January 4, 2008

ART IMITATES THE CULTURE OF LIFE:

5 Characters Reject Abortion in a Cultural Shift in Movies (Rick Santorum, January 3, 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

If art is a reflection of our culture, our culture - and particularly our youth culture - is awaking to the reality of life in the womb. You hear it in Nick Cannon's autobiographical single "Can I live?" You see it in the stunning episode of the television show House where Dr. Gregory House's finger is grasped by a baby in the womb during intrauterine surgery. The recognition of the life in the womb is going mainstream.

But the biggest shift came at the movies. In a nation with one of the world's most wide-open abortion regimes, U.S. audiences flocked to see five motion pictures with life-affirming texts or subtexts: Knocked up, Waitress, Bella, August Rush and Juno.

In these movies, abortion was urged on women facing an unplanned pregnancy, and rejected. Ultrasound images awakened characters and audiences to the humanity of the unborn. Having a baby, even in the most challenging circumstances, became the compelling "choice." Adoption was held up as a positive alternative to abortion. And, unlike the news media's portrayal of pro-lifers, protesters outside abortion clinics were authentically depicted as warm and concerned. This stood in contrast to the indifference of the staff within.

These movies came from four different companies (Waitress and Juno are Fox Searchlight movies) and right out of our pop culture.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 4, 2008 8:51 PM
Comments

Huh? Has there ever been a film in which a character has an abortion?: It's rarely even considered as a potential option or a lot point. (I can date myself by mentioning a TV show from the mid-70s, but that's it.)


Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 5, 2008 1:50 AM

IIRC, the movie Prophecy (1979) ended with the protagonists planning to abort their child. There was also Coma (1978), in which an abortion is done on-screen, and Cider House Rules (1999) in which the hero grows up to be an abortionist. Then there was Cher's pro-abortion HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk (1996).

Posted by: Mike Morley at January 5, 2008 1:13 PM

Cider House Rules was essentially an abortion infomercial; however, I don't think Hollywood likes to show characters getting abortions because (naturally) audiences would dislike the characters getting abortions. I do think that most people think abortion is a bad thing.

Posted by: pchuck at January 5, 2008 1:34 PM
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