American abortion clinics are in a fight for survival.
Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, like the one recently passed in Texas, are increasingly being passed by states that maintain they insure women’s health. But as clinics are forced to shut their doors, supporters of abortion rights believe the real purpose of these laws is to outlaw abortion.
Post screening panel discussion with director Dawn Porter, Athena Film Festival co-founder and attorney Kathryn Kolbert, Renee Chelian, Founder – Northland Family Planning Centers and MSNBC’s Irin Carmon (moderator)
Dawn Porter is a filmmaker, attorney, and founder of Trilogy Films, specializing in feature-length documentaries. Her directorial debut, Gideon’s Army , focused on public defenders working in the Deep South. The film premiered to critical and audience praise at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it won the award for Best Editing. After a successful festival run, Gideon’s Army premiered on HBO and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy. Close on the heels of Gideon’s Army, her second film, Spies of Mississippi, was broadcast on Independent Lens to high ratings and critical acclaim in February of 2014. Porter is an alumna of the Tribeca All Access program, where she won the 2011 Creative Promise Award. Realscreen named her one of 2012 Doc Hot Shots 15 Emerging Directors to Watch. She was awarded the San Francisco DocFest Best Director Award, and asked to give a keynote on the role of women and minorities in film at the IDA conference in the fall of 2014. Porter is a Keppler speaker, traveling the country to address audiences on issues of judicial reform, civil rights, and indigent defense. She has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and is a returning guest on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show.
Kathryn Kolbert is the Constance Hess Williams ’66 Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, an interdisciplinary center dedicated to advancing women’s leadership. A public-interest attorney, journalist, and not-for-profit executive, Kolbert has been recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” and by The American Lawyer as one of 45 public-interest lawyers “whose vision and commitment are changing lives.” In 1992, Professor Kolbert argued the landmark case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey before the U.S. Supreme Court and has been credited with saving Roe v. Wade with what Jeffrey Toobin has called “one of the most audacious litigation strategies in Supreme Court history.”
Kolbert was the President and CEO of People for the American Way and People for the American Way and created a program on law and American life at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, where she executive produced NPR’s Justice Talking and JusticeLearning.org. She spent many years as a lawyer at the Women’s Law Project, the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project and the Center for Reproductive Rights, which she co-founded.