According to the Guttmacher Institute, about one in three women will have an abortion by the age of 45. It’s one of the safest medical procedures available—less riskier, even, than a colonoscopy.
But toxic rhetoric—including from politicians like Donald Trump, who once claimed women should be punished for having abortions—leave many women reluctant to share their experiences. The shame surrounding abortion means that we most often hear about the issue through inflammatory politicians, pundits, and activists.
Tracy Droz Tragos’ new documentary, Abortion: Stories Women Tell, aims to change that. The film, which debuted at Tribeca Film Festival this year and opens in select theaters August 12 (and airs on HBO next year), highlights the stories of women and their abortions—including women who are against it. It’s a moving and heartbreaking film anchored in Tragos’ home state of Missouri, a state with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country: Access to abortion has become so limited there that there’s only one clinic left in the state offering the procedure; women from across the state have to travel to neighboring states like Illinois or Kansas for the procedure.