Podcast Episode 219: The Business of Birth Control with Abby Epstein

Today’s guest is award-winning documentary filmmaker, Abby Epstein. Abby has directed a number of eye-opening documentaries, alongside executive producer, Ricki Lake. Two of her most notable films are The Business of Being Born, and The Business of Birth Control which are aimed to educate and empower women–and expecting families–to make informed medical decisions. In this episode, Samantha and Abby discuss in length, the driving forces behind the creation of The Business of Birth Control, as well as some of the backlash the film has received. 


In this episode of The Wellness Witch Podcast:

  • The inspiration + main elements of “The Business of Birth Control”
  • Decoding the criticism Abby’s films have received  
  • Exploring the racist roots of birth control 
  • Understanding the interest in alternative medicine amongst millennials 
  • The power behind educating women about their bodies 

Click here to listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify:

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This show is sponsored by:



  • Business of Films | Go to Our Films | BOBB Films and save 50% off all screening options with code “WELLNESSWITCH” 


Where to find Abby:


Where to find Samantha:

This show is produced by Soulfire Productions


Top 3 relevant quotes:

  • “We want women to have options—we don’t want women to feel trapped into being on a medication, or having an IUD, if it’s not working with their body. Everybody needs to be empowered around their own body sovereignty.”
    • Abby Epstein
    • 11:21
  • “A lot of the pushback is coming from what I would call “woke feminism”. They’re trying to lump us together with anti-vaxxers and that sort of thing.”
    • Abby
    • 17:18
  • “A lot of women start these contraceptive drugs when they’re teens, so it’s very hard to distinguish what is normal moodiness and what is the drug.”
    • Abby
    • 19:36
  • “I didn’t want to be fear-mongering and put stuff in the movie about cancers that birth control pills can potentially contribute to because I understand that there is a lot of debate in the literature. So I stayed away and didn’t even touch that.”
    • Abby
    • 25:22
  • “You need your hormones firing on brain receptors to be able to have a fully 3D experience. The birth control pill shuts all of those androgynous hormones off.”
    • Abby
    • 28:06
  • “No one ever taught me body literacy. No one sat me down and taught me about my cycle and warned me about the potential side effects of the pill.”
    • Samantha
    • 33:00
  • “The goal is to have the knowledge and to not feel coerced, rushed or pressured into being on medication.”
    • Abby
    • 57:20



O1 23:00 Abby: “If there is this movement away from endocrine disrupting chemicals, away from menstrual suppression, what is the answer…?”


O2 34:34: “We were doing a podcast the other day and the host was 43. Her and her husband are just trying to conceive…”


O3 44:28: “I don’t want to discredit the role that the pill has played in helping women achieve equality in the workplace amongst other things, but I think we need to keep in mind that that was 60 years ago. It has not evolved. It’s shutting down your menstrual cycle and your hormones and replacing them with chemical hormones.”

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