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New York, NY - Tonight, the documentary Abortion: Stories Women Tell premieres on HBO, offering an intimate window into the lives of women living in Missouri under restrictive abortion laws. The film highlights the variety of complex feelings people have about abortion, and features the stories of women who have had abortions, the experiences of clinicians and health center staff, as well as the perspectives of women opposed to safe and legal abortion. Planned Parenthood collaborated with the director on the film.

Abortion: Stories Women Tell illustrates what it’s like for women to live in an area that’s hostile to reproductive care and highlights the impact of a law that forces women to wait 72 hours between a doctor's consultation and having an abortion. Missouri’s extreme 72-hour forced delay puts politicians in the middle of private medical decisions that should be left to a woman and her doctor. Ultimately, this is part of a broader effort to end access to safe, legal abortion.   

“Film can help challenge stigma and change the conversation about abortion, and Planned Parenthood is thrilled that the filmmakers behind Abortion: Stories Women Tell recognize this. To ensure abortion remains safe and legal for future generations, we must replace misinformation with the facts and start having honest conversations about abortion in America today,” said Caren Spruch, director of arts and entertainment engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Abortion: Stories Women Tell highlights the need for every woman to have full, accurate information about all of her pregnancy options so that she can make the best decision for herself.”

At Planned Parenthood, we work every day to make sure women receive the high-quality health care they need – including safe, legal abortion– in a safe, respectful environment. Today, abortion in the U.S. is a safe and legal way to end a pregnancy. Nearly a third of women in America decide to end a pregnancy, and a woman's decision about her pregnancy should be respected and valued. Medical decisions must be left between a woman and her doctor – not politicians.

“With this film, my goal was to take a personal and up-close look at patient stories, to help lift the stigma around personal-decision making and abortion care,” said Filmmaker Tracy Droz Tragos. "In a state facing crippling restrictions, Planned Parenthood continues tirelessly to serve women across socio-economic backgrounds, providing not only much-needed information and education, but also access to the care they need.  I hope this film will shed light on this vital and important work.”

The unfortunate reality is that too many people face barriers to sexual and reproductive health care and safe, legal abortion in the U.S. These obstacles include Targeted Restrictions of Abortion Providers (TRAP) legislation, waiting periods, the availability of providers, and cost. Since 2010, states have adopted more than 330 abortion restrictions – 30% of all abortion restrictions enacted since Roe v. Wade in 1973 – and more than half of American women of reproductive age now live in states where access to abortion is being restricted by their state legislatures.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


April 03, 2017