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Silent Choices

by Faith Pennick

African American women and abortion. Finally, the silence is broken.

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"Silent Choices" is about abortion and its impact on the lives of African American women. The film is a "hybrid" documentary: part historical piece, part social and religious analysis and part first-person narrative. From African Americans' cautious involvement with Margaret Sanger during the early birth control movement to black nationalists and civil rights activists who staunchly opposed abortion (or stayed silent on the issue), "Silent Choices" examines the juxtaposition of racial and reproductive politics. Three black women also share their stories of the abortions they had, including a woman's wrenching tale of the illegal procedure she endured. African Americans who oppose abortion were also interviewed, and the film wraps up with a montage of responses to a comment made by one of the pro-lifers, that abortion is a white woman's issue.

quoteThere is nothing else out there about abortion that focuses on the diverse and real experiences of African American women. Everyone who cares about racial and reproductive justice must see Silent Choices.
Marlene Gerber Fried
Director, Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program
Hampshire College

quoteSilent Choices explores not only black women's personal and political struggles around reproductive freedom, but also the complexities of abortion too often ignored by the mainstream media. Silent Choices is essential viewing for students, scholars, and activists interested in reproductive justice for all women.
Dorothy Roberts
Author, "Killing the Black Body;" Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School

quoteSilent Choices is an essential addition to the film collection of anyone interested in the abortion debate. It moves adeptly beyond the easy binary of 'pro-choice or pro-life' to demonstrate that abortion is about people's lives and beliefs.
Jeannie Ludlow, Ph.D.
Eastern Illinois University

quoteA solid investigation into the social, economic, and political aspects of reproductive rights for African-American women.
Justin Wadland
Video Librarian
full review

quoteAbortion is the issue that reveals how America defines the meaning of life. I thank [Faith] Pennick for giving black women an opportunity to speak for themselves.
Mary Mitchell
Chicago Sun-Times

More Reviews


  • WINNER - Best Documentary, Roxbury Film Festival
  • WINNER - Best Documentary, Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival (New York)
  • Black Harvest Film Festival (Chicago)
  • Charlotte Film Festival
  • Black Lily Film and Music Festival (Philadelphia)
  • Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts Film Festival (Wash. D.C.)

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Dated 4/10

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