Where to Invade Next Supports an Exchange of Solutions across Borders, Opens Nationwide Today
NEW YORK, NY — Today, the film Where to Invade Next debuts nationwide, helping to move the conversation on women’s health care, comprehensive sex education, and gender equality forward. In this provocative comedy, Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore “invades” various nations to see what America can learn about improving access to sexual and reproductive health and sex education, among other topics. His travels include France, where young people receive comprehensive sex education; Tunisia, where women’s health care is accessible to all women; and Iceland, considered the best country in the world for gender equality.
“Where to Invade Next is an important film that highlights the advances that other nations have made to ensure its people remain healthy and safe. Women and communities around the world are finding and applying innovative solutions to many of the same sexual and reproductive health care challenges we face in the U.S.” said Caren Spruch, senior advisor of arts and entertainment engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We applaud Michael Moore for addressing the needs of Americans, including ensuring that young people get sex education that is medically accurate and age-appropriate, and that all women have better access to health care and more opportunities to achieve their life goals.”
The ability to plan, prevent, and space pregnancies is directly linked to multiple benefits for women, men, children, families, and society as a whole, including more educational and economic opportunities, healthier babies, more stable families, and a reduced taxpayer burden. There’s a vast unmet need for reproductive health care in the U.S. and in many countries around the world, which contributes to higher rates of unintended pregnancies and STDs.
“When I was in high school, abortion was illegal in Michigan,” director Michael Moore said. “A friend of mine got pregnant and was trying to get the money to go to New York, where abortion was legal, but she couldn't raise the funds, so she had an illegal one and almost died. The next year I set up a teen pregnancy center to help deal with this problem. So I've been concerned about these issues for a long time.”
“My mother was born the year women got the vote,” he continued. “She raised my sisters and me to believe that voting and being involved politically was a duty for every citizen in a democracy. As for sex ed, I went to Catholic schools. Enough said.”
In the U.S., too many young people are still being deprived of information critical to their sexual health. Only 23 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex education, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that in most U.S. states, fewer than half of high schools and just one in five middle schools teach all the essential sex education topics recommended by the CDC. When teens have the education they need, they make better decisions. Sex education has been proven to help young people to delay sex, and to use contraception and condoms when they do become sexually active.
“This film helps move the conversation forward and challenge us to dream bigger about the world we want. We cannot move ahead if half the population is left behind,” Spruch added. “In the world we want, all people have full control of their own bodies and can determine their own destinies. Planned Parenthood is determined to fight for this vision, here and abroad, now and in the future--no matter what.”
Closing the gender pay gap in America is an important step to ensuring that women have the tools they need to succeed at home and in the workplace. Although they’re the primary breadwinners in more than 40 percent of households with children, women are only making 78 cents on the dollar. For women of color, that gap is even higher — with African American women earning 64 cents and Latinas earning 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white man.
Globally, more than 200 million women and girls in developing countries who wish to delay or plan childbirth still lack access to modern contraceptives, information, and services. Pregnancy is a leading cause of death for adolescent girls worldwide, with nearly 70,000 killed annually from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Half of the world’s population is now under 25. They need innovative, science-based solutions to grow into the healthiest generation ever.
For nearly four decades, the Hyde Amendment has banned the use of federal funding for abortion services, except in the case of very narrow exceptions. The fact is that every woman — no matter where she lives or how much money she makes or who provides her health insurance — deserves access to health care without barriers or political roadblocks.
For more than 40 years, Planned Parenthood Global, the international subsidiary of PPFA, has been working overseas to ensure that women, men, and young people in some of the world’s most neglected areas have access to the health care they need to control their bodies and their futures. By partnering with local advocates, medical service providers, and youth leaders and helping to build sustainable networks and organizations, we find innovative ways to deliver critical services and fight for more inclusive laws and policies.
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 media office: 212-261-4433
February 12, 2016