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NEW YORK, NY — Today, the film TRAPPED debuts in select theaters nationwide, helping to highlight the disastrous impact of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (or “TRAP”) legislation and advance the public conversation about abortion. TRAPPED follows the struggles of some of the clinic workers and lawyers who are on the front lines of a battle to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women, and focuses on laws and health centers in Alabama, Texas, and Mississippi. Planned Parenthood was a consultant on the film.

“The film TRAPPED illustrates what it’s like for physicians and medical professionals who are trying to provide safe and legal abortion in states where politicians have restricted access,” said Caren Spruch, director of arts and entertainment engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “As a health care provider, Planned Parenthood has seen first-hand the devastating consequences for our patients when politicians make it difficult or impossible to access safe, legal abortion. 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.”

TRAPPED’s debut comes just days after the Supreme Court heard a case on restrictions in Texas that have shuttered health centers across the state. The stakes for women in this case are higher than ever — and will reverberate far beyond Texas. The Court could soon determine the fate of a woman’s fundamental right to access safe, legal abortion in the United States.

“About 3 years ago I learned about the rash of clinic closures across America,” said TRAPPED director Dawn Porter. “I was stunned to learn that Mississippi and several other states have only one provider left. As I spent time in the clinics documenting their efforts to stay open I saw so many brave men and women who refuse to be intimidated and give in to bullies. While abortion providers know that there are those who would harm or even kill them, the greatest threat to abortion access today are the conservative legislators who will continue to pass laws making safe abortion unobtainable for millions of women. I hope everyone who sees this film will be as angry as I was that we are still fighting for safe and legal abortion access for all women in this day and age.”

“Honest portrayals of abortion in film and television are still extremely rare, and that’s part of a much bigger lack of honest depictions of women’s lives, health, and sexuality,” Spruch added. “This film helps challenge stigma and change the conversation. Abortion providers are passionate, concerned, skilled people who believe in the health, well-being, and dignity of women. They trust women and care for women every day, and this film brings attention to the struggles they face trying to provide care. We’re thrilled that the filmmakers behind TRAPPED recognize this.”

At Planned Parenthood we work every day to make sure women receive the high-quality health care they need in a safe, respectful environment, including abortion. And we don’t stop there: We constantly evaluate new research in the field, new recommendations from medical associations, new technologies, and feedback from patients, experts, and regulators to continue improving our practices. Patient health and safety is Planned Parenthood’s top priority and is central to the Planned Parenthood mission. Thousands of health center staff across the country work every day to make sure women, men, and young people receive high-quality health care in a safe, respectful environment--including abortion if and when they need it.

Background on TRAP legislation

  • Since 2011 nearly 300 state regulations were passed and states have adopted nearly as many abortion restrictions during the last five years as during the entire previous 15 years.
  • More than half of American women of reproductive age now live in states where access to abortion is being restricted by their state legislatures.
  • The American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose restrictions like these because they are medically unnecessary — and in fact, they hurt women by blocking access to safe care
  • The unfortunate reality is that too many women in the U.S. face barriers to sexual and reproductive health care and safe, legal abortion — including TRAP legislation, waiting periods, the availability of providers, and prohibitive cost.
  • While all women are impacted by these laws, low-income families especially have difficulty traveling long distances to access care.
  • TRAP laws have particularly impacted health centers in the South, which are in a fight for survival. In Texas, less than half of the clinics open in 2013 remain open.
  • In Texas, researchers found women are waiting up to 20 days to access abortions in some areas, and that at least 100,000 women have attempted to induce abortion on their own, without medical supervision (read more here and here).


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


March 04, 2016