The fight for equality in reproductive rights has long been a major battle. The term is an all-encompassing one in regards to women's bodies, but it is (or should be) an crucial matter to all men and women around the world. Thankfully, Netflix offers up documentaries on reproductive rights which not only have an international focus, but are timely and relevant examinations of all facets of reproductive rights. From pregnancy to birth control, from abortion to safe birthing processes, from people caring for women with postpartum issues to women trying to safely carry a baby to term, these documentaries are eye-opening watches.
Admittedly, there aren't a great many documentaries to choose from in the category of reproductive rights — hey Netflix, wanna fix that? — but what is on offer will leave you speechless, moved, and maybe even ready to take action. We are living in a time when women's reproductive rights are still under threat, where women are considered "hosts" when pregnant in certain parts of the country, and where we may one day have to ask the child's father for permission to receive an abortion. There is no time like the present to get educated on the many issues that surround reproductive rights. Start with these films.
Trapped couldn't be timelier. The doc explores how the legislative process works to shut down abortion and women's health clinics at the state level. This kind of maneuvering is currently happening in State Houses across the nation, so understanding how this process works is vital.
2. The Business Of Being Born
Back in 2008, actor and talk show host Ricki Lake made The Business of Being Born, which examines the dangers of giving birth in a hospital. If you're a woman currently weighing your birthing options, this doc will open your eyes.
Vessel is a stunning journey on the high seas that will grip you. The doc follows doctors and a ship's captain dedicate to providing safe abortions to those who live in countries that have untenably strict abortion laws. The result? Conducting the procedure in international waters, where legal loopholes allow women the freedom of reproductive choice they seek.
4. Shout Gladi Gladi
Meryl Streep narrates this touching documentary about African women who are rescued from being outcasts in their villages when giving birth leads to obstetric fistula. The documentary covers the right to a safe and complete life after giving birth, which one could argue falls under the women's reproductive rights umbrella.
For people around the world, the adoption process can be tricky. Stuck tracks the journey to adopt and the many hurdles prospective parents face in the adoption process.
6. Winter Buoy
Winter Buoy is a tough doc to watch but it's vital to do so. It follows the Canadian women who work with former female drug addicts trying to clean up their lives while pregnant. Absolutely beautiful stuff right here.
7. She's Beautiful When She's Angry
She's Beautiful When She's Angry covers the rise and mighty flow of second wave feminism through the American people during the late '60s and early '70s. Among the many issues the Baby Boomer feminists fought for equality on was reproductive rights, She's Beautiful will have you ready to pick up a protest sign and hit the streets ASAP.
8. The Drop Box
What happens when children are unwanted or left behind? The Drop Box follows those working to find a good home for unwanted children and trust me, you'll want to keep the tissues handy.
9. Babies Behind Bars
We rarely see what the quality of life is like for children born to incarcerated women. Babies Behind Bars gives an expansive look at this sensitive issue.
Are you ready to take action?