THE STORY – A secret grassroots organization fights to expand access to abortion pills across the United States, keeping hope alive during a global pandemic and the fall of Roe vs. Wade.
THE CAST – N/A
THE TEAM – Tracy Droz Tragos (Director/Writer)
THE RUNNING TIME – 99 Minutes
The topic of abortion has been and will always be a hot subject matter for Americans. Everyone has a very heightened opinion and is extremely passionate about said opinion. But even after the 1973 ruling of Roe v Wade that stated a woman has the right to an abortion, there was still a fight for people to have access to them. And as the separation of church and state within the United States becomes non-existent with more restrictions on human rights, the fight has become much more visible. The grassroots and underground-like networks are still very much alive and, to some, are the only way they can access safe healthcare. “Plan C” follows these modern-day Janes and highlights the extreme measures they go in order to provide this service, especially through the historical events of the last four years.
Plan C founders Francine Coeytaux and Elisa Wells have been in the fight for decades. So much so that they were part of the group that brought Plan B to the counters of American pharmacies. Today, they continue to be on the frontlines in advocating for a woman’s right to choose. And for individuals who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy, Plan C provides a safe and accessible solution. The team of medical providers and volunteers mail a combination of medications to safely pass an unwanted early pregnancy. For some, this is an ideal option to have their abortion for several reasons. Either due to finances, living too far away from a clinic, the option to have their abortion in the comfort of their own home and avoid protesters, or any other viable reason. The reasons are vast, and the company serves a diverse population of individuals. Director Tracy Droz Tragos, who is no stranger to documenting the subject matter, honestly showcases the organization and the people who are willing to share their stories.
“Plan C” was shot over the last four years, where significant changes have occurred in the country revolving around women’s rights that threw the organization for several loops. Firstly, the pandemic limited the medications from being shipped into the country, as well as hospital and clinic visits. This made the Plan C medication go into full demand as phone calls and requests skyrocketed. Then there was Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and Amy Coney Barrett’s election. Then Texas banned abortions after six weeks, followed by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade in June of 2022. These chains of events are highlighted in the film as the audience watches the subjects react to them in real-time. They quickly have to plan out a strategy in order to maintain their service while knowing it is, technically, breaking the law in certain states. So much happens over the four years that Tragos doesn’t necessarily have enough time to document each event to its highest effect fully. But the weight of all of these new laws and restrictions is still fully felt. To Coeytaux, Wells, and their team, it is apparent that breaking the law is necessary to provide people with safe healthcare. These heightened conversations showcase how this fight is something that is very real in America. It is mostly effective when the film follows the subjects providing service to people in rural red states who had abortions scheduled but can now not due to the new bans.
If it sounds dangerous, then Tragos is doing her job. The film gives its audience a detailed history of abortion rights in America, highlighting that history is still happening. The many talking heads, which include anonymous doctors as providers, midwives, clinic managers, and activists, explicitly state the potential consequences that can occur, particularly in a Post Roe v Wade America. In some states, yes, this is technically illegal. The providers are under constant threat and fear for their safety. But, they are still willing to cross state lines and provide people with the medication. Despite the threats and constant law changes making access to health care harder, these individuals are all willing to cross that line in order to provide safe medical options and information to people who may feel like they have no choice.
If “Plan C” teaches its audience one thing, it’s that abortions will never go away. No matter how many laws or limitations come in a person’s way, if they want an abortion, they will get one, and Plan C is dedicated to providing them with a safe one, no matter the cost or location. History is constantly changing in America, but as laws become more restricting, organizations like Plan C are more alive than ever. Therefore, “Plan C” is a required American viewing of the urgent fight for safe healthcare that is currently underway within the country. In a post-Roe world, everyone still has a choice, and the people of “Plan C” will continue to fight for that choice. And for some, that choice begins at plancpills.org