Tuesday, Nov. 16 marked the end of Before There Was Choice, the five-film series organized by Planned Parenthood, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the Santa Fe chapter of the National Organization for Women. Beginning in June, the films—which included Dirty Dancing and The Cider House Rules—were screened and discussed once a month at Santa Fe Community College.
“The attendance was less than we would have liked,” Janet Gotkin, one of the series’ organizers, tells SFR. But the discussions, she says, “were phenomenal—a model for discussion about abortion.”
Gotkin, who also helps organize NOW’s annual abortion rights rally at the Roundhouse each January, says such dialogue is particularly necessary given the rhetoric of the midterm elections.
“Five years ago, there wasn’t a mainstream politician who would say they were against abortion in cases of rape or incest,” Gotkin says. “It’s become OK to say things like that.”
New Mexico lawmakers regularly introduce bills to curtail abortion rights, Gotkin says. A still-Democratic majority can stymie such efforts, she adds, but an anti-abortion governor could change the game.
When SFR reached Gotkin, she was in Colorado for the birth of her 33-year-old daughter’s first child.
“All during her pregnancy, I was thinking, ‘This is such a wanted, planned-for baby—and here I am, focusing on abortion. Is there something odd about this?’”
She decided it isn’t odd.
“If we were to look at the kind of world we want, we would want babies born into stable relationships to adults who want them,” Gotkin says. “That’s what we’re aiming for.”