Abortion Democracy - Poland/South Africa| 50mins
Director: Sarah Diehl | Producer:
Focus Years: | Country: Germany
In the '90s, Poland banned abortion due to the increasing influence of the Catholic Church after Communism; around the same time, South Africa legalized it, reforming the health system after apartheid.
The film reveals how the legal status of women is a direct result of the silencing or empowering of women's voices. In the Polish society and media, women's perspectives were made invisible; in South Africa, on the other hand, women were invited to give public hearings in the parliament about problems in the realm of reproduction.
The film also illustrates the paradox that the implementation of abortion laws may have little effect on the accessibility of abortion services due to the stigma. In Poland, illegal abortions are available and relatively safe; in South Africa, women have a harder time getting information and services in public hospitals due to the judgmental behavior of the health staff. Only a change in the attitudes towards abortion, contraception, and reproductive health can ensure a woman's right to choose in a world where about 48,000 women die annually from unsafe abortions.