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‘Plan C’ review: Sensitive document shows warriors for women’s right to choose

Documentary maker Tracy Droz Tragos’ topical, exciting latest feature film Plan C represents a de facto follow-up to her previous work, 2016’s Abortion: Stories Women Tell in that both films revolve around one of the most contentious issues in American politics. But where Stories focusing on the impact and experience of everyday people terminating their pregnancies or helping others get a safe, legal surgical procedure, Plan C offers a portrait of those on the frontlines of the fight for women’s right to choose: the founders and organizers of Plan C. This grassroots organization advises women on the so-called abortion pills and helps them access them drugs, which were recently declared safe by the FDA, but are technically illegal in many states that have since banned abortion after the Supreme Court Roe against Wade in 2022.

It is clear that the film has an intrinsic social utility as it provides an informative explanation of how these drugs – mainly known as Mifepristone, which is used in combination with Misoprostol – work to safely terminate a pregnancy of up to 12 weeks when taken orally or vaginally by someone who is pregnant. Viewers can only hope that after the Sundance premiere, it gains exposure and ends at even more festivals, such as Abortion: Stories Women Tellbroadcast on national television. Tragos also provides a neat canned history here of how abortion law has changed in the US after the Dobbs decision seen through the eyes of doctors, Plan C volunteers and those who want to have an abortion and are willing to put their voices, and in some cases even their faces, on screen.

Plan C

It comes down to

Moving and urgent.

Event location: Sundance Film Festival (premieres)
Of: Francine Coeytaux, Elisa Wells, Robin Marty, Dr. Torres, Dr. Amaon, Frances Morales, Carrie Baker, Loretta J. Ross, Farah Diaz-Tello, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts,
Director/Producer: Tracy Droz Tragos

1 hour 39 minutes

Given the risk of persecution and violence, several interviewees have chosen to conceal their identities in some way, either through digital blurring, limited representation of their facial features or simply withholding their full names. A doctor, whose voice is distorted all the time to keep her identity safe, says she remains anonymous only on camera because she needs to protect her husband and children. No one in their right mind would blame her, or any of the others met here, who sacrifice their safety no less than those in Stories that women tell risky picket lines of screaming so-called pro-lifers.

In fact, this film strangely underlines that there is now more cause for hope for those who support the right to choose. In a way, one of the worst outcomes – the overthrow of Roe – has already happened. As long as people continue to fight to prevent Republicans from doing the worst and pass a federal law banning abortion nationwide, those seeking to terminate a pregnancy will still be able to access abortion pills from states where it has not already been banned or severely restricted. is subject.

Plan C founders Francine Coeytaux and Elisa Wells have a track record as lobbyists and campaigners, having helped make Plan B, also known as morning-after pills, widely available in pharmacies. The urgent need to broaden access to Plan C treatments during the pandemic has led to a global expansion of the network of doctors and those who can provide abortion pills to Americans, and the film introduces us to some of the people who make every day possible.

Extensive archival news footage is used to highlight key moments in the fight for reproductive rights, but mostly the story comes organically from the interviewees themselves. Together they form a portrait quilt of many different ages, ethnicities and sexual preferences, all united with a grim determination to fight a battle that will take many forms in the years to come.

Full credits

Venue: Sundance Film Festival (premieres)
Starring: Francine Coeytaux, Elisa Wells, Robin Marty, Dr Torres, Dr Amaon, Frances Morales, Carrie Baker, Loretta J. Ross, Farah Diaz-Tello, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts,
Production companies: Dinky Pictures, XTR, Lismore Road Productions, Kopcho Reproductive Justice Fund, The Case for Her
Director/Producer: Tracy Droz Tragos
Executive Producer: Jess Jacobs, Dr. Holly Corn, Jonathan Kaufelt, Margaret Munzer Loeb, Kathryn Everett, Bryn Mooser, Tracy Droz Tragos
Co-Executive Producers: Monika Parekh, Tracy Segal, Evan Segal
Co-producers: Nancy Blachman, Erin Samueli
Photography directors: Derek Howard, Emily Topper
Editor: Meredith Rathiel Perry
Music: Nathan Halpern
Music supervisor: Tyler Boudreax

1 hour 39 minutes

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