Impact of the Supreme Court on Women's Healthcare
Usually when I think of July, I think of summer celebrations: Independence Day, fireworks, and the celebration of freedom. This year feels different.
Two weeks ago, on June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade and by doing so rejected the federal government’s power to protect the civil right to reproductive care for women in the states. More than a dozen state legislatures have since rushed to outlaw abortion procedures.
As women working in film and media, we understand this moment in many ways - in its historical significance and in our own personal context. At WIFSFBA we know that the stories we tell, the art we create, the voices we raise are essential to our meeting this moment, measuring our response, and making sense of our place in it. This week president Biden moved to reassert the federal government’s power to ban discrimination within the states by signing an executive order protecting access to reproductive health care services. The impact on the individual healthcare within those states is unfolding daily in the news.
(Read the Executive Order Fact Sheet Protecting Reproductive Health Care Services)
Photo by rawpixel from nappy
Impact on Individual Lives
The idea that a law can be put in place that prevents doctors from assisting high risk medical situations is hard to swallow. It's far too Handmaid's Tale for my liking, and seems just as surreal after having had 50 years of personal freedom and individual choice for women in this country. Many women remember the days before Roe, and tell stories similar to the one Debbie Reynolds recounted to Joan Rivers on her show in 1989. In this clip she tells of her miscarriages that almost killed her due to restrictions against “abortion.”
Impact on the training of the future generation of doctors
“We know what to do medically, but we don’t know what we can do based on the law.” - Nisha Verma MD
Dr. Erica Werner wrote an article that frames the medical urgency of the issue: I’m a high-risk OB-GYN: Abortion helps me save lives
Approximately 44% of medical residencies, medical graduates in clinical training, are in states that will ban abortion, meaning those residents will lack abortion training, according to the journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. This means that a huge proportion of doctors will not have adequate training to perform high risk, life-saving terminations and evacuations of pregnancies. It means that those doctors can not fulfill their Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm.”
These scenarios are the margin cases that highlight the extreme thinking that prioritizes a fetus -- even a dead fetus, as in the case with Debbie Reynolds and countless other women -- over the life of a woman. But there are other reasons to condemn the fall of Roe v Wade removing federal protections for reproductive healthcare. There’s the right to privacy, there’s equal protection under the law, and there’s the fact that we value women and we trust women to make the right choice.
Women’s stories - around healthcare and around all other rights - must continue to be heard. The act of being seen and heard is in itself an act of self-preservation, and WIFSFBA continues to promote the voices of women and all those who identify with she/her pronouns and our allies.
For a list of films about abortion, see below.
Source: Obstetrics & Gynecology: April 27, 2022 - Volume - Issue - 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004832 doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004832
Round up of Related Films
Roe v. Wade in Cinema - Movies about Abortion from MovieWeb
Abortion in Film - Critics Picks from the Hollywood Reporter
Movies that Change the Narrative About Abortion from Time
Did we miss any? Post it to our Facebook page, and join the conversation!
🎞 Script Incubator presents…
PITCH PRACTICE PANEL
As an emerging screenwriter, at first I thought, I can just sit by myself and write - the script will speak for itself! Far from it. As a writer or writer/director, one has to engage with others to get them excited about your story and yourself through the process of pitching.
Pitching can be super intimidating, especially to introvert writers, but practicing makes it less so.
In our WIF Script Incubator, we thought about this essential skill that all writers need and thought it would be great to get some advice from people who hear pitches all the time. Pitches can differ based on who you are pitching to, the amount of time you have, what type of meeting or competition you are in, and what project you are actually pitching. A lot of the time, you might be pitching yourself as a writer, director, or producer as well as your work.
So come join us at our pitch practice panel where we’ll get advice from an esteemed panel of experts who will demystify pitching and get us to feel comfortable talking about ourselves and our stories!
- Nil Unerdem
Register: On our registration page
When: July 18, 7-9pm
Where: Virtual on Zoom
Cost: FREE to WIFSFBA members; non-members $5
Join Women in Film SF Bay Area for a Pitch Practice Event! Each panelist will give advice on pitching a feature or TV series! If you are a writer, writer/director, or writer/producer, come prepared with a 2 to 3-minute verbal pitch that includes your logline. After the panelists speak, we will go into breakout rooms where participants can practice pitching to a panelist and each other in a small group, vote for the best one, then reconvene and pitch the chosen projects for advice from all the panelists.
Roadmap Writers, CEO
Joey started in the industry at Bold Films (DRIVE, NIGHTCRAWLER, WHIPLASH) and has read for Hugh Jackman's company, George Clooney's company, and Night and Day Pictures, to name a few. The only thing Joey is more passionate about than helping writers is rescuing dogs.
Roadmap Writers, Director of Education
Alexandra holds a degree in English Literature from UCLA, which she earned while pursuing acting. As the Director of Education at Roadmap, Alex strives to identify the most common hurdles writers face in developing their work and designs classes, clinics, and webinars to address these issues.
Screenwriter and Story Consultant
Lisa is currently adapting her coming-of-age screenplay, GRAFT, for a 2023 online theatrical production by Massachusetts theatre company PlayZoomers, while circulating the screenplay. Productions Lisa has written for have won an Emmy, a Codie, an Action for Children’s Television Award, a New York Film Festival Gold Medal, Cine Golden Eagles, and a nomination for a Peabody Award.
Producer and former Program Director, ABC Family
Diane was a TV producer in Los Angeles for 20 years and received an Emmy nomination for Hallmark Hall of Fame's "A Place for Annie," starring Sissy Spacek. She served as Director of Programming for the Family Channel, taught writing at UCLA and AFI, and recently retired as Director of the Writing for Film/TV Program at Philadelphia's University of the Arts.
***For your protection, we always recommend registering your work with the WGA. Please note that this session is purely for educational purposes and is not an official pitch to WIFSBA or the panelists.
Participant acknowledges that some of the panelists are in the business of creating and developing videos and receive various proposals relating to potential projects, ideas and concepts. Panelists may be independently developing programs substantially similar and even identical to the submission. Therefore, any similarity between a submission and any element in any current, future, or existing panelists’ project, creative work would be purely coincidental. Panelists will not, and have no obligation to, treat any submissions as confidential or proprietary, and will incur no liability with respect to the submission. ***
Members in the News
You're invited to the public premiere of the witty and poignant new film, "How to Successfully Fail in Hollywood," a female-led indie filmed in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Directed, produced, written and edited by WIFSFBA member C.M. Conway. Inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ and BIOPOC communities, the film is an ode to struggling artists trying to make it against all odds on their terms... while navigating truth, fantasy and identity in outrageous Tinseltown.
Synopsis: Ellie (C.M. Conway) is a bottom-feeder actress at the end of her rope in Hollywood, when a life-changing event happens with her gay, Latinx friend, Ben (Adrian Gilbert). A surreal twist unfolds with comedic results, blurring the lines of fantasy and reality, as she unwittingly becomes the key to a new take on Tinseltown where failure is the star.
Where: Summerfield Cinemas, 551 Summerfield Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95405.
When: Saturday, July 16, 2022 at 6:00 pm. Informal audience Q&A with filmmaker C.M. Conway (she/her) at 5:30 pm. Take a picture with the adorable 'dog' in the film too!
ADVANCE TICKETS ADVISED, SPECIAL Q&A FOR EARLY TICKET HOLDERS, ONLY AVAILABLE AT: FunnyFailureFilm.com
Do you have something for Members in the News? Send it to us so we can let our members know!
Events and News
As a part of our ongoing mission to empower, promote and celebrate women’s creative works, we are hosting a special event to raise awareness about local talent in the Bay Area and to help bring our projects to the forefront.
Submissions are now closed, and we will announce the line up by July 31.
The Short Film Showcase will launch virtually on September 15th, 2022 featuring write-ups with links to the films and 7 days of promotion.
Then, on September 22, 2022 @ 6pm WIFSFBA will host a virtual Q&A featuring a panel with the film’s creator(s). The event will be open to the public.
INSIDE OUT | RE:FOCUS FUND
Established in 2018, Inside Out’s RE:Focus Fund aims to address industry inequities through providing direct financial support to women, non-binary, and / or trans filmmakers telling 2SLGBTQ+ stories. Founded through a lead gift from Martha McCain, the fund has distributed more than $150,000 in festival travel grants and professional development programs for filmmakers since its creation.
To be eligible, films must be written AND directed by women, non-binary, and/or trans creators and feature LGBTQ content. Films must be written AND directed by women, non-binary, and/or trans creators and feature LGBTQ content, and must have reached the roughcut stage. Projects that meet the eligibility criteria will be eligible for cash grants ranging from $500-$2,500. For more info: https://filmfreeway.com/REFocusFund
Submission period: July 11-August 5.
What's Happening in the Bay Area
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
...is back in person, with screenings at the Castro Theater in SF, Albany Twin Theater in Albany, opening night event at the Randall Museum in SF, from 7/21 - 7/25 followed in August with virtual screenings at the JFI Digital Screening Room.
More Info: https://jfi.org/sfjff-2022
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