SUNDANCE FILM | Trapped

by Tillie Eze

I am what Beyonce refers to in her “Formation” song as Texasbama. I was born in Alabama, but raised in Texas. Both are nothing short of crimson apple red when it comes to politics, and devout blind Christians when it comes to faith. As the years have passed, and cities become more progressive, I believe there will be an election where Texas will be seen as purple and vote blue. But until then, the South continues to play a large hindrance in the advancement of women’s rights in some of the most conniving, vindictive, and blatantly juvenile manners possible. But of everything they do, the largest issue is the fraternity like mentality the male politicians take to govern and discuss the livelihood of women’s reproductive rights.

Yes, let’s repeat that – MALE politicians take to GOVERN and DISCUSS the LIVELIHOOD of WOMEN’S reproductive RIGHTS.

TRAPPED Web Poster

From 2011 to 2013 hundreds of legislation was passed on a state level to restrict access to abortion in the United States. These regulations are referred to as “TRAP” (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) by repro rights advocates. Now, here is where the South comes in. Most of these restrictions have these southern clinics in fight or flight mode leaving less than half open in Texas (a state that can fit France inside with a little bit of other countries as well), some open in Alabama, and one clinic open for the entirety of Mississippi. With these sort blockades, women will take liberties into their own hands to terminate a pregnancy most likely resulting in the end of their own life. I’ve heard first-hand stories of young women downing vinegar as they read it aids in pregnancy termination.

TRAPPED follows the personal and business lives of private clinic overs as they deal with the community, their family, the government, but most importantly their patients. It delves into a world of Southern Christians who learned that their religious upbringing and career choices, should not depict how the two interact. Similar to the ideals of “Separation of church and state”.

After the TRAPPED screening at Sundance, clinic owners came forward and did a Q+A where they further discussed the issues they are facing today. Today, March 2, 2016, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. This case could impact one’s right of choice as it originates from the Texas TRAP law HB2 which caused over half of the clinics to close. A rally is happening which you can take part in by clicking here, or for those in the D.C. area still clicking here and finding out more information.

Directed by Dawn Porter, TRAPPED will begin release through screenings on March 4, 2016 in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Please visit them online for more screen dates including upcoming film festivals like SXSW and Montclair.

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Most annoying things heard when Reproductive Rights are spoken about:
You’re probably thinking,“Well don’t get pregnant.” Many of these young girls don’t just spread their legs. They are the victims of rape, incest, molestation, and other horrendous crimes that they are too afraid to speak up about. The pregnancy is not only a constant reminder, but a burden on their lives from an incident they couldn’t prevent. And for the people who believe things like Rep. Todd Akin… well, you’re an idiot. Honestly.

“There’s another option.” No shit, Sherlock! We all know about the options, but you aren’t in the situation and until you are, it’s not your CHOICE. You wouldn’t want someone to choose whether or not you were an organ donor or not. That’s YOUR choice over YOUR life. Like it’s a woman’s right over her body. Growing up in the south there is a stigma similar to the Scarlet Letter when it comes to women, but not men.

“God, says it’s a sin.” You, my dear, could be right. If we go on the basis of Catholicism, the religion for which I am still practicing and was raised, well, yes. I remember hearing that when it came time for elections. But I also remember hearing,”Only God can judge you at the gates of heaven.” And YOU are not God.

“Well if the clinics can’t meet the restrictions then..” Funny you bring that up. Watch the film and open your eyes. The restrictions placed on the clinics have them waste thousands of dollars every month to live up to operating room (OR) expectations. They are not having surgery! Purchasing the latest and greatest in medical devices and prescriptions, that they never need or use, and later discard due to expiration. Think about all the community members that do need those prescriptions, but can not afford them, yet they are thrown away monthly.

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