Yesterday evening, TVI aired his heartbreaking new documentary, America’s War on Abortionwhich delved into the reality of anti-abortion protests in the United States.
Abortion is one of the most controversial political issues in America, and in the documentary – which is set in Alabama – director Deeyah Khan takes a look at the horrific abuse women face daily when they choose to have a layoff.
Viewers described the harrowing document as a harrowing and devastating watch – you can see a clip below:
He also hears from abortion clinic staff who have suffered violence and death threats in the course of their work. This includes volunteers, who believe in a woman’s right to choose, and are recruited to protect women when they enter the clinic.
Asked about her work, a volunteer named Josephine explained: “[I do this] for women who come here who don’t deserve to be treated like this.
“Someone has to be there for them and let them know it’s okay – you have the right to make that decision. We all need support sometimes.”
Julie Burkhart, founder and CEO of the Trust Women’s Center in Kansas, revealed to Deeyah that she was once “dragged out of her car and beaten to a bloody pulp” by anti-abortion protesters.
The building she works in has been flooded, bombed, and now has a limited number of tall windows due to the threat of snipers.
The documentary also hears from pregnant women who have suffered horrific abuse outside of clinics – at a time when they face one of the toughest decisions of their lives.
A woman, 20 weeks pregnant, has been told her baby has several major medical conditions and is unlikely to survive. In what is one of the worst days of her life, the last thing she needs is to face a torrent of abuse outside of the clinic.
But the survey also examines how – under President Trump – nearly all abortions could become illegal in America.
Currently in Alabama there are only three abortion clinics (compared to 20 two decades ago). In addition to protesters, laws within the state are piling up on the push for women.
Patients must attend two appointments – 48 hours apart – before the termination can take place. They also have an additional ultrasound and should be asked if they want to see the fetus.
Many women have to travel for hours to get to one of the three clinics and – with the rising cost of abortion – this can be incredibly difficult.
A woman named Alex – whose pregnancy was the result of rape by two men – had to wait up to 20 weeks because she was unable to pay.
In the doc, Deeyah also speaks to anti-abortion protesters herself, who greet her with racist and sexist slurs.
Viewers were completely shocked by the documentary, with one tweet: “Watching america War to Abortion and I’m disgusted.
“Racist/sexist slurs ‘preached’ by pro-life protesters are vile. Threatening to rape someone is not acceptable, telling someone they are worse than a child molester for doing a choice concerning one’s own body is not acceptable.”
While another said:I started looking at Exposure: america War to Abortion after the news. I had to record it because it makes me so angry and I can’t go to bed angry or it takes me ages to fall asleep.”
“Watching america War to Abortion…. these poor women are already going through hell, the protesters should hang their heads in shame, they are disgusting!!Another wrote.
#Exposure: America’s War on #Abortion on ITV right now – a great insight into the choice pro/life debate. Honestly heartbreaking and upsetting to see what women have to go through due to the actions of despicable protesters when making such a difficult decision.
– Sabah A (@SabahA__) October 29, 2020
I started watching Exposure: America’s War on Abortion after the news. I had to record it because it makes me so angry and I can’t go to bed angry or it takes me ages to fall asleep. #AmericaWarOnAbortion @ITV
– Miss L Stephenson:books::woman::school: (@Lauras95) October 29, 2020
Watch America’s War on Abortion….these poor women are already putting themselves in hell, protesters should bow their heads in shame, they are disgusting!! #Women’s rights
– Becky (@Bexyenigma) October 29, 2020
Meanwhile, one of them added: “If you are in the UK, I invite you to watch – america War to Abortion tonight on ITV at 10.45pm is incredible work that tackles such a politicized subject and gives women the chance to reclaim their voices and tell their own stories.”
“#Exposure: america War to #Abortion to ITV right now – a great insight into the choice pro/life debate. Honestly heartbreaking & heartbreaking to see what women have to endure because of the actions of despicable protesters when making such a difficult decision,” another viewer tweeted.
You can find the documentary on ITV Hub now.