Kerry Washington, Brigitte Amiri on ‘The Fight’ and ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project

Washington and ACLU’s deputy director discuss the documentary, which shows the organization’s battle against the Trump administration’s policies on voting, reproductive and gay rights.
6:18 | 07/31/20

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Transcript for Kerry Washington, Brigitte Amiri on ‘The Fight’ and ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project
So Kerry, you're producing this documentary about the aclu. How did this idea come to you? I do want to say -- I think it's important to say that the aclu has sued every single president in the history of this country, Republican or Democrat, that they are in the business of protecting the rights of all people, but I will say it was seven days into the trump administration, and he enacted the Muslim ban, and a lot of us thought, okay. It's begun, right? Like, this thing that we were afraid of, this attack on civil rights and civil liberties, it's here now, and what are we going to do? And I was glued to the television watching the crowds, you know, out in front of the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, and out walk the aclu lawyers and they announce their victory, and I just thought, this is it, like, these are our real life avengers. They're going to be on the ground defending civil rights and civil liberties. Who is going to be with them? Who is going to follow them around with cameras to capture these epic battles? Luckily for me, these extraordinary film makers were having the exact same idea, and we came together to make the film together, and it's history. Wonderful. Well, I thought it was fantastic as well, and Brigitte, you are fantastic. So counselor, in the documentary you are fighting for the rights of a 17-year-old refugee that you call Jane doe. You say she was pregnant after being raped and was being refused an abortion by the trump administration's office of refugee resettlement. How did you first hear about the story of Jane doe and other because she isn't the only one, and was she finally able to get cared for? Yes, and thank you so much for having me, and thank you for the kind words, and to Kerry for all her amazing work on the film. So we heard about these young women that we represented through a number of sources, including anonymous tips and dedicated advocates on the ground, and that's an important point I want to make even though I'm the one in the film on this case, that there's a huge team of people both at the aclu and other organizations across the country that were helping these young women, and I'm so grateful for that, but most importantly I'm in awe of the bravery and courage of Jane doe who stood up to the trump administration when they told her that she wouldn't be allowed to leave the shelter for any abortion-related appointment, and she was able to get the abortion that she had decided to have after weeks of a court battle. She was pushed further into her pregnancy, not knowing if she would be forced to carry her pregnancy to term against her will, waiting for word from a court in Washington, D.C. To see if she would be allowed to obtain the abortion. Luckily she did, and the other young women that we represented did, and Jane doe went on to carry on the case as a class action to make sure that this didn't happen to other people like her. You do incredible work. Brigitte, in the documentary, we also see the aclu come under fire, severe criticism after they fought for the right of the white nationalists to hold a rally in charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. As we know, it turned violent and people were hurt. White nationalists were using hate speech. What is the difference between free speech and hate speech, and why do you think the aclu should protect hate speech, if you do? So the constitution prohibits the government from suppressing speech, even speech we don't if we start to suppress hate speech, who decides that? Is it you or the government, and as David Cole talks about in the documentary, do we want the government really to be the arbitrator of what is allowed particularly under this administration? The harder case as the film shows is what cases will be aclu take? Those are robust and respectful conversations as you see in the film, and there isn't a one size fits all approach, and we are continuing to have those discussions, and it really is on a case by case basis how we move forward. We learn from the charlottesville experience, and we have this dialogue in the organization. Kerry, I was telling our producer that I should have worked for the aclu instead of the justice department, but what are you hoping that people, especially young people, take away from watching the stories in the documentary? That was my immediate takeaway. Yeah. Well, I think there's so much hope in the film, you know, I mean, I say it all the time, but they really are real life avengers. They are superheroes for justice, and I think when you watch the film, you realize that, wow. When I wake up in the morning and I don't know what to be more stressed about, the attack on abortion rights, the attack on lgbtq rights, the attack on black bodies by police, the attack on immigrants' rights, there's so much to be anxious about, the aclu is in the trenches on every single one of those battles, and so seeing them in action really fills you with hope. I think it's so inspiring and I hope it inspires a whole new generation of young lawyers to pursue justice and civil rights work, and I hope it inspires all of us to say, well, I don't have a law degree, but what do I what can I give? Can I make phone calls? Can I volunteer? Can I drive people to the polls to protect the right to vote? Can I make sure I fill out my census or call ten friends to fill out theirs? Can I bake cookies and sell them and send that money to the aclu? Like, no matter who you are, you can give in some way to this fight, and I think the film really inspires people to do that and helps you ask of yourself what you can do. Absolutely, and you ladies are angels and you're fighting the good fight, and thank goodness for the aclu. Thanks to Kerry Washington and Brigitte Amiri. "The fight" is being released on video and demand today. We'll be right back. Dissolve it with Nurtec: The only quick-dissolve treatment for migraine attacks

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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