PALM SPRINGS – “Our Bodies Our Doctors,” which tells the rarely-discussed story of what it means to be an abortion provider today, will be screened at the American Documentary Film Festival on Sunday, March 31 at 7 p.m.

The screening will be held at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Tickets will be available to the public on March 1. A portion of the proceeds from the screening will be donated to the local office of Planned Parenthood.

“Our Bodies Our Doctor” shows today’s abortion provider confronting threats of violence and facing intensified political threats and efforts to criminalize abortion. Religious control over health care is expanding, including in many pro-choice states. The abortion debate continues to be defined by gruesome images of the anti-abortion movement. In contrast, this film provides a crucial, hopeful point of view: intimate glimpses into the lives of these courageous providers who have devoted their careers to ensuring women have access to skilled, compassionate care.

The film also features Portland providers, often unsung heroes, who have taken national leadership roles in the fight for women’s reproductive rights.

Nearly 1 in 4 American women have an abortion during their lifetime, yet the doctors who perform this commonplace procedure are rarely talked about or seen.


“Our Bodies Our Doctors” follows these quiet heroes behind the scenes and into the procedure room, showing their strength and compassion for women, according to a news release about the movie. The film shows audiences what it’s like to be an abortion care provider today. It’s a journey into the sacrifices they make and the threats, violence and intensified political efforts to criminalize abortion these providers confront as religious extremist control over health care expands, even in pro-choice states.

The movie is a voice for these silent heroes who are standing firm for an individual woman’s right to choose her fate and that of her body in a timely and sound manner.

Filmmaker Jan Haaken said of the film: “When I took on this documentary project, I was struck by how little people knew – even those that are pro-choice – about what’s actually involved in abortion care. What I found in making “Our Bodies Our Doctors” was a quiet rebellion in the field of medicine led by a new generation of progressive physicians fighting religious control over healthcare. The providers in the film take up difficult questions: How do they deal with the emotional and political aspects of abortion? What makes second-term abortions medically and emotionally challenging, for the providers themselves and for their women patients? These are areas where pro-choice films have previously not ventured. The providers featured in this film – and many of their patients – are bold and brave enough to take us there.”

The California Premiere will make its debut at the Palm Springs Cultural Center (formerly Camelot Theatres), 2300 E. Baristo Road in Palm Springs.

Tickets are available starting March 1 by clicking here. 

Haaken is professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, a clinical psychologist, and documentary filmmaker.


Image Sources

  • Our Bodies Our Doctors: YouTube