I’ve got a bone to pick with you, World. You see, I’ve seen a few abortion movies in my time. I’m getting tired of seeing the same old stories.
There’s the girl who gets pregnant, considers abortion, and then changes her mind at the last minute (Juno). There’s the tragic story set somewhere in a bleak, desaturated past where someone gets pregnant. Her cruel and backwards culture would never accept such a thing. So she has an abortion and it is terrible/painful/isolating/all of the above. She goes on with her life (or maybe dies) and everything looks like it’ll continue being bleak and secretive forever. And then there’s the story of the abortion provider- also living in Bleak, Desaturated Past- who does her work in hidden back rooms and probably something terrible happens to her too.
Not exactly light entertainment.
You could argue that this is to be expected, right? Abortion is a serious thing! We have to treat it as Serious Bizniz!
Bollocks to that, I say. Bollocks to it! People make fun stories about serious things all the time. Every summer we buy buckets of popcorn to watch the latest natural disaster or robots destroying cities in glorious technicolour. I’ll bet the people being torn apart by dinosaurs (they were exterminated by a huge asteroid, you guys) or crushed in a giant earthquake (people die in earthquakes every year. Doesn’t that mean it’s always too soon?) aren’t going to appreciate you all having fun at their expense.
If we can make truly ridiculous movies about space Nazis living on the far side of the moon (when genocides happen all the damn time), then why the hell should something that about 1/3 of uterus-bearing humans do in their lives be off limits?
If you can find me a reason that doesn’t boil down to 1) nobody wants to watch Women Things or 2) ew gross vagina cooties, I’m gonna be impressed. Also, I definitely want to watch Women Things and the only vagina cooties I believe in are ones that you could probably sort out with a trip to your local clinic (feel better soon!).
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have serious films about something that is a really big deal for many of the people who do it. Of course we should. But those shouldn’t be the only stories we hear. I want to hear stories of uterus-havers doing all sorts of things and for abortion to be right in there along with all the other stuff we get up to. Like the everyday, ordinary thing that it is.
To all the filmmakers out there: please make these. I will watch them tons and bring all my friends.
Movies That Are Absolutely, Definitely About Abortions
The Boat Trip
Protagonist thought she had it all. Great job, supportive boyfriend, cat- life is good. Until the boyfriend runs off with her boss, leaving her and the cat alone and jobless. Her friends drag her out to cheer her up, and it’s working- until a throwaway comment sends her frantically thumbing through her calendar.
Peeing on a stick with her gang outside the bathroom, it hits her: oh no. There is no way she wants to have a baby. But that dastardly ex cleaned out her bank account when he left and she’s got to get to her sister’s wedding next week. What’s she going to do?
Enter Quirky!Friend, who spends her weekends doing up an old bus she bought on eBay. With only days to come up with the cash and get Protagonist across the sea to the clinic on time (and back home again), there’s no way they’re gonna let her do this alone. How’ll they raise the money? Will the bus make it all the way to the ferry? Who’ll they meet along the way? And where are they going to hide the cat?
Find out in this heartwarming comedy about friendship, fun and what’s really important in life.
Think 007, only better. Reproductive rights-ier.
Operating outside the law in a land where tyrannical governments ban the most basic healthcare (so we have tons of choices for where to film it), this band of suave, skilled medical professionals do what nobody else dares. Pursued by government officials on one side and anti-choice activists on the other, they risk imprisonment from one and being gunned down at any moment from the other. But they let nothing get in between them and doing what they know is right. Anonymous and unrecognised, they won’t stop until nobody is forced to keep a pregnancy against their will.
Will they manage to stay one step ahead of their pursuers? Will everyone make it out alive?
Come for the repro rights. Stay for the EXPLOSIONS and CAR CHASES and CLEVER DISGUISES and CODEWORDS.
The Movies About Something Else Entirely
It’s a movie. Events happen in it. Plots! Characters develop! At some point in the hour or two, a character gets pregnant has an abortion and it’s completely incidental. Like:
The Rom Com
The Main Character meets the love of their life while they’re sitting awkwardly in the waiting room. They hit it off and bond over their Favourite Classic TV Show on Love Interest’s tiny phone. The exchange phone numbers and hit it off so well they start spending oodles of time together, sparks flying all over the place (maybe one of them is a mechanic). Everything is going marvellously until Protagonist’s Terrible Ex shows up, or Love Interest drastically misinterprets something Protagonist said. Will they get past the Obstacle and realise that the other is the One For Them? Of course they will!
The Comedies Of Errors
Protagonist is in a bind. Hopelessly clumsy, they need Friend to help them out with an Important thing. But no! Friend can’t come over- she’s having a medical abortion right now and is stuck at home for the day with a hot water bottle and a packet of ibuprofen. She offers to talk Protagonist through things. Cue Clumsy Protagonist predictably misinterpreting almost everything Friend says, with Hilarious Consequences. Everything turns out fine in the end and they laugh about it in years to come.
Or how about:
Friend is off to the clinic to have an abortion, and asked Protagonist to babysit the kids. Friend- who is the youngest of a family of seven, has no kids and has never been left on their own with anyone under the age of 14- agrees. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. EVERYTHING GOES WRONG. Hilarity Ensues but they manage to clean off the crayon marks and glue the precious heirloom back together and find the dog just in time to hear the key in the front door.
It’s The End Of The World As We Know It, No Way Am I Having A Baby
A few days after Protagonist finds out that she’s pregnant, the Apocalypse strikes. Waking up into a world infested with the undead/destroyed by asteroids/taken over by aliens, she knows that she’ll have to do everything she can to survive. And she’ll have to get out of town. On her way, she stops by a shopping mall and grabs all the canned/dried food she can, a bunch of tools and supplies- and a small packet of pills. No way is she bringing a baby into this world- and besides, who can fight off the undead hordes with morning sickness?! Her trolley full, she is on her way out when the building starts to collapse/she’s spotted by the a troop of robot soldiers. Will she make it out alive? Who will she meet along the way? Will she find somewhere she can hole up for a few days while the pills do their magic? And how will the human race survive?
What do you think? Would you watch ’em? Have you any other ideas for movies with abortions in?
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