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When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories


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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Bullfrog Films
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 30 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: Yes

Copyright Date: 1992
Available in French: No

The era of illegal abortion, roughly the period between the turn of the century and the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, has been a sealed chapter in women's history. The profound aura of shame and fear surrounding unwanted pregnancies and abortions before Roe v. Wade kept most women from ever admitting that they had had illegal abortions. Women suffering complications from back alley or self-induced abortions risked arrest if they admitted what they had done, as did their husbands and doctors if they acknowledged compliance and aid. WHEN ABORTION WAS ILLEGAL illuminates this largely undocumented era and reveals the physical, emotional and legal consequences of having an abortion when it was a criminal act.

Awards: Academy Award Nomination: Best Documentary Short Subject; Gold Medal, CPB Public Radio & TV Awards; Gold Apple, National Educational Film and Video Festival; Best Documentary, Atlanta International Film and Video Festival; Best TV Documentary/Exceptional Merit Media Award, National Women's Political Caucus; Juror's Citation, Black Maria Film & Video Festival; Exemplary Leadership Award, Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights; Humanitarian Award, Sinking Creek Film and Video Festival; Special Achievement Award, BACA Festival; Isabella Liddell Art Award, Ann Arbor Film Festival