The device is nothing more than a small glass jar, a plastic stopper, two tubes of the type used in home aquariums, a plastic syringe fitted with an automatic valve, and a flexible narrow tube known as a Karman cannula.
"The cannula goes into the uterus," Rothman says, placing the tube into a glass of water that represents the uterus. Then she pulls back on the syringe and water races through one of the tubes and into the glass jar.
"That's all there is to it," she says.
But there is more to it than that, of course. Rothman, who asks that I not name the city where she lives, knows that better than most. Anti-abortionists have threatened her. Two of the federation's health clinics have been firebombed.
Officials from California's Department of Health Services recently watched "No Going Back," and warned the film's producers that, under a 1976 law, it is illegal to manufacture or sell the menstrual extraction kit without formal state approval.