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‘Plan C’ Abortion Pill Documentary Screens At SXSW As Texas Judge Weighs Whether To Undo Access To The Medication

Leaders of 'Plan C' gather in a scene from the documentary directed by Tracy Droz Tragos.

EXCLUSIVE: A federal judge may rule within a matter of days on a case that could undo the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, one of two medicines used in combination to end a pregnancy in early stages. 

Meanwhile, Walgreens is facing intense blowback for announcing it would not offer mifepristone in its stores located in 21 states whose attorneys general have threatened legal action against any pharmacy that provides the drug.

That is the urgent context in which the documentary Plan C, directed by Tracy Droz Tragos, makes its Texas premiere at SXSW this morning. We have an exclusive look at a scene from the documentary in the clip above.

“A determined group of blue state advocates, midwives and doctors have been networking to increase access to abortion pills in the United States outside of a clinic setting, regardless of where you live,” a description of the film notes. “In 2014, Francine, a social scientist based in Los Angeles, and her partners launched Plan C for the purpose of spreading the word about how and where to buy abortion pills online. This is the story of that work between 2020 and the overturning of Roe in 2022: the pipelines they built, the access they expanded, the criticism they faced, and the hope they have for the future.”

Plan C premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where programmers said the documentary feels like “essential viewing, not just because it’s timely and diligent. It’s a call to action that has the power to motivate and replace fear with hope.”

'Plan C' director Tracy Droz Tragos
Director Tracy Droz Tragos Courtesy of Dinky Pictures

Droz Tragos’s credits include Abortion: Stories Women Tell (2016) and 2014’s Rich Hill (co-directed with Andrew Droz Palermo), winner of the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary at Sundance.

In a director’s statement, Droz Tragos provides background about Plan C. “When I first met Francine Coeytaux in 2018, we formed an immediate bond. Sipping tea, petting her cat, and pausing to greet the neighbors, Francine doesn’t look like a leader in the abortion access movement or an advocate for civil disobedience, but she is both,” the director writes. “A social scientist by profession, she is an entrepreneur and a dissident. And she is powerful. She knows her history and she is tired of reproductive choice being withheld from women – especially in the United States.”

Droz Tragos continues, “With its release, Plan C will be a powerful addition to the national conversation about what is at stake when people are denied medical care and forced to carry pregnancies to term regardless of the circumstances or the consequences.”

Tracy Droz Tragos directs and produces the documentary. Executive producers include Jess Jacobs, Dr. Holly Corn & Jonathan Kaufelt, Kopcho Reproductive Justice Fund, Margaret Munzer Loeb, Kathryn Everett, Bryn Mooser, and Tracy Droz Tragos. Chicken & Egg Pictures is the contributing producer; Jess Jacobs serves as impact producer. Derek Howard and Emily Topper are the directors of photography and the film is edited by Meredith Raithel Perry. Nathan Halpern composed the music.

In the exclusive clip above, two of the central characters in the film discuss their work with Plan C, and weigh the pros and cons of publicly revealing their roles in the effort to provide easier access to the abortion medication.

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