What Is citIzen All about?
Citizen is a short documentary that puts emphasis on individual stories and motivation behind the veteran activists and rising leaders organizing the 6th annual Texas Reproductive Rights Rally, and through this personal lens explores the evolution of the movement.
In 2013 Wendy Davis stood up in congress for 11 hours and filibustered a House Bill that threatened over half of all safe abortion clinics in Texas. When the filibuster was ended with 20 minutes left to cast a vote, thousands of supporters who had traveled to the capital erupted into what would later be dubbed, ‘an unruly mob’, and ran out the clock. Women at the capital realized that people needed an event to center their movement around and continue the momentum that the Citizen’s Filibuster had afforded them. With no background in politics, these women created an outlet for and grew with a movement that has inspired women and pushed boundaries for 6 years. This outlet is known today as the Texas Reproductive Rights Rally.
Citizen takes a look at how we define reproductive rights. Typically in this country, people hear the term reproductive rights and think of a person's right to a legal, safe abortion. While these rights are vital, abortion rights are truly such a small piece of an ever growing political movement. Reproductive rights encompass all aspects of raising a family at the time and in the manner that a person chooses. Because each aspect of a person's life strongly affects them as a whole, this broadens the scope of reproductive rights to include issues such as immigration, education, healthcare, food accessibility, LGBTQ rights, racial justice and so much more.
This can seem convoluted at first but on further inspection, it is clear that reproductive rights are truly human rights. For example, if the premise of reproductive rights is for a person to be able to care and provide for their family in the the best way they are able to, however they are in constant stress that they will be deported out of a country they have lived their entire lives, then immigration falls under the umbrella of reproductive rights. Likewise, when people of color are scared that their children won't come home at night, their ability to safely raise their families is systematically effected and thus falls into the same movement and so on.
Citizen follows the formation and growth of the Texas Reproductive Rights Rally Organization as it adjusts to address, represent and empower the many facets of reproductive rights. We follow three activists, Paula Trietsch Chaney, Original organizer and media liaison, Andrea Hughes, Original organizer and president of the TRRR and Kym Whitehead, Lead organizer for the 2019 Austin Women's Rally hosted by the TRRR. Citizen explores the motivations and drives behind veteran activists and new leaders in the reproductive justice movement. In doing so, Citizen shows the evolving nature of the movement beyond safe access to abortion to include a wide range of human rights.
Citizen not only educates its audience through these incredible activist's stories but inspires change and action in others.