Finally, a movie that makes abortion funny

This blog was posted on The Washington Post.

The new romantic comedy Obvious Child has managed to do something pretty extraordinary — it's made abortion sympathetic, and funny.

In it, main character Donna has an abortion after a drunken one-night stand. But unlike most other characters who grapple with this question, Donna doesn't torture herself. She makes the decision without angst, guilt, or extenuating circumstances. And like millions of American women, Donna follows through, then moves on with her life.

A movie about an experience this common – nearly one in three American women will have an abortion in their lifetime — shouldn't feel so revolutionary. But it does.

Our culture still stigmatizes abortions and the women who have them. When President Obama issued a statement of support on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, he didn't use the word abortion once. Think about that — in a statement supporting the decision that recognizes the constitutional protection to abortion, abortion wasn't mentioned.

Even within the reproductive rights movement, we have a million ways to signal abortion without saying it. We talk about "personal, private decision making," "women's health" or "reproductive health care."

Even I, who have devoted my life to defending reproductive rights, have friends who want an abortion but won't admit it to me. Instead they'll call and tell me their "friend" needs help. That speaks to a frightening level of shame.

Here's the truth: We all know – and probably love – a woman who's had an abortion. Indeed, we likely know several women, and love them. We just don't know it.

Here's another truth: Even if we don't agree about abortion, we can agree that we shouldn't judge a woman unless we've walked in her shoes. Life, after all, is messy. And decisions aren't always black and white.

Abortion stigma causes real harm. Even the simple silence around abortion hurts women. It makes women afraid to talk about their experiences, even with trusted friends and loved ones. It encourages politicians to chip away at women's ability to make this decision for themselves – and then say they're doing it for our own good. Stigma, and the silence it nurtures, enables a culture that tells doctors and nurses they can refuse to treat a woman who seeks an abortion because she is untouchable — declining even to take her blood pressure or provide her with pain medication, lest they be tainted by association.

That's why the "Obvious Child" is so welcome. It deftly reflects the experience of millions of women across the country – that we sometimes get pregnant when we didn't want to and decide to have an abortion because it's the right decision for our lives.

This blog was cross-posted from The Washington Post.

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Anonymous

The Aclu thinks abortion is funny. WOW! Liberals have no respect for life. Abortion(Infanticide) is nothing less than murder. They will stand before Jesus one day and give an account of every murdered baby. They can scoff and laugh now,and they obviously do but they will not one day.

Anonymous

Who cares? I'll never watch it.
I think it's damn strange that you don't care about someone terminating a pregnancy, but all you people were on your spiritual hilltop after Clayton Lockett was put to death just because the execution was botched.
So you care more about his right to continue living but nothing at all about a terminated pregnancy?
His MOM should have terminated him before he was even born. Then maybe you would have taken the stance of "Oh well...don't see nothing the matter HERE, ain't it grand the weather's nice today?" That's what the statement "get it and then go on with their life as if nothing happened and it means nothing" says to me.
But let's have a fit and call everyone a terrible person if they have no problem with Clayton Lockett's botched execution.
Let's just call them evil bastards but make no never mind about the people who terminate a pregnancy.
There's nothing in the least bit "moral" or "humane" about that attitude.
After saying all that's in THIS article you people have zero right to accuse pro-death penalty people of being horrible, inhumane and enemies of human rights.
If I have to pick between paying for an unwanted pregnancy, where they could give it up for adoption for free (it doesn't cost them to do it) and financing a self-proclaimed "assassin" to stay in prison, I'm going to choose financing an adoption of a baby every time. And I'm NOT going to hate myself for making the choice.

I wrote a poem about why I was for capital punishment, because our professor told us we had to write about a politically inflamed issue and be on one side or the other.
I chose that topic because at the time, this group that called themselves 'Warriors for Life' were arguing against giving a baby killer the death penalty.
The guy killed a 2 y.o boy after raping him, but all these 'warriors for life' could think of was HIS rights and HIS pain and HIS agony.
They didn't care at ALL what the FAMILY was going through after their 2 y.o son was abducted and then murdered after being raped by the suspect.

I know the mother of the child. I included how she refused to leave the graveside after the services, how she kept talking about her son as if he were alive "Don't put him down there, he doesn't like the dark...please don't put him down there."
She didn't want them to do the part where they lower the coffin into the ground. They do it after everyone leaves the cemetery, but she was refusing to leave. She fell apart completely. I was afraid the people who worked at the cemetery were going to call police to remove her. They seemed to have no sympathy at all when it came to disrupting their occupational requirement to bury this 1-foot coffin with a child inside it.

Those stupid warriors for life never saw this little display of intense grief from the mother and I don't believe they would have cared even if they HAD seen it.

That's why the last stanza of the poem goes like this:

"Warriors for life," you call yourselves
and mount your defense for the killer well,
as saintly points for yourselves do tally
for a royal room in Heaven do you rally?

StewartIII

NewsBusters: ACLU Director Says Movie ‘Makes Abortion Funny’
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/katie-yoder/2014/06/09/aclu-director-says-m...

Anonymous

I'm pro-choice and I think abortion should be legal, but I don't think we should think of it as something funny that shouldn't be taken seriously. I agree that we shouldn't stigmatize women who have abortions, but there's nothing wrong with a women having abortion should really think about if that's the right decision (although I will always respect the decision). I agree with much of what the author of this article is saying, but disagree with abortion being characterized as funny. It is a very serious topic that understandably stirs a lot of emotion.

Anonymous

Abortion funny? Never. Under any circumstance. No matter what your position. Convenience abortion as a result of drunkeness? Less than " not funny". Years of educational opportunity wrought meaningless in one night and that's nothimg to be ashamed of? What should we be ashamed of? I guess it did save taxpayers money if she didn't have insurance. Or even if she did. Thanks.

Anonymous

Abortion is never funny.

Anonymous

whats next? Funny rape?

Anonymous

Funny that the ACLU, of all people, moderates quotes

RRobertss

Great. Humor in abortion. How about a comedy about the electric chair? Imagine the laughs.

colts1

abortion is never funny, it's simply murder I do support abortion in cases of incest and rape and have questions about that but no other time there are too many people out there that would love child so have the baby and then adopt it, I'm sure it would make some family out there happy and complete

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