Jo Ardinger, 80 minutes, USA
With the rise of the “fetal personhood” movement, comes dangerous new laws that treat pregnant women as second-class citizens. This widening web of laws encourages the surveillance, policing and criminalization of women during pregnancy. As a result, prosecutions for miscarriages, stillbirths, and using drugs while pregnant are becoming widespread.
The feature documentary PERSONHOOD brings the human impact of these policies into the light through the story of a rural Wisconsin mother who was jailed after telling her doctor about her occasional pre-conception drug use. Tammy Loertscher’s first-person narrative and recently unsealed court recordings provide a rare glimpse into these closed-door proceedings that have impacted thousands of American women. The film follows Tammy’s story after her incarceration as she rebuilds her life and fights to overturn Wisconsin’s ‘Unborn Child Protection Act.’ This intimate portrait of the high personal cost of the issue telescopes out toward the events being played out across America.