by Kelli

Fast_Times_at_Ridgemont_HighContrary to what we see in the movies and television shows, plenty of women have abortions, and many of those do so without guilt or regret…. My own experience, at any rate, supports that. First, there was my grandmother. She told me that after she had my mother, her fourth child, she was fed up with having children. So when she got pregnant the fifth time, she had an abortion. The tone in her voice was matter-of-fact….

Then there was the night a woman and I were overwhelmed by a great passion. We knew what had to be done. There was just one problem…. I was pretty sure there were no condoms in my apartment. And since her husband had had a vasectomy, she was unprepared as well. While she got undressed, I rummaged around in drawers and cabinets in the vain hope of finding a condom from long ago, but finally she said, “To hell with it, John. If I get pregnant, I’ll just get an abortion.” That sounded good to me, so I quit looking. “They haven’t blown up all the abortion clinics, have they?” she asked, jokingly, as we prepared to throw caution to the winds.

Those are my anecdotes, for what they are worth…. But with the exception of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, such women are nowhere to be found in the movies, except perhaps as very minor characters…. Instead, the movies have promoted the notion that the ideal thing for a pregnant woman to do is have the baby. If she considers an abortion, it is proper, almost obligatory, for her to agonize over it; and if she has the abortion, she will invariably be filled with regrets.

This unrelenting subliminal message from movies and television… may well have some influence at the margins, and enough so to elect a few extra pro-life conservatives here and there, perhaps just enough to make the difference…. At most, we can keep watching the movies and television shows, waiting for the day when women on the screen start having abortions, and doing so without misgivings or regrets. Then we will know that the pro-choice forces have finally gotten the upper hand.

~ disinterested spectator, lamenting that so few abortions are portrayed positively by Hollywood, The Daily Kos, December 15

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