In the legacy of their groundbreaking documentary THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN which revolutionized the way people think about childbirth, filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake unpack the power structures surrounding the reproductive health industry complex. Sixty years after the pill revolutionized women’s emancipation, THE BUSINESS OF BIRTH CONTROL examines the complex relationship between hormonal birth control and women’s health and liberation. The documentary traces the feminist movement to investigate and expose the pill’s risks alongside the racist legacy of hormonal contraception and its ongoing weaponization against communities of color. Weaving together the stories of bereaved parents, body literacy activists and femtech innovators, the film reveals a new generation seeking holistic and ecological alternatives to the pill while redefining the meaning of reproductive justice. Director Abby Epstein (Weed the People, Until the Violence Stops) joins us for a conversation on the confluence of historically poor understanding of women’s health, racial and gender-biased research, industry driven mis-information, and profit driven business interest that have warped the vision for what is best for women.
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Background – Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein first collaborated on their landmark documentary, The Business of Being Born—a grassroots phenomenon that has become required viewing for expectant parents and childbirth educators. The revelation that pregnant people were unaware of their childbirth options ignited a passion in Ricki and Abby to lift the veil on other areas of reproductive health. After examining birth culture in America, they began investigating the business of hormonal contraceptives and the lack of birth control options. We are in a moment where women, non-binary, and trans folks are seeking body literacy and empowering forms of healthcare. The more informed we are about our bodies and our choices, the more we can advocate for ourselves.