Documentary BORN FREE: BIRTH IN AMERICA Investigating Women’s Birthing Rights in the United States, Will be Released on Streaming Platforms for Free on Mother’s Day

Los Angeles, May 11, 2023 — Semi Retired Films in co-production with Digital Harvest Media has announced that their documentary BORN FREE: BIRTH IN AMERICA, investigating women’s birthing rights in the United States, will be released on streaming platforms for free on Mother’s Day.  The debut feature documentary from director Paula James-Martinez takes a deep dive into what it is like to have a baby in modern day America and asks the difficult questions to unlock why it is the most dangerous and most expensive nation in the developed world to give birth in.

Inspired by James-Martinez’s own childbirth experience, the documentary features a host of experts and maternal health advocates including Christy Turlington, equitable maternal outcomes expert Chanel Porchia-AlbertCharles Johnson, whose own wife died in childbirth, Senator Tammy Duckworth and Senator Joe Kennedy, amongst others, who discuss the impact of current medical system standards and ultimate failure for those who experience traumatic pregnancies.

BORN FREE: BIRTH IN AMERICA sheds light on the maternal health crises facing America and also led to the founding of the non-profit organization The Mother Lovers, which focuses on educating people to achieve healthier and safer birthing outcomes.

The United States is the only nation in the developed world with a rising maternal mortality rate. From 2019 to 2023, The number of maternal deaths per 100,000 births in the United States of America has increased by 40%. Today the U.S. has a maternal mortality rate of 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births, the highest level since 1965.

Previously Fashion Director of Refinery 29, the world’s largest online women’s publication and with a background in fashion publishing as an editor for some of Europe’s most respected luxury style magazines, James-Martinez shot her first film in locations across the United States with an all-female crew.

The Mother’s Day AVOD streaming release for free across all platforms will allow even larger audiences to access the film, providing more women, mothers and families with knowledge about the current state of maternal health and giving them the tools to understand their right to the best possible care. 

Director Paula James-Martinez said, “Born Free is really a film asking the question, “why are things going so wrong?” If we look at having the worst maternal mortality rate in the US since 1965, it is an indication of the state of both women’s health and how we are caring for mothers. It’s showing pretty clearly that we are in crisis mode. Born Free aims to educate women and birthing people about the problems we are facing, but also ways in which to find solutions. Birth and motherhood certainly aren’t easy, but having a child is an act of hope, and I’m adamant that we can’t accept so many awful stories as the norm.“


About Digital Harvest Media

Digital Harvest Media (DHM) is a development and execution stage media incubator that partners with creative entrepreneurs seeking to engage audiences + consumers through exceptional entertainment concepts and digitally-native start-ups. DHM has uniquely assembled a global network of industry, entertainment, technology, legal and financial advisors, connecting exceptionally devoted creatives, from first-time idea generators to seasoned veterans, to create content and products that disrupt and redefines industry definitions. An award-winning content, technology, and investment company that works alongside top-tier talent to create serialized television, feature-length films, branded entertainment, alternative publishing projects, and other consumer products that have a lasting and direct impact on audiences around the world.

About The Mother Lovers

THE MOTHER LOVERS are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization raising awareness about maternal health in the United States.

The United States has the only rising maternal mortality rate in the developed world.

Women in the U.S. today are twice as likely to die in childbirth than they were 20 years ago.

The Mother Lovers stand to bring awareness to the stories of millions of American families. To demand that all birthing people are treated with respect during, before, and after birth. That we are given equal access to education and tools that allow us to make choices about the way in which we give birth. That we are ALL given the time to recover properly after.

About Rock Salt Releasing 

Founded in 2018 by Daisy Hamilton Risher, Rock Salt Releasing is an independent distributor focused on amplifying female voices. They’ve been behind films such as Marah Strauch’s Vice Versa: Chyna, Suzanne Bier’s A Second Chance, and Lauren Hadaway’s The Novice. More information can be found at

May 14, 2023 12:00am
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Streaming Platforms for Free on Mother’s Day