About the Documentary
Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa
What is the Hyde Amendment and why has its repeal become a litmus test for progressive politicians? In 1976, only three years after Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, the Hyde Amendment was enacted with the explicit intention of denying poor individuals—those receiving Medicaid—access to abortion.
Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa gives voice to women and teens affected by discriminatory policies like the Hyde Amendment. At the abortion helpline in Philadelphia, phone counselors—all called Lisa—arrive each morning to the nonstop ring of calls from people who are seeking to end a pregnancy . . . and can’t afford to. What do women do when faced with this dilemma? Some may call an abortion fund where counselors struggle to stretch available funds, raised from private donations, to last the week so that Friday’s “Lisa” won’t be empty-handed when the phone rings.
In the film, we see how a person’s ability to raise money often comes down to a dangerous matter of timing—will her call be answered when the coffers are full, or will she have to keep looking for money and push her procedure into a later, more expensive and complicated time frame? Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa shares the stories of the callers for whom getting through to the helpline in time can literally be life-changing—for them and their families.