Heroine Short Slot
Sun Mar 1, 2020 – 2:30 pm | Domenico’s
Directed by Andrea Raby
USA | 32 min | 2019
In 2017, more than 5,500 people travelled from out of state to terminate a pregnancy in Illinois. TRAP laws (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) and other restrictions wreak havoc on midwestern states, causing women to have to travel hundreds of miles to the nearest clinic. Sometimes there are waiting periods, which means staying in a different city for multiple days. When time off work means not getting paid, many women struggle to deal with the costs of accessing this procedure. That’s where practical abortion funds like Midwest Access Coalition come in, filling a hole in the funding gap that so many women need.
But these abortion funds look starkly similar to something else – something that existed even before Roe V. Wade. The Chicago Abortion Counseling Service, nicknamed Jane, formed in 1969 out of a need to connect women in Chicago to the abortions they so desperately needed. They were a radical organization that provided over 11,000 illegal abortions, and even started doing abortions themselves. But they weren’t heroes – they were housewives, students, and working women that saw a need and mobilized to be the solution.
Undue Burdens follows Midwest Access Coalition, as they organize to provide people with funding for travel, hotel stays, childcare and food, and help women access abortions throughout the Midwest and beyond. Looking back at Jane, we can see how powerful women can be when they band together to make something happen. Undue Burdens compares these two organizations – one that existed out of necessity because of the illegality of abortion, and the other that exists out of necessity because of the failure of our legislature.
Andrea Raby is a documentary filmmaker and producer based in Chicago, IL. Graduating with a degree in journalism, she began her film career at Ogilvy & Mather producing commercial content for brands like Huggies and Modelo. Andrea then jumped into the documentary community through an internship with Chicago powerhouse Kartemquin Films, working on various social justice-based films. Through the Kartemquin community, she became associate producer on Director Ruth Leitman’s repro-rights comedy docu-series Lady Parts Justice in the New World Order. Andrea’s first documentary short, Sick, premiered at the Chicago Underground Film Fest in 2018, which follows artist Nick Fisher as he uses Instagram art drops to create a living as an artist. Andrea was a fellow of the 2019 Double Exposure Film Festival.