The Coat Hanger Project
August 2008
Language: English
40 min.
Director: Angie Young

ABSTRACT The Coat Hanger Project

Since the passage of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, anti-choice forces have been making it their mission to dismantle women's reproductive freedom. They have come together, brilliantly strategized, pooled their resources, and slowly but steadily they have been implementing their attack. Their weapons: money, the legal system, the government, the media, the church, the patriarchy, and - this is the scariest of all - you.

The Coat Hanger Project is a documentary film that analyzes the pro-choice movement at a time when the first generation of men and women who have never known illegal abortion are coming into power and awareness. It is also an educational tool that provides an unbiased history of abortion, documenting what unique and harrowing measures women have taken in desperate situations when access to safe, legal abortion has been denied.

The film depicts the wrenching account of a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed in Iraq in 2007, who nearly died when, after being denied medical leave to terminate a pregnancy, she was left with no other option than to self-abort. This film also examines South Dakota's 2006 attempt to ban all abortion in the state through passage of H.B. 1215, and the pro-choice efforts that came together on a national and grassroots effort to defeat the ban.

At a time when our collective psyche is saturated with images of fetal parts, ostensibly to speak for the unborn, the aim of this documentary is to use the symbol of the coat hanger to represent the opposing view  the rights of the woman whose body houses the developing embryo or fetus until birth. This film substantiates the view of abortion as a fundamental human right for women that must be kept legal and accessible.

The Coat Hanger Project will be available for public screening after June 2008.

The director Angie Young is a filmmaker and activist living in Washington, DC. She has served as a collective member of off our backs newsjournal and has worked at the national office of the National Abortion Federation as a phone counselor and a staff member. She currently works at Feminist Studies in College Park, Maryland, and is the executive designer and merchandising coordinator for Riot Grrrl Ink., the largest LGBTQ label in the world. She co-edited and designed Riot Grrrl's radical children's coloring book, Coloring Outside The Lines: A Do-It-Yourself Children's Punk Primer on Unwritten Herstory. This is her first documentary.


Heather Booth - Founding member of Jane, the underground feminist abortion service in Chicago, IL, 1969-73
Casey Murschel - Executive Director, NARAL-South Dakota
Louise Melling - Director, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project
Vicki Saporta - President and CEO, National Abortion Federation
Jan Nicolay - Co-chair, South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, 2006
Dr. Mildred Hanson - Abortion provider, pre-Roe vs. Wade, Minnesota
Dr. Martin Ruddock - Abortion provider, Ohio
Dr. Konia Trouton - Abortion provider, British Columbia
Dr. Mary Conley - Retired abortion provider, British Colombia
Jen Mraz - Federal Policy Director, National Abortion Federation
Lisa Brown - State Policy Director, National Abortion Federation
Sharon Lau - Director of Security, National Abortion Federation
Carol Dunn - Founder of Center For Choice in Toledo, OH (firebombed in 1987)
Dr. Bonnie Morris - Author, Activist, Professor of WomenÍs Studies at George Washington University
Dr. Kenneth Corvo - Professor of Sociology, Syracuse University
Dr. Jeannie Ludlow - Author, Activist, Professor of WomenÍs Studies, Bowling Green State University
Rachel and Bill Falls - Clinic Escorts, Washington Area Clinic Defense Taskforce
Kelsey Collier-Wise - South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families
Mandy Hagseth - South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families
Alexis Zepeda - Treasurer, DC Abortion Fund
Natalie E. Illum - Poet, Feminist
Leighann Solkowsky - Falls Church, VA Planned Parenthood Clinic Counter Protest