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Reactions to "12th & Delaware"

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Last Friday, I had the chance to see the new documentary "12th & Delaware" at the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in New York. Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, who also directed "Jesus Camp," show the stories of an anti-choice "crisis pregnancy center" (CPC) and an abortion clinic that share a street corner in Florida.

It was an incredibly moving and powerful film.

I'd heard about the deceitful tactics that CPCs use to convince women not to have an abortion, but I'd never seen them first hand. The directors were given unprecedented access to the CPC. They filmed conversations that the CPC director, Anne, had with women seeking help. A true documentary film, Ewing and Grady let the people at the CPC speak for themselves. And boy did they.

Being pro-choice means I support a woman's right to choose abortion or to choose to carry her pregnancy to term. But it was heart-breaking to watch as Anne used her scare tactics on a confused and frightened 15-year-old girl. It was disgusting to hear Anne suggest that a woman's verbally abusive boyfriend could change if she brought a child into their dysfunctional relationship.

The filmmakers were also given permission to film in the abortion clinic, owned by a woman named Candace and her husband, Arnold. The difference between Anne and Candace's counseling sessions was night and day. When Candace spoke with patients, she was clearly concerned with helping each woman make the decision that was right for her. To see what these women were going through was so moving.

But enough about what I thought. Here's what others who saw the film in New York had to say:

Amanda Marcotte shared her thoughts about the film on RH Reality Check.

"12th & Delaware" will be playing at the BAM CinemaFest on Saturday, June 19. If you can't catch it in a theater, HBO will air it on Monday, August 2, at 9/8 Central.

I hope you all get the chance to see this extraordinary film... and come back here to share your thoughts.

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