HolyCoast: Abortion and the Movies

Monday, December 05, 2011

Abortion and the Movies

Rob Port has an interesting piece on the lack of abortions in the movies, and why Hollywood, a bastion of pro-choice liberals, seems so reluctant to include that barbaric practice in their pictures:
Mary Elizabeth Williams, a staff writer for Salon, is upset that in the Twilight movie the main character didn’t have an abortion. In fact, she’s upset that abortions don’t happen more often in movies in general.

She’s right about the trend. Whether it’s the Twlight movie (yes, I did go see it, though in my defense it was under duress) or other movies like Juno or Knocked Up or dozens of others I could name, abortion isn’t a common theme in the movies.

Which is curious. Hollywood, after all, is one of the great bastions of liberalism in America. Certainly abortion isn’t swept under the rug by Hollywood writers and producers because of religious, or even just generally pro-life, sympathies. There has to be some other reason for the trend, so what is it?

It’s pretty simple actually. People want heroes, or at least sympathetic characters, in their movies and there’s not a lot that’s heroic, or even sympathetic, with abortion. People want characters that overcome adversity. Abortion is a cop out.
Read the rest of it here. Rob makes some good points and I think he's right on the money.

There are plenty of examples in TV as well.  I've seen a number of Friends reruns lately, including episodes in which Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) finds herself single and pregnant and abortion doesn't even seem to be a serious consideration.  As a young, single professional woman in New York City she'd be the classic liberal abortion rights activist type.

She goes on to have the baby, and although her daughter doesn't figure prominently in future episodes, she is part of the show's story from that point on.

On the other hand, the sluts ladies of Sex and the City were regular abortion machines.  But of course, HBO targeted a different audience.


John said...

In the UK there are similar issues on TV, where abortion, sorry, termination is the only medical procedure that cannot be shown on TV by law.

What is that they do not want you to see - or hear?

Larry said...

Last year there was a woman running for office in D.C. who's campaign commercials showed aborted babies. The local TV networks were outraged that they were forced by election laws to show the content.

Sam L. said...

Don't forget Murphy Brown!