Film Screening: Our Bodies Our Doctors, Featuring a Q&A with the Director

Department: Gender and Sexuality Studies

Date and Time: April 10, 2019 | 5:00 PM-7:00 PM

Event Location: McCormick Screening Room (1070 Humanities Gateway)

Event Details

OUR BODIES OUR DOCTORS tells the rarely-discussed story of what it means to be an abortion provider today: confronting threats of violence and facing intensified political threats and efforts to criminalize abortion. Religious control over health care is expanding, including in many pro-choice states. The abortion debate continues to be defined by gruesome images of the anti-abortion movement. In contrast, this film provides a crucial, hopeful point of view: an intimate glimpse into the lives of these courageous providers who have devoted their careers to ensuring women have access to skilled, compassionate care.The film also features Portland providers, often unsung heroes, who have taken national leadership roles in the fight for women's reproductive rights.

Filmmaker Jan Haaken said of the film: "When I took on this documentary project, I was struck by how little people knew – even those that are pro-choice – about what’s actually involved in abortion care. What I found in making Our Bodies Our Doctors was a quiet rebellion in the field of medicine led by a new generation of progressive physicians fighting religious control over healthcare. The providers in the film take up difficult questions: How do they deal with the emotional and political aspects of abortion? What makes second-term abortions medically and emotionally challenging, for the providers themselves and for their women patients? These are areas where pro-choice films have previously not ventured. The providers featured in this film – and many of their patients – are bold and brave enough to take us there.”

Nearly 1 in 4 American women have an abortion during their lifetime, yet the doctors who perform this commonplace procedure are rarely talked about or seen. OUR BODIES OUR DOCTORS follows these quiet heroes behind the scenes and into the procedure room, showing their strength and compassion for women. The film shows audiences what it’s like to be an abortion care provider today. It’s a journey into the sacrifices they make and the threats, violence and intensified political efforts to criminalize abortion these providers confront as religious extremist control over health care expands, even in pro-choice states. The movie is a voice for these silent heroes who are standing firm for an individual woman’s right to choose her fate and that of her body in a timely and sound manner.

About the filmmaker
Jan Haaken is professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, a clinical psychologist, and documentary filmmaker. Her feature films include QUEENS OF HEART: COMMUNITY THERAPISTS IN DRAG; GUILTY EXCEPT FOR INSANITY; MIND ZONE: THERAPISTS BEHIND THE FRONT LINES; MILK MEN: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAIRY FARMERS, and the upcoming film: NECESSITY: OIL, WATER AND CLIMATE RESISTANCE.

"This is a film that truly SHOWS truth to power, exposing the daily realities of performing procedures from providers POV and why they fight for reproductive iustice."
- Gloria Steinem, writer and activist

Co-sponsored by:
The Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy,
Literary Journalism, The Center for Medical Humanities, and
Professor Dave Holmes, RN (Canada), PhD, Associate Dean, School of Nursing

Free and open to the public

Film Website:

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