In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled the state could not prevent a woman from her constitutional right to an abortion. The landmark decision shook the nation and enraged fierce pro-life advocates who have fought to overturn this ruling in the decades that followed.

Reversing Roe, a new in-depth Netflix documentary, highlights the violent decades-long battle over this decision. Abortion is not only an issue of morality, but also of faith and politics — while the film excels at providing a comprehensive history of abortion, it lacks a personal connection.

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The main portion of the film opens in Missouri, a state with one abortion clinic. Viewers meet Dr. Colleen McNicholas, a gynecologist and fierce advocate for abortion rights who travels across conservative states to offer healthcare and abortion services to women who lack the resources.

The documentary proceeds to question how the U.S. became a society so anti-abortion.

To do so, Reversing Roe employs commentators on both ends of the debate. On the pro-choice side, there’s activists like Gloria Steinem and Eleanor Holmes Norton. On the pro-life side, there’s people like Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue, an organization aimed at preventing abortions.

Legal experts like reproductive rights attorney Kathryn Kolbert and Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who represented the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, also provide background for larger legal rulings.

While commentaries are provocative and shocking, they’re also unbalanced. Many of the pro-life advocates featured in the film are male, despite there being a large group of women fiercely involved in the debate.

In 99 minutes, the film uses archival news footage from the opening of the first legal abortion clinic in New York to the Trump inauguration to show how this issue has not only divided our country, but also changed the Republican party.

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Reversing Roe is a strong historical account, but it lacks the personal voices that create human emotion. Steinem shares her abortion experience in England, but other personal accounts are told via court recordings. The documentary would benefit from personal accounts of individuals struggling with abortion in the 21st century.

A retelling of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’s impressive 13-hour filibuster in the Texas State Senate is one of the film’s strongest moments. Voiceovers and soundbites are cut to perfection. Viewers not only feel the emotion, but as if they’re a part of history.

Instead of discussing abortion in a personal context more often, Reversing Roe spends the majority of its time covering the history of abortion. By dwelling on the past, it loses track of the future.

2/4 Shells.