Abortion is a practice that is looked down upon all around the world. Even social activists – who call themselves ‘pro-lifers’ – condemn the act. And even though this procedure is legally-protected in a lot of countries, there is still a strong stigma attached to the practice.

But is abortion really pro-death? Is opposing of the legalisation of abortion really pro-life? HBO Documentary Films new documentary, Abortion: Stories Women Tell, offers some insights into the lives of women who sought abortion and what made them take the drastic step. The documentary takes away attention from the political side of the issue and highlights women who need and receive abortions. 

The story revolves around Amie, a waitress with two kids, driving back and forth to a clinic in Illinois for medical help. The film is set in Missouri, where there is only one operational abortion clinic, and women have to wait for 72 hours to receive help. 

Tracy Droz Tragos, the documentary’s director, said, “We felt that we could make a film that might be different if we really focused on women… and didn’t hide their faces or disguise their voices — if we give them dignity and full faces and full stories and shifted away from political rhetoric…,” in an interview with Forbes.

It’s not just that they’re [women] facing these legal restrictions to access, but that they’re also facing cultural and societal shame and stigma for being pregnant in the first place, having an unplanned pregnancy. The thing that many of these women had in common, no matter what their choice was…was this feeling of shame and stigma and being isolated and not being able to talk about it.”


It surely is an eye-opening documentary that will make you realise the real reasons women need access to abortion and why we should openly discuss it.