It Happens to Us

The classic film plea for women's right to choose
Year Released
Film Length(s)
32 mins
Remote video URL


First released in 1972, this film remains the classic plea for a woman's legal right to choose.

Featured review

The subject matter is indeed controversial and those who are opposed to abortion, especially on religious grounds, will object to the film's premise. But the issue involved--whether a woman has the right to control her own body, or whether the state has the right to force a woman to bear a child when she does not want to--this is a very real issue which is being fought today... Libraries have a responsibility to provide information in a variety of media on all aspects of current issues, and this film will be much in demand by women's groups, medical personnel and others interested in health care, population control, and civil rights.


Each of the main four methods are fully described by a physician and pertinent medical statistics are interspersed throughout. It presents the most cogent arguments, through the personal stories of a wide range of women both rich and poor, young and older, black and white, married and unmarried, as to why ending a pregnancy must remain an available choice. In particular, it reminds people of the consequences of when abortion was illegal and what life was like before the Roe vs Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision.


A unique, important film that calmly and honestly focuses on the personal situations underlying the issue of abortion. Ages 14 to adult.
The film concretely points out the need for contraceptive counseling..., for education in self-awareness and values at an early age, and for legal access to abortion (without moral overtones) for all women.
HOSPITAL AND COMMUNITY PSYCHIATRY: A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association
A jolting indictment of the furtive illegality of abortion... Some of the testimonies are shattering. The experienced speakers are personable, intelligent and plain-spoken.
The strength of the film is that with the extraordinary range of the women represented, they make a uniform plea. Rich and poor, educated and uneducated, they reveal, by their searching self-awareness, that they are fully capable of taking the responsibility for their own bodies that the law should entitle them to.
Molly Haskell

Awards and Screenings

Shown on ABC-TV Wide-World Special with David Frost, 1973
MERIT AWARD WINNER, Johns Hopkins Medical School Film Festival
Finalist, American Film Festival
Toronto Film Festival, British National Film Theater, Pesaro, Italy and Tampere, Finland Film Festivals
WNET-TV and Manhattan Cable TV
Conventions: The American Psychiatric Association, The American Sociological Association, The League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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