional, it points to reality: An increasing number of states are effectively doing just that to their pregnant teenagers.
Lack of comprehensive sexuality education, barriers to contraception access, and severe limitations on access to abortion or outright bans all contribute to elevated rates of teen pregnancy. This carries heavy social consequences: Pregnant teens have increased risk of multiple adverse health outcomes. There are also adverse long-term psychosocial and economic impacts for teens parents and their children.
What abortion looks like in every state
We’ve shared this before – this continually updated interactive map breaks down abortion access across the country in an accessible, easy-to-understand manner. At rePROFilm, we’re big fans of The 19th, a nonprofit newsroom that has produced some of the best and comprehensive reporting on abortion and other issues of special interest to their core audience of women, women of color, and the LGBTQ+ community.
Abortion on the ballot
Another resource for tracking the shifting nature of abortion laws is this repository of information on past and upcoming ballot measures. If you want to feel slightly more cheerful, review all the electoral wins we’ve celebrated in the past year. More importantly, look ahead: On Nov. 7, voters in Ohio will vote on a state constitutional amendment on reproductive freedom. Maryland voters are up in 2024.
How to get abortion pills online
“Anyone with the ability to get pregnant should have abortion pills in their medicine cabinet, full stop.” This one-minute video by feminist writer Jessica Valenti points you to online resources for pills (even if you aren’t pregnant right now and even if you live in a state where abortion is banned). If you want to go deeper, subscribe to Valenti’s newsletter Abortion, Every Day.
With special guests Lara Everly, Jessica Stamen and Elease Lui Stemp
<id=”podcast20″ span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The “work wives” behind the dark comedy “Always & Forever” join Asha Dahya on the Periodical Podcast to chat about collaboration, going viral, and how humor is a secret weapon in the fight for reproductive justice.
“It’s just a proven concept at this point that comedy disrupts the status quo. A little bit of humor, a little bit of entertainment moves the needle. It works.” — Lara Everly
“Humor sneaks past people’s defenses. It can be a way (in), even for people who agree but might feel like other serious videos feel medicinal … You get them laughing, you get them engaged, and then you come in with the punch at the end.” — Jessica Stamen
This playlist is nearly twenty times longer than “Always & Forever,” the film that inspired it. Just for you: Musical reminders of what it means to have no options. And a little inspiration, too. Because all of us were (or are) teenagers and it was (is) hard.
— Teri Mott, rePROFilm DJ
ABORTION CARE NETWORK
Founded in 2008, Abortion Care Network is the national association for independent, community-based abortion care providers and their allies. Together, ACN’s membership works to ensure the rights of all people to experience respectful, dignified abortion care.
Independent abortion providers care for the majority of people seeking abortion in the U.S. — often serving individuals and families with the fewest resources and in the most rural parts of our nation.
ACN holds a special place in our hearts, as member clinics provide care in every state rePROFilm team members call home, including California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and North Carolina.
Learn more about the organization in our Insta Live convo with Kenyetta Whitfield, digital communications manager for ACN.
Last week, our own Alex Sgambati spoke with ACN’s Kenyetta Whitfield – and you can watch that conversation here!
rePROFilm endeavors to make our programming a safe, accessible and welcome place for anyone who wants to participate. We acknowledge that we have much to learn about creating this space, and welcome and and all feedback that can make us better aware and able to support all minds and bodies.
We are committed to screening films in accessible venues, and also understand that meeting ADA standards for accessibility does not actually mean a venue is actually accommodating for everyone. As best we can, we will offer a complimentary companion ticket to our film screenings as requested. For our virtual screenings, we ask all filmmaking teams to provide closed captioning, audio descriptions or open captions whenever possible. For any questions, please contact us at 323-810-6909 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to do our best to make our programming as inclusive as possible.