Hollywood is depicting abortions “at record levels,” according to The New York Times, with academicians confirming pregnancy terminations are getting more exposure in 2019 than in years past.
“You’re definitely seeing more of the matter-of-fact ‘I am pregnant, I don’t want to be, I’m going to have an abortion,’” said Gretchen Sisson, a sociologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
Much of Sisson’s research centers on tracking abortions depicted in entertainment. And halfway through 2019, nearly two dozen terminations have been shown on-screen, many of them unapologetically — a marked shift from the way abortion used to be portrayed:
In the pilot for “Shrill,” Abby, the single millennial played by Aidy Bryant, professes to feel “powerful” after having terminated her unplanned pregnancy. On one of the final episodes of “Veep,” Anna Chlumsky’s pregnant political aide lays into abortion opponents protesting outside a clinic, hollering, “I even prayed a little, and here I am.” On “She’s Gotta Have It,” the ambitious Clorinda, played by Margot Bingham, defends her decision to the baby’s father, saying anything she does with her body is her choice. Nine of the 11 people credited with writing those episodes were women.
These portrayals, like others on the series “Glow” and “Dear White People,” are a marked departure from how abortion was depicted, or not, in story lines from the ’80s through the early aughts. Characters facing unplanned pregnancies then usually agonized about what to do or, if the show was set in the past, weighed back-alley procedures. Babies were often carried to term or lost to miscarriage. Terminations led to psychological or physical problems or death. It’s not that today’s characters come to their decisions without deliberation, but that they are decisive and forthright, like Becky, the music executive played by Gabourey Sidibe in “Empire.” “My situation is not getting any easier,” she says at one point, “but I have decided to terminate.”
Sisson said she expects the tally of on-screen abortions in 2019 to match or surpass her 2017 total count, which was 34.
The portrayal of abortion on camera in TV shows and movies has become abundantly important to Hollywood elites, many of whom are staunch advocates of abortion.
For example, Lindy West, the creator of the Hulu comedy series “Shrill” and the author of the brazen hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion, told Page Six the normalization of abortion is one of her chief goals in life.
“I think that it’s really, really important to present that kind of mundane counterexample to the way that abortion is presented in media because people don’t understand that it can not just be a neutral and mundane part of people’s lives, but a positive part of people’s lives,” she explained to the outlet.
The creative minds behind the Pure Flix movie “Unplanned,” Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, told the Times they are not surprised by the shift in Tinseltown.
Hollywood, Solomon said, “is run by the left.” He went on to say, “You won’t see pro-life stories on TV.”
Another pro-life filmmaker, Nick Loeb, who directed the forthcoming “Roe v. Wade,” an anti-abortion movie shot in secret over fears there’d be backlash from pro-abortion advocates, agreed Hollywood is ignoring the pro-life movement.
“Nobody’s speaking for us, Hollywood doesn’t speak for us,” he said. “But when people make movies for us, they’re loved and they’re adored.”
During an interview with Faithwire in February, Konzelman said “Unplanned,” which tells the story of former Planned Parenthood executive turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson, was made “for such a time as this,” noting the abortion debate taking place across the U.S.
He said at the time he hoped the Pure Flix film would “serve as a wakeup call to the church of believers in Christ.”
“If believers can have their consciences awakened — if they can collectively decide ‘abortion is wrong’ and act upon that decision — then abortion in this country will end,” Konzelman continued.