Abortion Access Advocates Release Documentary Featuring Virginians Sharing Their Abortion Stories
Shine The Light: Abortion Access in Virginia is a four-part documentary series that will be released episodically online over the next few weeks.
Virginia—Shine The Light: Abortion Access in Virginia is a documentary featuring four Virginians sharing what it was really like to have an abortion. Rebecca, Avantae, Lindsey, and Lorena go deep and share the barriers they faced in accessing abortion, the support or lack thereof they got from their families, and their personal feelings about the state of abortion access in Virginia.
“The worst part is, I knew the lady at the desk. She said, ‘Well, what’s everybody going to think when they find out you’re a teen on birth control?’ She threatened to tell the whole town. I left without a checkup and without birth control,” Rebecca, a woman who had an abortion in her teens, said.
“Everyone deserves to choose how, whether, and when to have children for themselves. Each of the people featured in this documentary decided that it was not the right time to become a parent. They share what it was like to make that decision and access the health care they needed,” Anna Scholl, Executive Director at Progress Virginia, said. “One in four women will have an abortion by the time they are 45, and it is important to share these stories. We hope that this documentary will inspire others to share their abortion stories and take action to ensure that everyone can access safe and affordable abortion care when they need it.”
“The stories shared in this documentary shine a light on the importance of abortion access without barriers or medically unnecessary restrictions,” says Amy Hagstrom Miller, President and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance. “These Virginians have paved the way for a new era of compassionate abortion care in the Commonwealth. Every one of us knows and loves someone who has had an abortion, and we can all agree that when someone we love finds themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy, we want them to feel supported and to receive quality care. People deserve access to abortion without delay in any circumstance.”
“Abortion storytellers are pivotal to shedding light on a fundamental truth—someone you know and love has had an abortion,” says NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Executive Director Tarina Keene. “Shine the Light: Abortion Access in Virginia shows the importance of expanding safe, legal, and affordable abortion access in the Commonwealth and its positive impacts on a person’s life. When people can make decisions that are best for their lives, families thrive and we build communities where each of us can participate in every aspect of society with dignity and equality. We are excited to release the documentary and hope it continues to help us shift the stigma around abortion.”
Our activist at the Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice Virginia, Lorena, is a Virginian who made the decision to have an abortion. Lorena highlights the power of sharing our stories and the importance of people feeling supported when they decide to have an abortion in this documentary. She says, “I’m sure somebody around me has had an abortion but maybe just hasn’t shared. And so I thought to myself about my own daughter who’s 13 and just thought, I wouldn’t want that for her or really any of my friends or my sisters.”
The Latina Institute shares Lorena’s values around community and supporting our sisters, aunts, families, and friends as they seek the reproductive care they need and want. Her story, and that of the other storytellers, encourages us to transform the discourse around abortion access in the Commonwealth and they help pave the way toward achieving reproductive justice.
- This documentary was a joint project from Progress Virginia, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, and Virginia Latina Institute.
- The documentary will be available in both English and Spanish.
- Five-minute mini-episodes will be released on August 21, August 28, September 4, and September 11. A twenty-minute version of the documentary will be released on September 18.
- To learn more about the documentary and get exclusive content, you can join the Facebook group.