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Abortion, God, and the Law

Abortion, God, and the Law

A special new collection of films and series that highlight the fight for abortion rights over many years, in the context of the rise of right-wing Christianity in politics, and recurring battles over the separation of church and state. After the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade – and the even more recent victory for abortion rights in Kansas – we ask how did we get here, and where might this be going?

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Abortion, God, and the Law
  • With God On Our Side (series)

    6 items

    WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE is a six-hour documentary series treating one of the most important political and cultural stories in contemporary America: the rise to power of the Religious Right.

    This in-depth investigation traces its roots from the anxious "Christian anti-Communism" of the 1950's to th...

  • Jesus Politics

    Documentary • 2008 • 90 minutes

    After fighting as an Israeli soldier in the 1973 war, and troubled by the nation's obsessive mixing of the Bible with politics, the filmmaker left for America, which he considered a "safe haven" because of its separation between church and state. Thirty-five years...

  • Holy Terror

    Directed by Victoria Schultz • Documentary • 1986 • 58 minutes

    Examines the political activism of the religious New Right, focusing on their anti-abortion efforts. Combining interviews with scenes filmed at anti-abortion conventions and demonstrations, the video provides a revealing, inside look...

  • From Danger to Dignity

    Directed by Dorothy Fadiman • Documentary • 56 minutes

    Even though most abortions were illegal in the United States before 1973, they were still available. The outcome, however, often depended on a woman's financial situation. Many women who sought abortions risked their lives by going to practi...

  • To A More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor

    Directed by Donna Zaccaro • Documentary • With Edie Windsor, Nina Totenberg • 2018 • 63 minutes

    To a More Perfect Union tells a story of love, marriage and a fight for equality. The film chronicles two unlikely heroes, octogenarian Edie Windsor and her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, on their quest fo...

  • American Feud

    Directed by Richard R. Hall • Documentary • With Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, G. Gordan Liddy • 2017 • 86 minutes

    This non-partisan classroom friendly documentary traces the American story of liberalism and conservatism featuring voices from many perspectives. It invites the audience to take a col...

  • She's Beautiful When She's Angry

    Directed by Mary Dore • Documentary • With Chude Pamela Allen, Judith Arcana, Nona Willis Aronowitz • 2014 • 92 minutes

    A provocative, rousing and often humorous account of the birth of the modern women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s through to its contemporary manifestations in the new...

  • When Abortion was Illegal

    Directed by Dorothy Fadiman • Documentary • 1993 • 28 minutes

    Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short

    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 prof...

  • Margaret Sanger: A Public Nuisance

    Directed by Terese Svoboda and Steve Bull • Documentary • 1992 • 28 minutes

    MARGARET SANGER: A PUBLIC NUISANCE highlights Sanger's pioneering strategies of using media and popular culture to advance the cause of birth control. It tells the story of her arrest and trial, using actuality films, va...

  • It Was Rape

    Directed by Jennifer Baumgardner • Documentary • 2013 • 60 minutes

    U.S. sexual assault statistics are startling—and have remained unchanged for decades. The latest White House Council on Women and Girls report reveals that nearly one in five women experiences rape or attempted rape in her lifeti...

  • Choice Thoughts: Reflections on the Birth Control War

    Directed by Jacqueline Frank • Documentary • 1996 • 10 minutes

    In a witty mix of rare archival footage and sound bites from religious and political leaders, filmmaker Jacqueline Frank takes a fast-paced look at 100 years of the fight for birth control and legalized abortion. Featuring a concise ...

  • I Had An Abortion

    Directed by Gillian Aldrich and Jennifer Baumgardner • Documentary • With Gloria Steinem • 2005 • 55 minutes

    Underneath the din of politicians posturing about "life" and "choice" and beyond the shouted slogans about murder and rights, there are real stories of real women who have had abortions. ...

  • A Man's Place

    Directed by Coline Grando • Documentary • 2017 • 58 minutes

    "I've always liked to be in charge. Suddenly, I wasn’t in charge at all."

    The film starts with an empty chair and a simple, monochromatic background. Over the next hour, five men ranging in age from their twenties to fifties sit in the...

  • Dear Dr. Spencer

    Directed by Danielle Renfrew & Beth Seltzer • Documentary • With Lili Taylor • 1998 • 25 minutes

    From the early 1920s until his death in 1969, Dr. Robert Douglas Spencer practiced medicine in a small town in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania. Dr. Spencer treated colds, set fractures, an...

  • Belly of the Beast

    Directed by Erika Cohn • Documentary • With Kelli Dillon, Cynthia Chandler • 2020 • 82 minutes

    When a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer discover a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons, they wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections...

  • After Tiller

    Directed by Martha Shane & Lana Wilson • Documentary • 2014 • 88 minutes

    Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas in May 2009, there are only four American doctors left who openly provide third-trimester abortions. AFTER TILLER paints a complex, compassionate portrait of these phys...

  • Middle of Everywhere: The Abortion Debate from America's Heartland

    Directed by Rebecca Lee & Jesper Malmberg • Documentary • 2008 • 52 minutes

    South Dakota is America’s heartland—waving cornfields, hard-working farmers, family values and a population of 750,000, the majority of whom identify as conservative and anti-abortion. Native daughter Rebecca Lee returns...

  • Rosita

    Directed by Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater • Documentary • 2005 • 58 minutes

    ROSITA, a documentary by award-winning filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater, traces a young girl's journey from innocent victim to unwitting victor.

    When a nine-year-old Nicaraguan girl becomes pregnant as ...