Film Night: Trapped

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TRAPPED: Poignant, Compelling, Beautifully Produced

The Film Committee in association with the Women’s Caucus invites you to the screening of Dawn Porter’s Trapped , a powerful and riveting film about women’s right to choose. Trapped relates how states’ legislation has attempted to restrict women’s access to abortion through the Trap laws, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.  In the guise of health and safety regulation, these laws were put in place to limit access to abortion clinics. The film focuses on abortion providers and campaigners in three clinics; in Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, where these harsh regulations threaten to close them down.  

When talking about the film in The Guardian, Dawn Porter says, “If you are pro-choice, you can’t be silent. You’re joining people who would disenfranchise people or sentence people to parenthood and take over their bodies.”

Winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking, this film’s production values are high and the narrative arc is engrossing. The quiet courage of the doctors and staff, who struggle to keep their clinics open in order to provide access for women in desperate need of their services, makes the film an uplifting one, despite the difficult subject matter. 

Trapped was made made shortly before the Supreme Court’s favorable decision in June. It allows us to visit the background to the landmark decision and contemplate what might happen to it after the election. As Robert Reich commented on the BBC after the debate on 20 October, “Trump appealed to the Republican establishment to appoint Supreme Court justices of a ‘conservative’ bent, who would overturn a key ruling that made abortions legal in the U.S. …”  Whereas Hilary Clinton said in the same debate, “The government has no business in the decisions that women make.”  With stark differences between the candidates and the electorate, this issue will not go away. 

Book tickets here. 

Date:  Friday December 2, 2016

Venue:  Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics, Lincoln Inn’s Fields WC2A 3LJ

Time:  7:00 – 9:30 pm 

Trapped demonstrates how abstract political debate can lead to negative consequences in the lives of both the patients and healthcare professionals. There is a point in the film where we’re told that a clinic is forced to turn away a 13- year- old rape victim who had to travel for four hours to get to her nearest clinic.

As Gloria Gray of the West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa, says in the film,  “Closing the clinics is not going to stop abortions. Women are going to have abortions; it’s just that they are not going to be safe and legal.”

This is powerful stuff, certainly not to be missed.

Book now to see and discuss this absorbing film. It promises to be a stimulating evening with a discussion afterwards led by members of the DAUK Women’s Caucus.

In compliance with US campaign and party funding laws, we can only accept payments from US citizens and green card holders. Non-US citizens are very welcome to attend, but only as guests of US citizens who must book and pay for—as a gift—their guests' admission. By booking and paying for tickets for this event, you are confirming that you are a US citizen or green card holder. You must tick a box affirming this before completing your purchase.


Allison Gilbert is from Concord, New Hampshire, where she acted as the Community Organizer for NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire.  She has a Master’s Degree in Political Communications and has written about the political unconscious and feminism in European and Central European countries.  Allison currently co-chairs the Democrats Abroad U.K Women’s Caucus.


Christa Bosch is a lawyer who, until moving to the UK last year, worked in the areas of immigration and human rights.  She served one term each on the New York City Bar Association’s LGBT Rights and Sex and the Law Committees, where she worked on issues including marriage equality, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, comprehensive sex education and reproductive rights.  Her earlier legal experience includes work at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and research on sexual violence in armed conflict and the laws of war.  Christa started her career as sexual health educator and clinic worker for Planned Parenthood of Northeast Pennsylvania.  She earned her BA in Government from Smith College and her JD from Suffolk University Law School.


Nick Beard is a doctoral candidate at the University of Sussex in law and sociology.  A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Nick was active with Planned Parenthood of Delaware.  One of her fondest teenage memories was attending the 2004 March to Save Women’s Lives and feeling the shared passion of women to protect abortion rights.Nick later became involved in the Irish choice movement as an undergraduate at Trinity College Dublin.  Nick is currently a phones and social media assistant for the Abortion Support Network, which helps women in Ireland and Northern Ireland travel to Britain to access abortion services. 


An interview with Director Dawn Porter


Film reviews

Ebert, Robert. Trapped. March 4, 2016

Kenigberg, Ken.  Sundance Film Review: ‘Trapped’. Variety. February 1, 2016.

Seltzer, SarahIf You Were Shocked by John Oliver’s Abortion Segment, You Need to See‘Trapped’. Flavorwire. March 15. 2016.

Smith, Nigel M.  Trapped Review: timely abortion documentary makes a compelling case. The Guardian. March 11, 2016

Webster, Andy.  Review: ‘Trapped,’ a Documentary, Looks at Abortion Clinics in the South.  The New York Times. March 3, 2016

Interviews with Dawn Porter

Coffin, Lesley. Interview: Dawn Porter on Trapped, Her Documentary About Harmful Abortion Clinic Laws.  The Mary Sue. March 4, 2016.  In this interview Dawn Porter points out that “… the right to an abortion is grounded in the right to privacy (14th Amendment) rather than equal protection. If we had passed the Equal Rights Amendment, the conversation would be completely different. It would be about a woman’s right to control her own future, instead of privacy.”  She also stresses how the rise of the Tea Party and the 2010 midterm elections were very important in empowering anti-choice activists and legislation. In 2010 the Tea Party had as one of its first objectives the overturning of Roe v Wade “which is why there are hundreds of laws activism being passed over that 6 year period.”  

Resources on TRAP issues

NARAL Pro-Choice.  Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.  A very clear outline of TRAP laws and their implications.  

Trapped: Resources. Independent Lens. May 18, 2016.  A very useful collection of links about the key players, the laws and the organizations referred to in the film. 

Supreme Court of the United States Blog (SCOTUSblog). Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerste.  Gives you access to the judgment, rulings and briefs presented at the Court, as well as legal reviews and commentary on the judgment.  

Pieko, Jessica.  Symposium: Abortion rights come out of the shadow. SCOTUSblog , June 27, 2016. 

Redden, Molly. DIY Abortion in America: 'Please, I am out of options: inside the murky world of DIY abortions. The Guardian. November 21, 2016

Redden, Molly. DIY Abortion in America: Jailed for ending a pregnancy: how prosecutors get inventive on abortion. The Guardian. November 22, 2016

Resources on the wider issues of women's right to choose 

Current discussions on the implications of Trump's presidency and the Republican control of Congress

Marcotte, Amanda. Trump is a real threat to women - but it will be tougher to eliminate abortion rights than he thinks.  Salon. November 15, 2016

Crockett, Emily. Roe v. Wade is not doomed under Trump. But it's not safe either. Vox. November 11,2016

The Hyde Amendment

Planned Parenthood. The Hyde Amendment. 

Lee, Michelle Ye Hee. Does Obamacare provide federal subsidies for elective abortions? Washington Post. January 26, 2015

The Personhood Movement

NARAL-Pro-Choice America. Personhood” Measures: Extreme and Dangerous Attempts to Ban Abortion. January 2016

Pro Publica. The Personhood Movement: where it came from and where it stands today. 2014.

Martin, Nina. This Alabama Judge has figured out how to dismantle Roe v Wade. Pro Publica. October 10, 2014

Resources on women's reproductive rights and health 

The Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” requires that all health insurances provide coverage for FDA-approved preventive  birth control methods at no additional cost;abortion is not included in this mandate.  There is now considerable discussion of whether  this mandate will be maintained in any changes to Obamacare. 

Planned Parenthood is one of the leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, and the nation's largest provider of sex education. Planned Parenthood also works with partner organizations worldwide to improve the sexual health and well-being of individuals and families everywhere. It offers wide ranging information and services on    women's health issues, including birth control, abortion, infertility, cancer screening and all aspects of 'well women's' health.  For many women, it is the only provider of family planning available to them. Since the election, Planned Parenthood has received tens of thousands of donations in 'the name of Vice-President Elect Mike Pence'. 

Center for Reproductive Rights

Toletino, Jia. Birth-control fears in the age of Trump. New Yorker. November 23, 2016.  This excellent article discusses the progress made in making birth control more available under Obamacare and the impact Trump's election has had on women's concerns about access to affordable birth control. 



John Oliver offers his succinct take on how TRAP laws  are so at odds with most Americans' views:






Disclaimer:  The screening of these films does not constitute an endorsement or promotion of the film, nor of any views expressed therein or any association with The Film Committee, DAUK, Democrats Abroad or the Democratic Party. Screenings are solely conceived as educational activities: offering an opportunity for members to discuss issues.

Links to other organizations or publications imply neither endorsement of their policies nor any association with the Democratic Party or Democrats Abroad - UK.