The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sent shockwaves through the nation, stripping millions of Americans of their right to an abortion and throwing a wrench into America’s already patchwork reproductive health landscape. With efforts to restrict abortion in the states growing at an unprecedented clip, state legislators in support of reproductive freedom sprung into action to defend bodily autonomy, fighting on the frontlines against harmful restrictions and to strengthen access for all Americans. In the midst of one of the most contentious and monumental fights of our lifetime, the State Innovation Exchange’s Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council — the largest network of state legislators committed to protecting abortion rights — wanted to commemorate this fight, celebrating legislators’ achievements and uplifting those who sought to make reproductive freedom a core issue, no matter the turf.
Fenton knew a battle of this magnitude warranted an equally ambitious memorial. The result was Fractured, a 5-part, first-of-its-kind docuseries spotlighting legislators in action during one of the most impactful periods in recent American history. Filmed over the course of the 2023 legislative sessions, we conducted over 20 in-person, on-camera interviews across 10 states to capture how legislators, medical professionals, faith leaders, and activists met the moment and mounted a response to the most dire assault on abortion rights in decades. From legislative chambers to abortion clinics, religious sermons to protests, this project gave audiences a glimpse into the everyday heroes working to effect change. At a time when Americans’ fundamental rights are increasingly under threat from extremist politicians, Fractured showcased a cross-section of elected officials that work with communities, not against them; support bodily autonomy, not undermine it; and inspire hope, not cynicism.
Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of Dobbs v. Jackson, Fractured had its world premiere at a private screening in DC that was attended by over 100 national and state leaders in the reproductive freedom movement. We created a landing page for the public to watch the series for free and pitched the project to media, landing stories in the legislators’ backyards in New Mexico, Texas, North Dakota, and more. We celebrated the historically-overlooked state legislators at the heart of this fight, recognizing both the landmark policies they worked to pass as well as their personal journey through this fight.