THE ABORTION HOTLINE

THE ABORTION HOTLINE

    Price: $350.00

    Code: 2540
    Format: DVD

    Directed by Fernando López Escrivá
    2016, 57 minutes
    Purchase: $350 | Classroom rental: $125

    Chile is one of six countries in the world where abortion is prohibited under any circumstance, even in cases of rape or risk to the life of the mother. In Chile, a woman receiving an abortion is likely to incur a penalty that can range from 3 to 5 years of imprisonment. Despite this prohibition, each year, several tens of thousands of Chilean women have illegal abortions conducted in secrecy. This chilling documentary follows a group of young lesbian and feminist activists who put their lives at risk to run an underground abortion hotline.

    Filmed in the city of Concepcion, The Abortion Hotline chronicles the Lesbians and Feminists for the Right to Information, a female collective (receiving approximately 10,000 calls in three years) which bypasses strict laws by giving desperate callers information about using misoprostol, a drug usually used to treat ulcers, that can also induce abortion. The pill itself, however, is prohibitively expensive on the black market, and often difficult to find anywhere.

    The documentary follows these activist daily work and the actions - from handing out flyers to posting self-induced abortion instructions all across the city's walls. Following the recent presidential elections, abortion is located in the center of national debate - which the collective actively brings to the streets through protests to educate the public on women’s choices and safe sex. At one point, the group journeys to Buenos Aires to attend a conference of lesbian and feminist groups from all across South America - providing a rare and unique insight into South America's feminist movement. Inspired by other activists they have met at the conference; the Abortion Hotline develops a manual that includes instructions on how to have an abortion at home. The film also includes interviews with those responsible for establishing and maintaining Chile's ultra conservative stance on abortion: the Archbishop of Concepcion, who calls abortion "deplorable" and a "cowardly act," and doctors who are required to report women exhibiting any signs of self-induced abortion.

    Through the collective's trials and tribulations, The Abortion Hotline earnestly documents these women who are all filled with passion and hope, and willing to fight until the fight is won.

    On March 17th, 2016, Chile's lower house of Congress passed a historic vote in favor of legalizing therapeutic abortion. The bill, however, still requires the Senate's approval.

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