On the evening of August 23, we hosted our first of two screening events for the film documentary Jackson. The screening event took place at Jamaa Birth Village in Ferguson, Mo. Over a dozen attendees showed up in good spirits, excited to engage in a discussion centered on the importance of access to contraception and abortion for women who want or need them.
The documentary was a great starting place for this discussion because it shows three women navigating what has become the challenging reality of far too many women seeking reproductive healthcare in this country. Attendees received an up and close look into the negative impact the pro-life movement is having on not just women’s reproductive health, but women’s lives – and it is unfortunate that they are often considered separate things. Viewers are able to follow April – a young Black woman who is the mother of four children and pregnant with her fifth, while relying on an anti-abortion fake clinic for reproductive healthcare; Barbara – the leader of that fake clinic; and Shannon – the director of the only abortion clinic in Mississippi as she faces off with anti-abortion protesters and the anti-abortion movement’s agenda more broadly. Though this documentary is filmed primarily in Jackson, Miss., it’s easy to see how the struggles women are facing there are reflected in the struggles women in Missouri. Thus, the hashtag for this event was #JacksonInMissouri.
The panel discussion that followed the film included health experts and activists: Pamela Merritt, Co-Founder/Co-Director of Reproaction; Alison Dreith, Executive Director of NARAL Pro Choice Missouri, and Brittany “Tru” Kellman, Co-Founder/Co-Director of Jamaa Birth Village.
If you missed this screening event, stay tuned for our second and final screening in Columbia, Missouri this October.