Today, staff members from the National Abortion Federation held a private viewing of the documentary The Coat Hanger Project, which chronicles the development of the reproductive justice movement in the United States.
Filmmaker Angie Young got the inspiration for the film (and began shooting footage) while working on a campaign to overturn a 2006 South Dakota law banning abortion. Young, like many others, was compelled to go to South Dakota after the state legislature passed sweeping prohibition on abortion care in the state. In response, the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families coalition, NAF staffers, volunteers, and activists from across the country descended on Sioux Falls and canvassed, protested, rallied and raged to get this ban overturned.
The Coat Hanger Project provides a critical look at how the South Dakota legislature disregarded the established legal precedent regarding abortion and waged a direct assault on Roe v. Wade. The film also provides an ‘unflinchingly prochoice perspective and shows the world that women can stand strong as advocates for reproductive freedom.’ While working on the documentary, Young traveled extensively in the US and Canada to meet with abortion providers, illegal abortion survivors, activists, educators, artists, and others, and worked 24/7 to complete the documentary in August 2008.