Inauguration Day 2017

I woke this morning with one thought: stupid electoral college. So much boils down to just that thought. All the philosophy and reflection of the past two months – the questioning why? How? How could America vote for Donald J. Trump? Yet, they didn’t. Hillary Clinton won 2.9 million more votes than he did. But for the electoral college, we would have watched Hillary Clinton take the oath of office this morning in Washington D.C. Instead, it’s President Donald J. Trump, and it makes me sick even to think those words, let alone type them. Yes, I have felt physically ill every time I think of his inauguration. Just as in the days following the election, I have spent today in a Trump Slump. It is unspeakable to me that this man now holds the most powerful office in the world. I will attend the Women’s March tomorrow along with my sisters who resist the presidency that represents regression and stolen, illegitimate power. I am most cynical about this election – no, this authoritarian coup. Because that’s what I believe it to be. Between the electoral college and the gerrymandering of districts, voter suppression and Russian hacking claims, there is little doubt left in my mind that the Republican party and the Russian government have installed a President that they didn’t even want. He’s just agreeing to all their white, male supremacist policies, so that’s all that matters to them.

Today, I commit to fighting the powers that seek to destroy women’s equality, minority rights and lgbtq freedom. I will do my part. And my part is to make my film, Through Her Eyes. I commit to crowd-funding and independently producing my script that tells stories of abortion in all their unflinching detail, without catering to what anyone else thinks those stories should be. I will tell the stories of Liz and Grace to illuminate the power of female autonomy and self-expression. And to assert that we live our choices every day in every way and we decide what defines us… or doesn’t.

When I wrote this script, it was from the safety of the bubble of Canadian confidence, in which women’s reproductive freedom and health care is universal… at least for now. Our Conservative government at the time stated that it was not interested in challenging women’s right to choose – Trump sure makes Stephen Harper look tame in comparison, doesn’t he? But soon after I finished the first draft, I began hearing news reports out of the US, of states passing obstructionist laws, making abortion more difficult to obtain. Waiting periods and mandatory ultrasounds were imposed on women seeking abortions in certain states. And within only a few years, the political climate was transformed, even during President Obama’s tenure. Suddenly Roe v. Wade was under threat and abortion clinics were closing all over the country, due to so-called TRAP laws that targeted clinics with unconstitutional restrictions, forcing them to close their doors and fight all the way to the Supreme Court. And now, while in Canada, we have a feminist Prime Minister, our neighbours to the south are ruled by a government of misogynist right wing Republicans who have promised to take away their right to choose. I cannot stay silent any longer. The time has come to make my film Through Her Eyes, and in so doing support the women of America in their quest to maintain their hard won rights.

When I raise funds for my film that seeks to show the power of women’s choice and bodily autonomy, I will ensure that 5% of all funds raised go to Planned Parenthood, which is under direct threat by the new authoritarian regime. I will commit a further 5% to Exhale, a pro-voice organization that provides a talk-line for women who have had an abortion. And finally, another 5% will benefit the Single Mothers Alliance, an advocacy group that seeks to improve the lives of single mothers and empower women who make that choice, as have I.

Stay tuned for my crowdfunding campaign, and support Through Her Eyes. Stand up for women’s rights, inclusion, diversity and make us stronger together.

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