Interview with Lynn M. Paltrow
Big Apple Film Festival is proud to welcome Lynn M. Paltrow to the post screening discussion of the documentary 62 DAYS, directed by Rebecca Haimowitz. 62 DAYS tells the story of Marlise Muñoz, a brain-dead pregnant woman whose family was forced to keep her on life support against her wishes. The film follows the Muñoz family's journey from private loss, to unwanted media attention, and finally towards activism as they fight to change this law.The film will have its New York City premiere at the Big Apple Film Festival Women's Filmmaker Showcase on Friday, January 19th, 2018 at 8:45 p.m. at the SVA Theatre.
Lynn M. Paltrow, JD, Executive Director, founded National Advocates for Pregnant Women in 2001. Ms. Paltrow is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law. She has worked on numerous cases challenging restrictions on the right to choose abortion as well cases opposing the prosecution and punishment of pregnant women seeking to continue their pregnancies to term. Ms. Paltrow has served as a senior staff attorney at the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, as Director of Special Litigation at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and as Vice President for Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of New York City. Ms. Paltrow is the recipient of the Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law and the National Women's Health Network's Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women's Health. She is a frequent guest lecturer and writer for popular press, law reviews, and peer-reviewed journals. She is a Gemini and mother of twins.
1. What are the goals of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women? And, what is your role in the organization?
I am the founder and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. NAPW's goals include creating a country (and world) where pregnant women have full personhood as a matter of law and culture. We also want to ensure that there is no point in pregnancy when a woman loses her civil rights.
2. How did you first hear about the story of Marlise Muñoz and how did you feel when you heard about it?
Because of the work we do, NAPW probably learned about it as soon as it became public - through media reports, or Texas allies who learned about it through local media or word of mouth. We were appalled but not surprised. In fact we reached out to the family as soon as we heard to offer help.
3. Why do you feel Rebecca Haimowtiz' film 62 DAYS is an important film for the public to see?
With enormous sensitivity, 62 days brings attention to laws in more than 30 states that explicitly discriminate against women and undermine families. It demonstrates how men, husbands, and other loved ones may also be devastated by laws that purport to advance a "pro-life" agenda.
4. How might this film be influential in reversing laws that are currently in place regarding the rights of pregnant women?
62 days not only informs about the horrifying result of a gender discriminatory advanced directive law in a particular case, it brings attention to and will inspire action to repeal these laws in every state. https://rewire.news/article/2014/04/10/time-repeal-state-advance-directive-laws-discriminate-women/
5. What do you feel the public can do to help spread the word about 62 DAYS?
I hope people will see the movie, use social media to spread the word about it, and bring it into their homes, houses of worship, classrooms, and communities to spread the word and build the understanding and passion for action to repeal these laws.