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Over the course of 24 hours, a camera will capture a woman's experience waiting in a hotel room for her abortion procedure. As of 2016, 27 states impose a mandatory waiting period of 24 hours or more following an initial counseling session by an abortion provider, or review of state-authored "informed consent" reading materials. According to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, “This legislation will help women get the information they need before making a decision they can’t take back,” despite studies that show waiting periods do not prevent women from obtaining an abortion, create excessive hardship and increase procedure expenses by 10%. Additionally, with the closure of 162 clinics over the past five years, many women are forced to travel substantial distances to their nearest provider. This distance often lengthens if women must obtain an abortion before an overwhelmed clinic has an appointment available, as some have reported wait times increasing to as much as 20 days. For many, this means arranging for childcare, absences from work, travel and accommodations over several days.
This film provides a window into the lived, measurable impact of state mandated waiting periods, focusing on those directly affected by the legislation.
The film is intended to be displayed in public spaces, so that the community at large is confronted with the experiences of thousands of women every day across America. Striking a balance between the public and private domain, we draw parallels between a very real political discussion involving a woman’s intimate, personal life and the public square. As people travel to work, they may see the woman lying in her bed, when they encounter her when traveling home, she may be watching television, as we settle down for sleep, she too is sleeping. We are reminded of what is sacrificed in putting one’s life on hold for twenty four hours, and see ourselves in nuanced familiarities. We hope to provide an opportunity for reconsideration, to cut through the static political debate and encourage people to ask themselves if this is a truly necessary, humane, and lawful solution to the issue of reducing abortion in America.
Note: The images used above are intended for reference only to demonstrate possible methods of display.