Great story in the entertainment section of the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday:

In America, about one in five pregnancies ends in abortion, according to the latest figures from the Guttmacher Institute. In recent American movies, however, every unplanned pregnancy is carried to term.


From Knocked Up to Waitress to Juno [scene pictured left], opening Dec. 14, abortion is The Great Unmentionable, euphemized as “we don’t perform, uh, — ” (Waitress), and “nipped it in the bud” (Juno) in comedies in which pregnancy is the situation. Abortion is likewise obliquely referenced, if actually considered, in the drama Bella, now in theaters.
“It’s as if there’s an ‘every conception deserves delivery’ policy being observed,” says Virginia Rutter, senior scholar at the Council on Contemporary Families….

To the extent that mainstream movies are a barometer of public opinion, the evidence of America’s continued ambivalence about abortion can be found at the multiplex.
“The ground has shifted,” says Robert George, professor of the philosophy of law at Princeton. “We don’t see characters wrestling with the question of abortion as we saw it during the ’70s when (television’s) Maude weighed the decision whether to keep or terminate her pregnancy.”…
[A]cross the ideological spectrum, scholars and advocates ponder why the procedure that so divides Americans – according to a May Gallup Poll, 49% of Americans identify as pro-choice and 45% as pro-life – effectively has vanished from the screen….


Since the ’80s, when characters in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dirty Dancing sought abortions, abortion has virtually disappeared from Hollywood features. The Cider House Rules, released in 1999 and focusing on an obstetrician-abortionist and his anti-abortion protege during the 1940s, may well have been the last mainstream American movie to utter the A-word.
In Europe, it is different: The 2004 indie British drama Vera Drake and the 2007 Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, which took top honors at Cannes in May, dramatize the peril to women in situations where abortion is not safe and legal.

Also add the currently released August Rush and soon to be released Noelle to the list of decidedly pro-life films:

Why do you think abortion is vanishing from American cinephotography?
[HT: mods Jasper and MK]

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