At an abortion helpline in Philadelphia, counselors field urgent calls from people seeking to end a pregnancy, but can’t afford to. ABORTION HELPLINE, THIS IS LISA reveals the brutal impact of the Hyde Amendment, designed to prevent those struggling financially from access to abortion. 

At the abortion helpline in Philadelphia, phone counselors—all called Lisa—arrive each morning to the nonstop ring of calls from women and teens who are seeking to end a pregnancy, and can’t afford to. In 1976, only three years after Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, the Hyde Amendment was enacted with the explicit intention of denying poor individuals—those receiving Medicaid—access to abortion. Abortion Helpline: This is Lisa is a short, powerful film that exposes the brutal impact of the Hyde Amendment and shows how a woman’s financial status dangerously affects her ability to control her reproductive life. 

About the Director(s):

The EMMY® nominated filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater have collaborated on award-winning documentaries for broadcast and wide-spread advocacy use since 1990. Their feature documentaries include BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez a biography of the African American poet and activist; Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter (ITVS); Landowska, Uncommon Visionary; and Maggie Growls (ITVS) a whimsical biography of Gray Panther founder Maggie Kuhn, which was the premiere program on PBS’ Independent Lens series in 2003. Their documentaries on reproductive rights include Rosita, I Witness: Shot Down in Pensacola, Legal But Out of Reach and Motherless: A Legacy of Loss from Illegal Abortion.

Mike Attie is a 2013 Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellow and was named one of The Independent's “10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014.” His feature documentary, In Country, premiered at Full Frame and Hot Docs. His 2019 short, Moment to Moment, won jury awards at IFFBoston and San Francisco DocFest. He holds an MFA from Stanford is currently an assistant professor at the University of the Arts and director of their Film major.


– AFI DOCS Grand Jury Prize for Short Films

Other Screenings:

– Sundance Film Festival
– Full Frame Film Festival
– AFI DOCS 2020
– Big Sky Film Festival
– Philadelphia Film Festival
– Athena Film Festival
– Florida Film Festival
– Wood Hole Film Festival
– Nevertheless Film Festival