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 practitioners who had little or no medical training. Hospital wards were filled with victims of unsafe procedures. There were some skilled physicians who agreed to terminate pregnancies for their wealthy private patients, charging thousands of dollars. A small number individuals - doctors, midwives, nurses and others, provided relatively safe, low-cost, humane but still illegal care.
From DANGER to DIGNITY weaves together two parallel stories: the evolution of underground networks that helped women find safe abortions outside the law, and the intensive efforts by activists and lawmakers to decriminalize abortion through legislative and judicial channels. This film combines rare archival footage with interviews that document the courageous efforts of those who fought to break the silence, change the laws and end the shame which surrounded abortion when it was a crime.
"An excellent overview. Highly recommended." —Video Librarian