5 films about the importance of abortion rights during a post Roe v. Wade world


Image via Focus Features Press Kit

Sidney Flanigan as Autumn in “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.”

By Punya Bhasin, Culture Editor

With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the loss of rights and freedoms for all individuals with a uterus has left many people in need of some inspiration and hope. Here are some films that will help you reflect on the history of Roe v. Wade, the journey of individuals who deal with unplanned pregnancies, and reproductive freedom.

Reversing Roe (Netflix)

This documentary provides a more in-depth look at abortion rights in the United States in light of Trump’s election into office. The film delves into culture and stigma that surrounds abortion, at a time when many people with uteruses were putting themselves into danger through unsafe and risky at-home abortion methods. The film features both pro-choice and pro-life individuals who share the reasonings behind their individual beliefs. 

Produced by Eva Longoria, the film championed an open dialogue for the de-politicization of abortion access, as well as building upon the idea that abortion access is healthcare access. 


Unpregnant (HBO Max)

This 2020 film is a mix of a teen coming-of-age story and a drama about the difficulties of accessing an abortion in a state where it is illegal. In the film, Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) finds herself pregnant and wants to get an abortion. The film shows her fear of societal judgment, the difficulties in getting to the abortion clinic and the emotional ups and downs of her decision. It does a great job of showing that even when abortion is legal in some states, access to abortion for individuals where abortion rights are restricted can become nearly impossible. 

Providing a twist on the classic road trip movies of our childhood, this film places an educational and informative angle on reproductive access mixed through the viewpoint of a relatable teen character. 


Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Prime Video)

This film follows Autumn (Sidney Flanigan), an awkward and somewhat isolated teen in Pennsylvania who is trying to figure out how to deal with her unplanned pregnancy. The film depicts the overwhelming loneliness an individual such as Autumn faces when dealing with a tough life decision while not having an abundance of options or support from society and even her own family. 

It further unveils the many discrepancies within the abortion care systems, as Autumn is continuously bombarded with misinformation about her own health from crisis pregnancy centers, adults in her life and of course the ever-so-frightening internet as she navigates her way into getting an abortion. 


Juno (Prime Video)

When the film first debuted in 2007, Juno MacGuff (Elliot Page), the clever 16-year-old teen who faced an unplanned pregnancy, quickly became a national icon at a time when, like present day, reproductive rights and abortion access were a “hot button issue” in politics. The film emphasizes the importance of having the ability to make your own decisions for your body. When Juno realized she was pregnant, she was forced to consider her options and decided what was best for her. In the film Juno is seen considering an abortion, and even walks toward a clinic when a fellow classmate stops her and guilts her out of an abortion. While Juno pays little heed to her classmate in that moment, she later decided that abortion was not the right path for her and chose the adoption route. This film is an early champion of individuals’ right to bodily autonomy and the many factors and challenges people with uteruses face when dealing with unplanned pregnancies. 


Plan B (Hulu)

“Plan B,” which received rave reviews from film critics, with a 96% Rotten Tomatoes score, follows Sunny (Kuhoo Verma), a strict rule follower and “goody two shoes” discovering her last night’s sexual encounter was unprotected. In the film, she races to find a single box of Plan B in her conservative town in South Dakota. With the help of her best friend Lupe (Victoria Moroles), she desperately steals her mother’s car and drives nearly all across the state in order to procure the necessary protection to prevent pregnancy. 

The movie highlights the issue that abortion access restrictions tend to decrease birth control access as well, including Plan B, leaving many people with uteruses like Sunny in a forced situation where contraceptives like Plan B are hard to find.