Sixty years after the pill revolutionized women's emancipation, "The Business of Birth Control" examines the complex relationship between hormonal birth control and women’s health and liberation.
The documentary traces the feminist movement to investigate and expose the pill's risks alongside the racist legacy of hormonal contraception and its ongoing weaponization against communities of color.
Weaving together the stories of bereaved parents, body literacy activists and femtech innovators, the film reveals a new generation seeking holistic and ecological alternatives to the pill while redefining the meaning of reproductive justice.
World Premiere at DOCNYC 2021, Official Selection at the Miami International Film Festival 2022
"Through their own research for the film, it became clear that the real problem was the lack of research on reproductive health more broadly. Without fully understanding how female bodies work, Lake and Epstein say, it’s not possible to understand how these drugs affect people or for the industry to create safer hormonal contraception options." -The Lily, Published by The Washington Post
“This is an eye-opening film and should be viewed by every woman and every parent with a daughter”-Cinema 365
"The filmmakers push no anti-reproductive-rights agenda. Rather, they call for a multifaceted understanding of the pros and cons of today’s methods of birth control." "Daring and thought-provoking, it will challenge several presuppositions and likely say something entirely new to viewers. A great purchase for shelves on women’s issues. Highly recommended." -Video Librarian
About the filmmaker
Abby Epstein started her career as a theater director having her own Chicago-based production company, Roadworks Productions, which was founded in 1992. After directing a few productions in Chicago, Epstein moved to New York to be an assistant director on the production of “Rent.” She then worked on “The Vagina Monologues” with Eve Ensler and directed her first film, 2003’s “Until the Violence Stops,” a documentary about the impact of “The Vagina Monologues” on a global scale. Her other film credits include “The Business of Being Born” and “Weed the People.”
Ricki Lake is an actress, television host, and the executive producer of the documentary, The Business of Being Born.