Abortion Helpline,This is Lisa

"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 call an abortion fund where counselors struggle to stretch funds raised from private donations to last all week, so that Friday's “Lisa” won't be empty-handed when the phone rings.

The urgent calls fielded by the helpline counselors are juxtaposed with archival footage of Rep. Henry Hyde, as he lays the groundwork for this bleak scenario, saying “We cannot save the unborn of the rich . . . Thank god we can save some of the children of the poor.”

In the film, we see how a person's ability to raise money to pay for an abortion 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.

Grants Awarded to Abortion Helpline,This is Lisa

$25,000 - Awarded December 2020


This one-year grant will support "Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa." The short documentary features counselors from the Women's Medical Fund responding to phone calls from women seeking help. The film explores the economic stigmas and legislation that determines access to abortion in the U.S.

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