PBS to Air Pro-Abortion Documentary During Key Supreme Court Abortion Decision


The pro-abortion documentary Trapped — which debuted to a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival last month — has snagged a distribution deal with four outlets including PBS’ Independent Lens, which will air the film this summer as the Supreme Court readies a key decision on abortion legislation.

According to Deadline, PBS will air the pro-abortion film in June, at the same time the Supreme Court announces a decision on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which will determine the constitutionality of what abortion advocates call the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, or TRAP, laws.

Trapped, from director Dawn Porter, takes a sympathetic look at five abortion care providers in Southern states who have fought regulations in order to keep their abortion clinics open. The film won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking at Sundance last month.

In addition to airing on PBS this summer, Trapped will receive a limited theatrical release in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. in March followed by additional cities through the spring. Abramorama is handling theatrical distribution, while Ro*Co Films and Film Sprout will team up to show the film at “educational and community screenings,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“When I first heard what was happening in some of the Southern states and the challenges forced upon these clinicians, I knew I had to tell their stories,” director Dawn Porter said in a statement to Deadline. “The need for spaces, both medically and emotionally, is paramount for women to have access to health care.”

Four of the abortion providers featured in the film attended the premiere at Sundance last month in secret due to security concerns. The group received a standing ovation at the end of the film.