It is difficult to convey the real-life impact of unsafe abortion in a way that does justice to women facing impossible reproductive choices in places where abortion is restricted and poverty determines health care options. How much more powerful and informative if these women were given a forum to speak for themselves?
Not Yet Rain, a short film by Lisa Russell in association with Ipas, addresses the issue of unsafe abortion through the voices of women who have faced these difficult choices. Not Yet Rain tells the story of Ethiopian women who are confronted with decisions about unwanted pregnancies. We selected Ethiopia because of the country’s great need and promise. Women in Ethiopia face a one-in-seven chance of dying from pregnancy-related causes. Unsafe abortion is a major contributor to maternal death and disability. However, hope for a brighter future is closer than ever for Ethiopian women. In 2006 a new law was enacted expanding legal indications for abortion, along with significant efforts to increase the availability of high-quality abortion care. Like the promise of rain when the thunder rolls, laws that ease restrictions on women’s access to abortion are a harbinger of change. Help us ensure that the promise is realized.
March 8th, was International Women’s Day, and a trailer of the film was posted on the website, www.notyetrain.org. The film will premiere in Washington, DC, on April 7, World Health Day, after which it will be available online for free. We are encouraging anybody who has an interest in women’s reproductive health and rights to organize showings in their communities to raise consciousness about the global problem of unsafe abortion. We are also preparing a toolkit that can be used to develop community events around the film, which will be available on the website.