Hollywood Does Abortion is a deep dive into the depiction of abortion in film and television, revealing how flawed portrayals–that it is unsafe, rare, or easy to access–contributed to persistent misperceptions that impact attitudes and public policy. Extensive archival imagery spans a plethora of television and film, ranging from Maude and Dirty Dancing to Jane the Virgin and Juno, and creates a historical timeline to support the “story” of the film. Leading directors, writers, showrunners, and cultural critics share their personal and political reactions to these seminal depictions through the lens of today’s post-Roe world.
Hollywood Does Abortion(working title) is a 2022 Critical Issues Fund grantee.
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
Barbara Attie (she/her) is an Emmy® nominated filmmaker who has collaborated with Janet Goldwater for more than 30 years. Barbara and Janet joined with Mike Attie to produce and direct Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa, a short documentary that screened at Sundance, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Doc at AFI DOCS, and was short-listed for an Academy Award® in 2021. Their work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, the NEA, the NEH, and ITVS and they were awarded a prestigious Pew Fellowship. Among their documentaries are BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter, Rosita, Maggie Growls, and Motherless.
Janet Goldwater (she/her) is an Emmy® nominated independent filmmaker who has collaborated with Barbara Attie for 30 years. Janet co-produced and directed Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Short Films at AFI DOCS 2020. Abortion Helpline was also an IDA Documentary Awards nominee, on the DOC NYC Shortlist 2020, and short-listed for an Academy Award® in 2021. Their first film together, Motherless, A Legacy of Loss from Illegal Abortion, highlighted the dangers of pre-Roe v. Wade abortions and has become a fixture of US law, medical, and nursing school curricula.
Mike Attie (he/him) is a Philadelphia-based filmmaker and a professor at the University of the Arts. His films have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Hot Docs, DOC NYC, Big Sky, CPH:DOX, and SFFILM. Previously, he co-produced/directed and was director of photography for Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa, which premiered at Sundance, won the Special Jury Prize at AFI Docs, was shortlisted for an Academy Award®, and is available on Topic. Attie’s films have been supported by the Sundance Documentary Film Program, the Knight Foundation, and the Catapult Film Fund.
Eliza Licht (she/her) has worked in the documentary field for 20 years as an impact strategist, producer, and television executive. Her most recent producing credits include consulting producer of Battleground (2022) and co-producer of the 2020 documentary Disclosure. In 2020, she founded the impact and production firm Red Owl. Before that, Eliza spent 17 years leading impact campaigns for the PBS documentary series POV; relevant campaigns include Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa (2020), Battleground, Belly of the Beast (2020), Disclosure, and After Tiller (2014).