I don’t know of any woman who hasn’t seen Ricki Lake’s The Business of Being Born. The Abby Epstein-directed documentary from 2008 exposes how our dysfunctional health care system has resulted in the second worst newborn death rate among developed nations and the overall devaluation of the birthing process as a medical, biological, and familial experience.
Lake and Epstein are teaming up again to make Sweetening the Pill, a new nonfiction feature that focuses on the underreported dangers of hormonal birth control. Based on the upcoming book Sweetening The Pill, Or How We Became Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control by Holly Grigg-Spall, the documentary will “take a look at the dangers of the Pill and alternative options available in the wake of recent civil lawsuits over oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin, as well as health complaints over the Nuvaring, which have been shown to cause fatal blood clots in some women,” according to Deadline.
“In the fifty years since its release, the birth control pill has become synonymous with women’s liberation and has been thought of as some sort of miracle drug,” say Lake and Epstein. “But now it’s making women sick, and so our goal with this film is to wake women up to the unexposed side effects of these powerful medications and the unforeseen consequences of repressing women’s natural cycles.”