We Testify and Planned Parenthood are proud to debut “Ours to Tell” — a short film about the power that comes with the freedom to access abortion. Directed by Academy Award-winning director Rayka Zehtabchi, produced by Ventureland in association with PRETTYBIRD, and featuring actress and comedian Natasha Rothwell, this film highlights what is at stake for many and, importantly, what many more have never had — the capacity to have control over their own bodies, and thus the power to decide their own futures. Through the real stories of four people, “Ours to Tell” spotlights what it means to a person’s future to have bodily autonomy and issues a call for compassion and self-determination. A departure from the way abortion is often portrayed, the film centers on voices that are rarely heard — including Black, Latinx, and transgender people.
The film debuts on the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and at a moment when communities of color, LGBTQ people and many others have been denied access to abortion — and people across the country face an unprecedented assault on the legal right to abortion.
In “Ours to Tell”, Hannah’s and Brittany’s stories make it clear that access to abortion is an issue of economic justice and opportunity. Abortion can be cost-prohibitive for some, as was the case for Hannah and Brittany. And yet access can also be a guardrail against homelessness or falling into poverty, as it was for Brittany.
For people who already struggle to access care, it is impossible to ignore that the recent wave of bans and restrictions make it nearly impossible to access abortion, because Roe never created equal access — though legal, abortion has always been out of reach for many people of color, people with low incomes, and LGBTQ people.
Although they managed to gain access to abortion, Nick’s story shows us that as a transgender, non-binary person the experience was fraught. They had to deal with a very gendered process that took a toll on their mental health and made accessing their abortion far more distressing than it should’ve been. For Nick and others who can gain access, the film makes it clear, that the abortion experience is not created equal. There remains much work to be done to make abortion inclusive of all identities and genders.
As restrictions against abortion become increasingly more stringent, the pool of people who remain able to access or afford an abortion is becoming frighteningly small.
As we see through Ylonda’s story in the film, for some access to abortion is accessible and without major obstacles. It is the kind of access all people should have — and far too many Black women are denied — freedom to decide what is best for your body and your family, with no barriers.
“Ours to Tell” shows us the world we could have — one where all people are able to access the health care they want, need, and deserve — with compassion and support. That’s the future we are fighting for.