Trapped written and directed by Dawn Porter
Rating *** 1/2
When it comes to the topic of abortion, I am on the side of pro choice. I don’t believe the government should tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. The documentary Trapped looks at the effects of Republican led efforts to eliminate abortions through restrictive regulations.
I live in Texas one of two states featured in this film, with the other being Alabama. In the three years that I have lived here, I have seen some of the most idiotic, discriminatory legislation ever passed or brought up for a vote. Sanctuary city laws that have an entire Latino population afraid to leave their houses for fear of being stopped by the police and deported. Ridiculous bathroom bills aimed at transgender students. Open carry laws that let people walk around the state with AK 47s draped around their shoulders. A lack of zoning regulations that favor industry, allowing chemical plants to work with dangerous chemicals near populated areas. Fracking laws that prevent communities from banning fracking, allowing oil and gas companies to pollute the air and water with impunity. And then there is HB2, which is Greg Abbott’s and Rick Perry’s attempt to ban abortions in Texas.
Proponents of HB2 will say that they passed the law for the safety and welfare of women. The truth, as shown in this film, is that these laws have only one goal, and that is to shut down reproductive health clinics.
The result of these anti-abortion laws, passed mainly by male Republican legislators, is that it puts an undue burden on women seeking abortions. They don’t prevent abortions. The film points out that since the law’s passage, 240,000 women have attempted abortions without medical assistance. Those who do seek out one of the limited health clinics that meet the stringent standards, face financial hardship as they have to pay for transportation costs, childcare, hotels, etc.
Texas legislators have also gone after Planned Parenthood, which has resulted in women lacking prenatal care. Texas has one of the highest rates of miscarriages in the country.
My only complaint is that the filmmakers could have spent a little time talking about adoption. They could have presented a more balanced narrative had they included women deciding on this route over abortion.