THE ROE EFFECT + BIRTH RIGHTS
In the film, THE ROE EFFECT, directed by Kiel Adrian Scott, I played the role of ‘Dawn’ a young woman hiding a terrible secret, one powerful enough to destroy all she holds dear. Its a heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, in which Dawn had to choose between exposing a painful truth and losing the girl she loves.
A couple months ago, I accepted an invitation to walk in the shoes of another “Dawn”. This time she is a young immigrant teen who became pregnant after being raped. She fled El Salvador (where it is illegal to have an abortion under all circumstances) to the U.S. in hopes of piecing together the parts of her shattered by the experience. However, when she arrived she was detained, denied proper medical attention and access to get an abortion.
This story was the springboard for my research into the matter of detained immigrants. As I dug, I uncovered more Dawns; immigrants (legal and “illegal”) as well as U.S. citizens. The violence these women have experienced at the hands of their violators and officials in charge of their welfare is beyond inhumane; its criminal.
In the fictitious world of THE ROE EFFECT, the sitting president enforced a law making it harder for women to get an abortion which begs the question: What happens in the case of rape? Or incest?
With BIRTH RIGHTS, I continued to pull threads in search of the answers to: Why do others feel the need to tell a woman what she can/not do with her body? What happens when the woman is at risk as a result of the pregnancy? If she dies in the process of being forced to have the baby, is that considered an abortion of sorts? And, who in turn will be held responsible for these lives lost?
On Saturday, July 28, 2018, I was part of a live reading of BIRTH RIGHTS, followed by a panel discussion which teased at many threads entangled in the matter. Now, in sit with the creative responsibility of what to do next and I’ll let you know as soon as I do!