About Back-Alley Detroit
Using interviews, news footage, and archival material, this carefully-researched documentary depicts the full range of women's experiences in the forties, fifties and sixties. Back-Alley Detroit shows the squalid criminal underworld that abortion laws created. But the film also tells the inspirational and moving stories of courageous physicians, clergy, and women's health activists whose consciences moved them to defy America's abortion laws.
Back-Alley Detroit includes interviews with fifteen men and women who lived through the era of criminal abortion. Three tell dramatic stories of being arrested in police raids. Many of the women interviewed are African-American and the experiences of poor and minority women are fully represented.
Interviews and eyewitness accounts tell of:
Used in women's studies, sociology, criminology, and medical ethics courses throughout the US, Back-Alley Detroit holds rhetoric to a minimum, placing women's experiences in the criminal abortion era at the center of the film and permitting viewers to draw their own conclusions based on the stories presented. Many faculty report that the film's emphasis on lived experience makes it accessible to students who may not think of themselves as pro-choice.